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Author Topic: Study: Conservatives' Trust In Science At Record Low  (Read 1096 times)
greenforest32
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« on: March 29, 2012, 03:20:38 pm »
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While trust in science has remained flat for most Americans, a new study finds that for those who identify as conservatives trust in science has plummetted to its lowest level since 1974.

Gordon Gauchat, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studied data from the General Social Survey and found that changes in confidence in science are not uniform across all groups.

"Moreover, conservatives clearly experienced group-specific declines in trust in science over the period," Gauchat reports. "These declines appear to be long-term rather than abrupt."

Just 35 percent of conservatives said they had a "great deal of trust in science" in 2010. That number was 48 percent in 1974.

Read more at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/29/149615398/study-conservatives-trust-in-science-at-record-low

The study: http://www.asanet.org/images/journals/docs/pdf/asr/Apr12ASRFeature.pdf

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jmfcst
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 03:27:40 pm »
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I think cable TV brings a lot more hackish "science" to the public's attention, and thus you get the results you have here.

also, is the Space Shuttle the cause of the early 80's increase?
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 04:15:27 pm »
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Moderates trusted science less than the extremes by a considerable margin until about 1996, when the conservatives joined them in the celebration of no-nothingism. OK - makes sense to me,  not.
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greenforest32
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 04:43:59 pm »
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Moderates trusted science less than the extremes by a considerable margin until about 1996, when the conservatives joined them in the celebration of no-nothingism. OK - makes sense to me,  not.

Agreed. The report's possible explanation (pg. 18):

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Interestingly, for the whole period the political middle (i.e., moderates and independents) are more alienated from science relative to those on the right and left. One interpretation of this finding is that the political middle, particularly independents, represents low-information individuals, and thus are the most estranged group due to their inability to mitigate social complexity (Luhmann 1979). The demographic composition of moderates and independents supports this and shows that, on average, they report less family income and lower levels of education com -pared to other ideological and party groups.
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 08:12:13 pm »

is the Space Shuttle the cause of the early 80's increase?

It was more likely due to Voyager.
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 09:34:32 pm »
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I get the impression the feeling is mutal. How do think Nobel Prize winners feel about Rick Santorum?
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 01:04:16 am »
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Moderates trusted science less than the extremes by a considerable margin until about 1996, when the conservatives joined them in the celebration of no-nothingism. OK - makes sense to me,  not.

Conservatives were big supporters of science throughout the Cold War. They were seen as the engine that kept the US ahead of the Soviets on the technical front. When the Soviets took a lead in space in 1957, conservatives were willing to go all in for science to retake the lead.

After the end of the Cold War the special status of science to maintain a military edge diminished. Conservatives' view of science joined the bulk of the population.
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 02:32:06 pm »
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I for one do not trust science. It always seems to be out to kill me!
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 09:08:22 pm »
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People that don't trust science = idiots.
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 10:18:45 pm »
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"Not trusting science" is like saying "I don't trust fact or reality". I think this is just social conservatives being mad that modern science has proven many of their beliefs to be factually incorrect (*cough* Christianity *cough*).
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 11:44:01 pm »
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Has it?  I love science and am not a fan of most Christians, but I'm pretty sure "science" hasn't proven Christianity as incorrect....and I'd certainly question the credentials of any "scientist" that claimed that it has.  The universe can be 14 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  The Earth can be 4 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  Evolution can be real and Christianity can still be correct.

It probably isn't, but science can't really prove that it isn't.  At least not yet.
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 06:36:25 am »
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Has it?  I love science and am not a fan of most Christians, but I'm pretty sure "science" hasn't proven Christianity as incorrect....and I'd certainly question the credentials of any "scientist" that claimed that it has.  The universe can be 14 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  The Earth can be 4 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  Evolution can be real and Christianity can still be correct.

It probably isn't, but science can't really prove that it isn't.  At least not yet.

If more fundamentalists accepted this, America would be a much more tolerable place. I suppose if they did, though, they wouldn't be fundamentalists. Growing up surrounded by fervent evangelicals who plug their ears and scream "I CAN'T HEAR YOU" while being one of the few people to tell them they could easily relax if they just relented on their literalism when appropriate is so, so maddening. If only they would stop fapping away at Genesis...
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2012, 08:57:04 am »
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Are we here talking about science or "SCIENCE" here?

A little bit of scepticism about received authority is not a bad thing, regardless of the source. To say otherwise is effectively to argue for an authority because it is an authority that you believe in.

Which isn't to say that you should be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2012, 09:26:55 am »
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Has it?  I love science and am not a fan of most Christians, but I'm pretty sure "science" hasn't proven Christianity as incorrect....and I'd certainly question the credentials of any "scientist" that claimed that it has.  The universe can be 14 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  The Earth can be 4 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  Evolution can be real and Christianity can still be correct.

It probably isn't, but science can't really prove that it isn't.  At least not yet.

A man did not die to rise from the dead three days later. That is scientifically impossible and thulsy Christianity is a lie.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 09:28:13 am »
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Are we here talking about science or "SCIENCE" here?

A little bit of scepticism about received authority is not a bad thing, regardless of the source. To say otherwise is effectively to argue for an authority because it is an authority that you believe in.

Which isn't to say that you should be so open-minded that your brains fall out.

Yeah. People too often forget that science is basically just what we haven't disproven yet. Plenty of science turns out to be wrong with time and since scientists are human beings all science isn't always entirely objective.
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dead0man
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2012, 11:38:59 am »
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Has it?  I love science and am not a fan of most Christians, but I'm pretty sure "science" hasn't proven Christianity as incorrect....and I'd certainly question the credentials of any "scientist" that claimed that it has.  The universe can be 14 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  The Earth can be 4 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  Evolution can be real and Christianity can still be correct.

It probably isn't, but science can't really prove that it isn't.  At least not yet.

A man did not die to rise from the dead three days later. That is scientifically impossible and thulsy Christianity is a lie.
Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2012, 02:36:54 pm »
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Has it?  I love science and am not a fan of most Christians, but I'm pretty sure "science" hasn't proven Christianity as incorrect....and I'd certainly question the credentials of any "scientist" that claimed that it has.  The universe can be 14 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  The Earth can be 4 billion years old and Christianity can still be correct.  Evolution can be real and Christianity can still be correct.

It probably isn't, but science can't really prove that it isn't.  At least not yet.

A man did not die to rise from the dead three days later. That is scientifically impossible and thulsy Christianity is a lie.
Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).
Science can't prove that I am not a dragon.
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dead0man
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« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2012, 03:40:33 pm »
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Well, they can prove you are a human...I guess you could be both, but not if you define "dragon" as some sort of fire breathing, flying lizard like thing.
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Citizen Alfred
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2012, 04:18:13 pm »
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Ah! But that's where you are wrong! You see, dead0man, I believe myself to be a dragon.
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There is a lot of humor to be mined from this as the mind of LBJ in the body of an 18 month old baby girl is quite hilarious.

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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2012, 10:27:34 pm »
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Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).

I am God. By your logic that can't be proven wrong. Keep in mind that you conveniently can't test me because you shalt not test thy lord.

I'm just sick and tired of smart people believing stupid things.
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dead0man
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2012, 11:55:54 pm »
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Ah! But that's where you are wrong! You see, dead0man, I believe myself to be a dragon.
Ok, they can't prove to you that you are not a dragon, but it can prove to itself (and everybody else) that you're not (again, with the caveat that a dragon is a very specific thing).
Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).

I am God. By your logic that can't be proven wrong. Keep in mind that you conveniently can't test me because you shalt not test thy lord.

I'm just sick and tired of smart people believing stupid things.
Get used to it.  Not all smart people believe the exact same list of things ya know.
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« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2012, 02:35:25 am »
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Get used to it.  Not all smart people believe the exact same list of things ya know.

Yeah I know.
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muon2
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« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2012, 12:52:16 pm »
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Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).

I am God. By your logic that can't be proven wrong. Keep in mind that you conveniently can't test me because you shalt not test thy lord.

I'm just sick and tired of smart people believing stupid things.

Not all propositions can be proven one way or the other. In fact there must be statements that cannot be verified. Science can only apply itself in the realm of knowledge that can be verified. It is meaningless to ask science to act where no measurable answer exists.
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2012, 02:06:47 pm »
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Science can prove that it didn't happen 2000 years ago?  I'm pretty sure it can't.  I agree, it's VERY unlikely and that a reasonable person has every reason not buy it, but science can't prove it.  Not until we get a time machine (but that's VERY unlikely too).

I am God. By your logic that can't be proven wrong. Keep in mind that you conveniently can't test me because you shalt not test thy lord.

I'm just sick and tired of smart people believing stupid things.

Not all propositions can be proven one way or the other. In fact there must be statements that cannot be verified. Science can only apply itself in the realm of knowledge that can be verified. It is meaningless to ask science to act where no measurable answer exists.

Yes, but it is not all or nothing. One can come up with plausible hypotheses, maybe more than one being possible, and exclude others as less likely, consistent with the data.  It is where there is no data at all that is available or discoverable, that science is useless. So far, science has been useless when it comes to the origins of life. Maybe someday it will be useful, but not now. I guess what I am saying, is that words like "verified" or "answers" close off a bit too much territory, where science has value. At least that is my first cut at it, until someone sets me straight.
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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2012, 05:40:41 pm »
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The anti-science crowd aren't skeptics, they're blindly anti-science. A skeptic would want strong evidence before believing a claim. The anti-science people reject claims that have strong evidence and believe everything that Rush spouts off. Meanwhile many member of the anti-science crowd have no problem believing in crazy things like young earth creationism or the rapture.
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