In 1800 there were perhaps a thousand people worldwide who could properly be called scientists. Nowadays, there are millions.
At this rate, there will be a billion scientists on Earth by 2200.
The trends in scientific publishing are equally stunning, indicating exponential growth. Scientists are multiplying like rabbits.
Will nonscientific beliefs gradually fade, leading to a brave new world in which all affairs are conducted according to cold scientific principles?
And the reason is simple.
The vast majority of scientific ideas are (a) wrong and (b) useless.
But when it comes to forming opinions on controversial scientific issues, Americans show a strong deference to the views of the scientific community. A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that many citizens defer to scientific authority as a convenient shortcut that replaces information from mass media or technical knowledge.