Hi Tim Mitchell! How's it going?
You know, I had to look up the word 'esoteric,' real quick before I could take a crack at this question. The definition I got is: "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."
The answer is yes. It is very difficult for a non-scientist to have any kind of basic, working knowledge of any of the sciences. This is much more true for the sciences, than it is for the humanities.
I wish that were not so, believe me. I suspect science could be taught in a different way. Mathematics is a big part of it, of course; and a whole lot of people, myself included, are, frankly, intimidated by math.
Perhaps the school day and school year needs to be organized in a different way...
Science, in general, is very left-brained, quantitative, and analytical. Folks are not so oriented might have a hard time.
But anybody can read a history book, or Mark Twain, or even sociology, and things like that, which are more "art rather than science," are hardly quantitative. Knowledge can be more readily absorbed by someone working on her own. One can become a writer, perhaps even a painter, or musician on her own.
But one cannot, I think, become a scientist on her own.
And so on and so forth.