But maybe gullible isn't the right word. It's difficult to fathom why nearly 1/3 of the people in Texas would think that humans and dinosaurs lived together. Do we blame Jurrasic Park? Do we blame the education system? Those in charge of the education system? Creationsists?
Now, again, is blame really the right word?
I am especially concerned with what I, as a scientist and as a citizen, can do to encourage general inquiry, and promote both scientific education and knowledge.
Dinosaurs did not eat people. Why? Because modern humans did not exist at the same time as dinosaurs. There is a fountain of paleontological, archaeological and anthropological evidence for this. But, throwing around big words like this just isn't as flashy as showing a picture of a person with a dinosaur.
Maybe people want to believe that, if they had only been born a few million years earlier, they could have had a pet dinosaur (Danny and the Dinosaur?), or they want to imagine cavemen flying a Pterodactyl. Are our imaginations too big for our collective rational brains to handle??
I don't think so. I think that scientific evidence shows us so much more than my puny imagination. Science helps us discover things we never even considered. That's the problem; generally, our imagination of what could have been is limited by what we know to be true now.
I'm so glad I get to learn new things all the time. Now, I just need to help other people want to learn more!