The “curious” scientist and myths


I discovered something this evening: I can be just as bothered by someone trying to “scientifically explain Santa Claus” as I can by the other sort of Creationism. Really, I was astounded by how much the two things sounded alike.

Yeah, I realize the program was for kids.

But saying things like “we just know the reindeer fly…” and mentioning to the kids present that “God or nature designs snowflakes like that” is deceptive. Especially when the person saying these things bills himself as a scientist.

I found myself feeling embarrassed for the guy when he was talking about how the North Pole was the best location for Santa, since he could “look down and see everyone from there”, as if any particular spot on a sphere is special in that way. And “to have Santa come, you just have to believe” as if belief is enough to change reality.

Yes, some good scientific information and explanations were presented as well. Some things those kids would probably not hear anywhere else. But, does mixing science with myth really help scientific literacy, or diminish it?

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