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Mar 29 2012

Conservative trust in science in sharp decline

From the color-me-surprised department comes news of this study showing a very clear trend towards anti-science hostility among conservatives and/or people who regularly attend church.

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.

A whole major subculture adopting hostility towards science as one of their major tribal identifiers. This won’t end well.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    Alverant

    Well science has been proving things that conservatives don’t want to be true, ergo science must be wrong.

  2. 2
    d cwilson

    Who needs science when you have received wisdom from infallible deities?

    No, not Jesus. I’m talking about the people conservatives really worship:

    Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman.

    1. 2.1
      zach

      Ayn Rand was a huge proponent of both Science and Atheism. That being said, I find it hard to fathom why the conservative right holds her works up as what they believe in. As a libertarian, capitalist, Atheist I understand why I like them, but not why someone who says we can’t trust a reason based examination of the world (Science) would.

      1. Dalillama

        Not really. She rejected quantum mechanics and was suspicious of the theory of evolution, not to mention stunningly ignorant on the subjects of human psychology, sociology, engineering and economics, and that’s just counting the subjects she expounded about the most. She was definitely in favor of atheism, but she didn’t display any detectable trust in or understanding of real science anymore than the Scientologists or Christian Scientists do.

  3. 3
    sailor1031

    I think it boils down to three areas and conservatives and religiots are wrong about all three: economics, evolution and climate change. As conservatives’ political ideology conflicts with the facts in all three areas, the facts are clearly wrong, wrong, wrong I tell you!! So science and scientific “facts” are not to be believed.

  4. 4
    This Is A Turing Test

    As you say- color me surprised. I’ve been saying for a while now that when people (uber-conservatives) whose natural bent is toward “revealed” knowledge (whether it’s religion or authority) are confronted with “earned” knowledge (whether science or just basic logical thought)- the “earned” knowledge will go out the window every time. It’s just the nature of the conservative-thought beast to prefer belief over actual thinking.

  5. 5
    left0ver1under

    All products of science, whether the religious like them (e.g. computers, medicine) or dislike them (e.g. evolution, climate change), they are all produced by the same scientific method. Science is a package deal, not something you pick and choose from.

    Anyone who denies the facts of science should be denied their use and benefits.

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/2006/db060702.gif

  6. 6
    The Lorax

    Unfortunately for them, reality has a liberal bias, and science is constantly learning about reality. Science is a pervasive and unstoppable movement in the culture of human society. Anyone who disagrees with it, or wishes to curb the advances, will eventually be naturally selected against.

  7. 7
    Zinc Avenger

    The Constitution says we’re equal so my ignorance is as good as your facts!

  8. 8
    Hunt

    Interesting Mother Jones article on this topic.

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