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Conservatives' Trust In Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s

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posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:01 PM
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Not sure if this belongs in here, or the political forums, but I tend to stay away from those.

In the outside world, and over here on ATS I've had a lot of dealings with the anti-science crowd, and slowly I could begin to categorize the anti-science crowd as mainly conservatives and religious folk, and I've always wondered why.

I am a liberal, and very pro-science AND pro-environment.

Now I've read this, and it confirms what I have observed.


While trust in science remained stable among people who self-identified as moderates and liberals in the United States between 1974 and 2010, trust in science fell among self-identified conservatives by more than 25 percent during the same period, according to new research from Gordon Gauchat, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.


and of course, the religious folk.

“This study shows that the public trust in science has not declined since the mid-1970s except among self-identified conservatives and among those who frequently attend church,” Gauchat said. “It also provides evidence that, in the United States, there is a tension between religion and science in some contexts. This tension is evident in public controversies such as that over the teaching of evolution.”


Even though the article refers to the USA, from my experience it is quite an international issue, even though the definition of "conservative differs". For example, over here, the conservatives would rate as extreme liberalists in most parts of the world, and the liberals, well, they are just over the top....

The question as always is "Why?".

btw. the comments also make for some very interesting reading


scienceblog.com...

edit on 30/3/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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I think it has a lot to do with perception.

Also their is a lot of junk science out there that muddies the water a bit and a lot of people don't bother with researching on their own (simply because their is just too much to go through, although some of it is ignorance).



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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It has to do with fear, I think.

I grew up in a loving Christian household. Both of my parents are rational people and my father earned his living as a surveyor/engineer. But try and discuss potential problems with current Christian thinking....that immediately shuts them down. They refuse to consider it.

As a teenager, I began to question the assumption I'd always held that Christianity was the only true religion. This questioning so consumed me that my undergraduate degrees where in theology and religious history.

You know what? It was terrifying to have to reevaluate your foundational principals. What if there is no God? What if God isn't the God of the Bible? What if the Bible is flawed? What if what if what if.....

Far easier to wave your hand and simply say, "The Bible said it, I believe it, that settles it."



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by calnorak
 


junk-science, and pseudo-science.

Some people are also just too lazy to think for themselves, and would rather leach onto somebody else's ideas, and if that person has a very magnetic personality, they would rather believe that person, than the words of a bleak-face, somewhat nerdish scientist. (the stereotypical image of scientist that we see in the mainstream media)




posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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This so vague as to be incomprehensible. Don't trust "science?" Point to "science" please. This gives the impression that trusting science is the same as trusting the integrity of a bridge.

There are people who perpetuate a system we call science, is loosely based on the idea that there is a method to "proving" things and a "method," by establishing agreed upon protocols, by which some actions and reactions can be duplicated. But other then this, there is no "thing" to trust, so we must reduce this nonsensical notion to trusting "scientists" or those who hide behind the cloak of the scientific systems. So, asking this question is more helpful, but even this is stupid as without detailed accounts of a particular scientist asking about then in mass is like asking "what is the most important instinct animal."

Now, if we are to look at the trusting these pillars of society, we find corruption equal to if not greater then any other "group" which is seen as corrupted or corruptible. People, especially in "science" based jobs that are subject to grants and public funding will say anything to keep their jobs, so their integrity is suspect at best. then there are scientists "for hire" who are engaged by companies who seek to give their efforts power and validity by adding the scientific seal of approval. There are scientists, highly paid, well educated people who both developed vioxx, tested vioxx and APPROVED vioxx for human consumption. These same people using the system of perfection knows as the scientific method have proved smoking does not cause cancer or contribute to poor health in any way.

It is the smoking example that leads us back to the "trust" issue. If one scientist can state, unequivocally that smoking does not cause poor health, and another states unequivocally that smoking does cause health issues - then is it a wonder why sensible people don't trust science or those who use the methods?

A further note, the idea that this is a Science vs Religion is absurd, the two sides went to war because it was politically viable to create a fake war between to belief systems, one system eons old, the other merely decades old, in order to create conflict. This is a fake conflict with people fighting over nothing more then political creations.



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:37 PM
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Originally posted by Hellhound604
reply to post by calnorak
 


junk-science, and pseudo-science.

Some people are also just too lazy to think for themselves, and would rather leach onto somebody else's ideas, and if that person has a very magnetic personality, they would rather believe that person, than the words of a bleak-face, somewhat nerdish scientist. (the stereotypical image of scientist that we see in the mainstream media)



lol, I forgot psuedo science, speaking of which, I really enjoy the ancient aliens show



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 02:53 PM
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lol, I forgot psuedo science, speaking of which, I really enjoy the ancient aliens show


Lol, I don't know the ancient alien's show, but I guess it is on History channel, lol....

At one stage I really admired Discovery channel and their offspring-channels, and then, at one stage, they started to bring in more and more junk-science, and pseudo-science. Hmmm, maybe they got a conservative or 2 in the board?

but seriously, sometimes I would enjoy watching some of their junk-and-pseudo science shows just to lighten things a bit, but one can't think too seriously about that, because the mistakes in those shows just become glaringly obvious. (somewhat like their "Survivor-series", or whatever it is called, in which they send this guy into the wilderness without any food or water, yet a cameraman follows him wherever.....Ja, sure, if you believe that, you will believe everything.....
edit on 30/3/2012 by Hellhound604 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 11:29 PM
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If science is so great then answer me this.

Where does the moon come from? How did it get there? Where does it go at day?

You cant explain that. Check and mate, science.[
edit on 30-3-2012 by TsukiLunar because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 05:53 AM
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First of all, it is not science that people distrust, but scientists, and those who pay thier wages. With companies like Monsanto creating toxic nightmares for all the world, and Big Pharma and the medical supply industry ramping thier prices through the roof, and producing questionable remedies for extremely tragic illnesses, there are plenty of fairly obvious reasons why trust in the scientific community is at a low ebb.

There is another element to this discussion however. To illustrate it, I will have to mention something that happened in my nation just in the last forty eight hours. A representative of our government, asked that the nation prepare for a possible tanker drivers strike, by stocking up on fuel and storing it at home. This caused enormous queues at every petrol pump in the land, causing traffic chaos so bad, that the police had to shut down some stations, just so that the main roads they were on could have free movement of traffic, and had to break up forecourt fights on a few occasions.

Now, a lady who had followed this advice was asked by her daughter if she could have some fuel for her car. The lady decides that she will decant the fuel in her kitchen, from the jerry can into a measuring jug. Now, this would be pretty bloody stupid just because she did it in an enclosed space. But not satisfied with this darwinian level of idiocy, she was performing this task less than three feet from her cooker hob, on which she was cooking. This had the predictable effect of the vapour of the fuel igniting, setting fire to the ladies clothes, and causing forty percent burns. She is at this time in a critical but stable condition.

I mention this because it illustrates the level of ignorance shown by people, toward the fundamental, common sense level of scientific understanding, never mind the high flying super stars of science that operate the LHC and the Keppler telescope.

People are not distrust full of science. They are ignorant of it to a degree that is staggering, and they distrust the BUSINESS model upon which all scientific industry is based. I believe the distrust shown towards the industrial element of science is more than justifed. One only has to remember the incident in hungary where the toxic by product of aluminium production, including many heavy metal elements, broke the banks of the out door pool in which it was being kept, and swept through towns and villages, and threatened the purity of one of the greatest of Europes rivers, in order to see why people do not trust the industrialised methods, and morality of the companies which perform so selfishly.

But the reality is, that one cannot "trust" science. It is not a matter for trust. One is either ignorant of it, or uses it to the advantage of all, or oneself. It is a tool and nothing more. One may have to trust the motives of the people in the lab coats, that thier morals are sound, that thier studies will not lead them to behave improperly, or misuse thier discoveries. One may have to trust that companies that employ the scientists not to corrupt thier employees with bribes, in order to alter thier morality, or the importance they place upon it. One may have to trust that governments will not abuse the access they have to science and technology, and those things are subject to the human condition, the eternal, entropic collapse of the human spirit. But science is not for trusting, it is for using, or ignoring.

As much trouble as science may have caused however, that trouble is far outwieghed by the benefits we all enjoy from knowing how to avoid setting fire to ourselves, how to treat pneumonia, how to make fire, and how to increase yeilds of crops by best knowing what soil is best for what crops.

Science is more than an occupation held by geniuses in lab coats. It is the method by which all learning is achieved, wether people are concious of it or not. It is the term we use to describe the constant assessment and re-assessment of our physical and intellectual development, as we incorperate new data about the world around us and the forces we encounter in our lives. We are all scientists, wether we know it at the time of our experimentations or not. From learning to walk, to learning to cook, and fracturing fossil fuel, we are all mad professors. Boiled down, refined, and made pure, all science really is, is the method by which we learn. Without it, we would still be in the trees, eating bugs and leaves, and flinging scat at eachother.
edit on 31-3-2012 by TrueBrit because: Factual correction. Apologies for the initial mistake.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by TsukiLunar
If science is so great then answer me this.

Where does the moon come from? How did it get there? Where does it go at day?

You cant explain that. Check and mate, science.[
edit on 30-3-2012 by TsukiLunar because: (no reason given)



Hardly checkmate, friend.

Consider gravity. It's always existed, wouldn't you agree? Even if science of the time didn't understand it or have a name for it.

Science can't explain the moon origin's? Give it time. New science revelations occur all the time. It'll get there.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 11:48 AM
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Once Viagra was invented, there was no longer a need for science...


Their brains have atrophied because all that blood has to come from somewhere!



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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Until we get a rigorous criteria for what defines conservative, this is nothing more than political tripe to single out a particular personality.

You might as well say that x trust in science has fallen dramatically since Mid-1970s and it will have the same valuation.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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It's simple science beginning with Global Warming has gone extremely far left! The policies and hiring of governmental scientists to skew the research to help push far left policies which of course they could profit from!

No mystery us conservatives do not trust establishment stuck up scientists types who want to "Correct and educate " us. To tell us how to live and what we should do to "Save the world"

There is no such thing as a republican scientist because if they go against the far left science establishment they are considered crazy and yet the Ancient Aliens guys get 4 years on National TV!

Make no mistake, it is the left's fault for the extreme bias in the scientific community and most likely the entirety of America. Science is no longer logical, at least at the top. Science is now politics.
edit on 31-3-2012 by jjf3rd77 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by smyleegrl

Originally posted by TsukiLunar
If science is so great then answer me this.

Where does the moon come from? How did it get there? Where does it go at day?

You cant explain that. Check and mate, science.[
edit on 30-3-2012 by TsukiLunar because: (no reason given)



Hardly checkmate, friend.

Consider gravity. It's always existed, wouldn't you agree? Even if science of the time didn't understand it or have a name for it.

Science can't explain the moon origin's? Give it time. New science revelations occur all the time. It'll get there.

He was being sarcastic, mate.
In the vein of Colbert, it seems.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 06:58 PM
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If science relies on facts and is unswayed by opinion, who cares what 'conservatives' think. I always love seeing news articles starting with 'conservatives no longer trust science'. First off its probably not true, secondly who cares, and third its borderline racist. Should we have an article 'reading books no longer trustworthy among poor' or how about 'liberals' losing faith in working hard lol.

1. Its a generalization
2. Its borderline racist, maybe outright racism
3. Science shouldnt care about 'trust' it afterall is not a religion.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 07:03 PM
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reply to post by Hellhound604
 


Perhaps if you trace the rise of the current wave of fundamentalist religion in this country you will get your answer.
edit on 31-3-2012 by antonia because: opps



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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First off this study is so biased as to be meaningless. To give you an example. I am a conservative but not religious and while I love Science and very much think there is a problem with people losing trust in science (partially due to science becoming politicized and swaying from trafficking only in provable facts to trafficking in SCHLOCK such as this study)

So go ahead and crow about your junk study that doesn't really say anything at all scientific. People like YOU are what is contributing to the distrust of science by turning it into a political axe to grind.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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First off this study is so biased as to be meaningless. To give you an example. I am a conservative but not religious and while I love Science and very much think there is a problem with people losing trust in science, (partially due to science becoming politicized and swaying from trafficking only in provable facts to trafficking in SCHLOCK such as this study) I do feel people are losing trust for some very good reasons no matter how much I love TRUE science and the search for truth.

So go ahead and crow about your junk study that doesn't really say anything at all scientific. People like YOU are what is contributing to the distrust of science by turning it into a political axe to grind.
edit on 31-3-2012 by roguetechie because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 09:53 PM
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As far as human evolution, CONservatives and religious people are quickly going backwards...at the rate they are going, they will sadly soon become Neanderthals...

And some of these such CLOWNS are trying to run for office of President.

Not good.



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by Hellhound604
 


Big companies/organizations/governments have corrupted science and used it to further their agendas.

A case in point is the rotten climategate affair.

Hence the distrust.

Rent-A-Scientist is what they do.



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