Sadly, this is true. There are many, many that are book smart and common sense stupid, I have to work with several every day
And the debate isn't about knowledge, it was scientific background
But I agree with most of your comments, except the bold one. The problem is, there's no 'middle men' capable of taking highly focused research (sugar synthesis in cells of E. Obsoleta) and applying it at a 'more general' level, to say that snakes cannot digest the milk in the guts of pinkie rats they eat, or something similar.
I have a biology degree, but by no means do I consider myself to be a biologist or a scientist. Nor do I consider myself to be smarter than those without a degree, unless proven otherwise
I just balk at your last statement. Unless you have a complete control environment set up, someone can always shoot holes in your theory, saying you didn't account for this variable or that one. Lord knows I got ripped by my profs lots of times for stuff like that. Much like the debate Brett and I had on feeding mice versus rats. I don't think anyone currently has the definitive answer on that. There's a big difference in a layman saying I dropped a 50 gallon drum filled with gasoline on a little campfire and it went out, therefore gas puts out fires, know what I mean?