Peer reviewed evidence should be given a preferential hearing.
Especially when the other side of the debate is the loud grating shouting of the instinctually hive mind. "Listen to us" they bellow! "We have these words that are an interpretation by our religious leader of some words interpreted by another religious leader and so on down the centuries! According to my personal interpretation of this long chain of previous interpretations, being happy for any reason is bad, evil and wrong! Drugs are bad! Sex is bad! Everything is bad except the worship of my personal flavour of chocorific, candy-coated $deity!"
The difference is between people who are taught to question everything and those who are taught to fear everything. If you question everything you try new things out. You test them, you play with them, take them apart and see how they work. You attempt to and sometimes succeed at understanding new things and how they work.
The other side is nothing more than instinct and emotion. The loudest and most emotive individual gets to represent the hive-mind. There is no evidence…only emotion. “Evidence” presented here is almost always some quote taken out of context, numbers read from raw data without understanding or simply outright lies made up in order to prevent anything new from having to be coped with. It’s fear, more fear, additional fear, being told to be afraid and then some extra fear. To add to the benefit we’ll go to “condition red! Shit your pants it’s terrists BE AFRIAD” to generate some fear.
Peer reviewed evidence is actual EVIDENCE. This is why it should be given a preferential hearing. The key is the falsifiability of scientific evidence. Scientific evidence has been poured over, pondered, tested and the process repeated until a consensus is reached. A scientific experiment can be reproduced if you choose. You can test the results for yourself. The methods are documented, if you contest the results then go perform the same experiment under the same conditions using the same methods and see if you get different results.
What it seems you are trying to imply is that people who shout their uninformed and emotional reaction the loudest should be given exactly the same consideration in the creation of government policy as scientists who take the time to back their advice with evidence derived from reproducible experimentation, studies and statistically relevant surveys.
Frankly, my emotional reaction is “that’s just ****ing nuts.” In fact, I’d go so far as to use that as the basis for a scientific hypothesis. I propose that there is probably an detectable difference in the function of the amygdalae in homo sapiens sapiens who prefer emotive reasoning over deductive reasoning. To test this I propose we take a random sampling of folks, shove them in an MRI and then read them Daily Mail headlines. We pay close attention to how the amygdalae react. We combine this with some very deep surveys on their political viewpoints and see if there is any correlation.
If we find correlation, we can see if there are maybe other parts of the brain that work together to influence political opinion. How much is genetic? How much is socialisation at early stages? How much is modifiable versus hard-coded at an early age?
I should write my MP. I must remember to be loud and emotive, (it's what seems to get results.) It’s science worth funding...