Wow. Apparently, conservatives really do hate science

It looks like it wasn’t a stereotype after all:

An excerpt:

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.

“You can see this distrust in science among conservatives reflected in the current Republican primary campaign,” said Gauchat, whose study appears in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. “When people want to define themselves as conservatives relative to moderates and liberals, you often hear them raising questions about the validity of global warming and evolution and talking about how "intellectual elites" and scientists don’t necessarily have the whole truth.”

Relying on data from the 1974-2010 waves of the nationally representative General Social Survey, the study found that people who self-identified as conservatives began the period with the highest trust in science, relative to self-identified moderates and liberals, and ended the period with the lowest.

In addition to examining how the relationship between political ideology and trust in science changed over almost 40 years, Gauchat also explored how other social and demographic characteristics — including frequency of church attendance — related to trust in science over that same period. Gauchat found that, while trust in science declined between 1974 and 2010 among those who frequently attended church, there was no statistically significant group-specific change in trust in science over that period among any of the other social or demographic factors he examined, including gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

“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.”

(Emphasis added)

So it’s not hyperbole after all: right-wing conservative politics really are attempting to draw us back into medieval thinking.

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4 Responses to Wow. Apparently, conservatives really do hate science

  1. Since your email address isn’t to be found anywhere, I’ll just post it here in front of everyone:

    You and all your forum are invited to The Debate Challenge as seen in my website:

    “Dear Cowards,

    Manhood Academy cordially invites you to tighten up your panties and meet us in a LIVE debate via mic & webcam. We realize that most of you keyboard warriors are brave enough to criticize us behind our backs where you can hide your delusional views from public scrutiny. But such dishonest communication insulates you from reality. Your lack of accountability undermines the credibility of your position. So we’re giving you the opportunity to rationally defend your position and prove us wrong.

    We double dog dare you!”

    Come get some you fashionably liberal/atheist/nu-geek, pussified moralfag, intellectually cowardly sperglords!

    Also for your butthurt: (also search leykis on youtube) (READ THE EBOOK!!!)

    • Michael Wong says:

      You have to laugh at the stupidity of someone who thinks it’s effeminate to debate in text format, but manly to do it with a web microphone.

      The real reason idiots prefer voice debate over written debate is that in voice debate, you can simply yell over your opponent.

  2. Odysseus says:

    So little to say these days, Michael, damn shame. I miss your engineering insights on rare occasions. Hope all is well with you and yours. We spoke once, online, in passing. I had a question once, you gave me your informed opinion. I considered it. A decade has come and gone. Are you still of the same opinion? Science is better in principle than religion. Lots of things are better in principle than the status quo. It had caught my attention at the time that sometimes authority fudges the details, and that sometimes they invent “science” whole-cloth in favor of tactical propaganda. Have you since noticed? Bright boy that you are, I would hope that you do not appreciate being lied to. Especially by those that claim to be scientists. It may be another decade before I check for your response, such is life. But I did appreciate seeing your perspective then. Although I did not agree with your conclusion then, your answer gave me a certain peace, if briefly. Funny how that works.

    • Michael Wong says:

      Of course people have abused science in the past. However, science (unlike religion) has a quality-control system. It does not need to get every question right the first time, because it has a system for detecting and correcting its mistakes later.

      That is why the entire history of science has been a continual process of change and improvement, where old theories were revised or discarded in favour of new ones. Religion never does that. Hell, human nature itself is hostile to that kind of change, which makes the scientific method even more important.

      That is also why it’s stupid for anti-science agitators to point to the past mistakes of science as a way of undermining its credibility. Mistakes don’t prove a system is bad; an inability to correct mistakes proves a system is bad.

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