Povjerenje u znanost i znanstvenike može uvelike utjecati na razmatranje znanstvenog razvoja i aktivnosti. Ipak, povjerenje je maglovita konstrukcija koja se temelji na osjećajima, znanju, uvjerenjima i odnosima.
Zato se nećemo baviti pitanjem svih pitanja - "cijepiti se ili ne". Prvenstveno nas zanima što je odlučujuće, iz kojeg izvora naše (ne)povjerenje potiče.
Zanimljiva su neka istraživanja, naprimjer, relativno malen postotak ljudi, sigurno nije većinski, vjeruje Teoriji evolucije vrsta. Upravo kroz taj kriterij, a on je temeljno znanstveni, otkriva se i povjerenje odnosno nepovjerenje prema znanstvenim disciplinama.
Understanding the complex process of biological evolution requires a combination of knowledge from the life sciences, probability and statistics, and geosciences (Gould 2002). The multiple mechanisms of evolution such as natural selection, stochastic events, and geographical isolation, involve intellectually challenging concepts such as deep time, probability and situations of uncertainty, speciation, and the nature of science (Gould 2002; Scharmann and Harris 1992). Because of the complexity of biological evolution, people are likely to be challenged to understand the process (Moore and Cotner 2009; Nadelson and Southerland 2010), which may influence their levels of evolution acceptance (Nadelson and Sinatra 2009; Wiles 2014; Wiles and Alters 2011).
Several critical questions need to be considered when examining evolution acceptance such as, “Why is it important for people to accept biological evolution?” and, “What are potential ramifications if people do not accept biological evolution?” Although the actual processes of biological evolution are essentially invisible to us, the outcomes of evolution provide substantial evidence for the processes, are relatively easy to identify, and can be influential on a personal level. Biological evolution provides an effective explanation of why animal testing of human products (e.g. cosmetics and pharmaceuticals) makes sense, how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics (e.g. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus- MRSA), the potential catastrophic impact of a disease on strains of plants or animals lacking diversity (e.g. potato famine), the transfer of diseases between species (e.g. avian flu and swine flu to humans), and how certain animal hormones can effectively influence the parallel biological systems and mechanisms in humans (e.g. insulin from pigs used by humans). Thus, not accepting biological evolution limits the ability for people to make informed decisions about a wide range of phenomena many of which have personal ramifications. Further, the non-acceptance of biological evolution could potentially offer the possibility of shifting science education to ideas that are popular (e.g. intelligence design) instead of focusing on ideas based on empirical evidence gathered from nature.
The acceptance of evolution has been widely studied (Heady and Nadelson 2013; Nadelson and Sinatra 2010; Nadelson and Southerland, 2010, 2012; Rutledge and Sadler, 2007; Rutledge and Warden, 1999). Variables associated with acceptance of biological evolution have included worldviews (Heddy and Nadelson, 2013; Rissler et al. 2014), understanding of natural selection (Anderson et al. 2002; Nadelson and Sinatra, 2009), feelings of certainty (Ha et al. 2012), understanding of situations of chance (Nadelson 2009), general knowledge of biology (Nadelson and Southerland 2010), the association with the nature of science (Carter and Wiles 2014; McComas et al. 1998a, b; Rudolph and Stewart 1998; Sinatra and Nadelson 2011), and context of evolution such as human evolution or macroevolution (Nadelson and Southerland 2012). We maintain that trust in science or scientists may be a variable that is associated with evolution acceptance that has not been widely assessed.