ikrase wrote:People who cannot stop freaking about bioethics
Elaboration: clones of Hitler will mean another World War.
I can't tell you how often I've heard this retarded argument. It's not like anyone thinks of this concept with twins, and yet it's the same damn concept.
But really, my big beef is usually with Creationists, if only because they're the people I'd deal with most online in debates on science. Few people argue with something like Newton's laws, because it's self-evident and has no direct effect on human thinking and morality. But bring in evolution, and you've just stuck a finger up at religion for one thing, and many millennia old customs and thinking patterns. You've effectively changed the world forever. Few people who like the old ways will lie down and accept this, as we can see with the Dover trials etc.
Other misconceptions that bug me: CSI. If you do forensics, you've got a guaranteed success on your hands. Ignoring the "I'll perform PCR/tox screen/database profiling in under five minutes" bullshit, we get the impression that it's impossible to commit crime anymore. Except, it's not. My mum even says this, and then flips over to Crimewatch
and wonders why so many crooks are still out there. Also, forensic people not in boilet suits, polyfeet and goggles/masks walking around a crime scene? No. They're also not Judges from Judge Dredd i.e. being lab staff, action cops and interrogator detectives.
I had a chemistry (and astronomy if you'll believe it) professor who was a creationist. He apparently justified most of his insanities by saying that 'if we didn't see it, we have to rely on faith.' As a scientist in a field that has no way of rerunning the events of the past, and has to study the field through exploration and observation, that kind of attitude really frustrates me.
Behe is another famous example of this thinking. The guy has written amazing work on biochem, yet was the same genius to come up with irreducible complexity and that godawful mouse trap analogy. For someone so smart, he's an idiot. Evolution is one of those "Wow, why didn't we think of this before?" ideas that is also a "Wow, this is actually damn hard to grasp" ones too, be it through wilful ignorance or general apathy/lack of understanding thanks to bullshit Hollywood science tropes.
Incidentally, I also get the "You must be very smart" thing too. It bugs me, and I confess that I said the same thing to others I saw as having better capabilities than me on the matter e.g. my ex who studies physics at uni because I love the subject, suck at the maths. I didn't really register that she found my bio textbooks to be just as alien. I guess this segues more into my qualms with what intelligence actually is (which then takes me on to the whole host of problems I have with I.Q, tests and the idea that trivia knowledge in gameshows shows incredible smarts rather than photographic memory from rote learning).