Quantcast

«

»

May 09 2013

A great mystery

repubscientists

(via)

58 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    gridironmonger

    A small percentage of any given population are sociopaths….

  2. 2
    johnmckay

    How big was the margin of error in the sample? How many calls were wrong numbers? How clearly was the question worded?

  3. 3
    SallyStrange

    Was this research funded with government money?

  4. 4
    michaelbusch

    The full report from the Pew Research Center: http://www.people-press.org/files/legacy-pdf/528.pdf
    _
    These are 2009 data, so there may haven been some shifts since then.
    _
    @SallyStrange: the Pew Research Center is funded by a small part of the very large endowment of The Pew Charitable Trusts. You may thank Joseph Newton Pew and his family. And since the report is from 2009, the current self-generated crisis of government-funded research programs had not yet happened when it was written.

  5. 5
    anuran

    There are plenty of older Republicans who remember the days of Hatfield, Packwood and other “Red Tories”.

  6. 6
    chigau (違う)

    PZ
    Whatinhell are you doing posting a new one at this time of night?

  7. 7
    Ichthyic

    6%… that’s just barely significant.

    seems about what you would expect just given chance.

  8. 8
    DBP

    I thought it said 60%. ‘Bout had a heart attack.

  9. 9
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Simple to explain!

    “Republicans” are either evil or in league with evil, and around 6% of scientists are also either evil or in league with evil.

    Obviously, we are not counting scientists willing to work with the oil or tobacco industries, but simple working with evil because it’s a steady paycheck and, well, they kind of think about other things while doing it.

  10. 10
    dongiovanni (Now onto Wagner)

    A number of them are probably Engineers pretending…

  11. 11
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    What professions are they counting as “scientists” here?

  12. 12
    ekwhite

    It would be interesting to survey the Republican scientists to understand why they remain in the Republican party.

  13. 13
    grahamjones

    About half of US science funding is for defense.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=money-for-science

    Perhaps 6% of scientists get 50% of the money?

  14. 14
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I assume members of this 6% voluntarily terminated their research when the GOP decided to slash science spending, for America.

  15. 15
    samihawkins

    Being a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t also be a racist, a homophobe or a narcissist who considers anyone poorer than them to be inferior scum.

    If anything the % should be higher, but I guess most of those types call themselves ‘Libertarians’.

  16. 16
    samihawkins

    The moment I clicked submit I remembered I forgot ‘sexist’ on that list.

  17. 17
    markbarker

    Can we ask Bill O’Reilly if he can explain it?
    (gotta love Friday morning political snark ;) )

  18. 18
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    What definition do they use for scientist? Some of the ones who show up here arguing for, say, the aquatic ape, or the evidence for extraterrestrial visitors guiding humanity, and other such nonsense (not to mention all the ID and creationist people). I mean, would the guy who does Timecube consider himself a scientist? (Not saying that any of these people are actually GOP, just pointing out that those who self-identify as scientists may not be what I consider a scientist)

  19. 19
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I wonder if any of the 6% of “scientists” believe there is scientific evidence for women being worse at science?

  20. 20
    Larry

    Dr. Evil, that’s one. Then there’s Dr. No. Two. Drs. Frankenstein, Moreau, and Lecter. I’m sure I’ll think of some more.

  21. 21
    David Marjanović

    Whatinhell are you doing posting a new one at this time of night?

    PZ has minions a bot that posts at regular intervals. He writes in advance.

    The moment I clicked submit I remembered I forgot ‘sexist’ on that list.

    And indeed, the graphic clearly shows that 100 % of scientists have a male shoulders/waist/hips ratio.

  22. 22
    Eurasian magpie

    *hoping this won’t summon certainperson*

    Larry,
    Dr. Mabuse

  23. 23
    evolutiongrrrl

    The scientist polled were AAAS members, 2500+ that filled out an online survey. I found it interesting that the public (represented by 2000 responses to phone survey) does have a positive view of science and generally believe it has a positive effect on society (in the 84% range).

  24. 24
    nich

    …the Pew Research Center is funded by a small part of the very large endowment of The Pew Charitable Trusts…

    I have a million immature thoughts running through my head at this moment…

  25. 25
    md

    Diversity is our strength.

  26. 26
    Sastra

    The public’s overwhelmingly positive view of science might reflect a certain confusion between science and technology. I suspect that if the two were somehow separated in a clear question, you might find the number of people who approve of ‘scientists who work at discovering and understanding the nature of reality’ is lower. But I don’t know.

    One of the popular sayings on atheist/skeptic/humanist/science forums is that “reality has a liberal bias.” Many years ago the self-image of the Republican was that of someone with a slide rule and serious expression, saying what had to be said and doing what had to be done while the Democrats were dancing around with flowers in their hair trying to summon the fairies. I think Republicans still like that general image — the reality-based tough pragmatist — but they’ve put down the slide rule and picked up a Bible. No. That doesn’t fool the scientists.

  27. 27
    Abdul Alhazred

    Every dishonest apologetic trick in the book, right PZ?

    Are you going down a checklist?

  28. 28
    Eamon Knight

    @8: ‘sfunny, so did I. What is it about the graphic that leads to that illusion? (Or is it just because I left my computer glasses at home today?)

  29. 29
    twas brillig (stevem)

    But wait, wait, wait. You’re looking at it backwards! Aren’t they really saying 94% of Scientists are Democrats (at least, NOT Republican). Isn’t that a CONSENSUS that the Democratic Party is THE ONE for Scientists? Does only a 100% majority (unanimity) count? Don’t we always allow “outliers” in our scientific measurements of even physical phenomena, much more so for psychological phenomena? Can’t the 6% just be the unexplained “outliers” scientists always have to “sweep under the rug” and ignore? Why ask “why”, no answers anywhere.

    But then again, aren’t scientists SMART? How could a smart person EVER choose the Republican party for his own? Republicans are known, well known, as the party of stupid (Even Jindahl said so). But, oh, maybe those scientists just like to feel like the smartest person in the world, so surround themselves with the stoopids, to be smarter then everyone around them. Maybe those 6% just have an ego problem.

  30. 30
    atheist

    @Abdul Alhazred – 10 May 2013 at 8:51 am (UTC -5)

    Every dishonest apologetic trick in the book, right PZ?

    Are you going down a checklist?

    Wut?

  31. 31
    twas brillig (stevem)

    And indeed, the graphic clearly shows that 100 % of scientists have a male shoulders/waist/hips ratio.

    But they all seem to be wearing skirts! (or maybe kilts) Is it just deliberately ‘ambiguous’?

  32. 32
    roricus

    @13: I don’t know how the numbers in that Sci-Am graphic were tabulated, but I assume that any grant that comes from the military would be filed under ‘defense’. As someone who is paid on one of these grants, I can promise that not all ‘defense’ research is focused on killer robots or hypersonic aircraft. Unlike certain political parties, the DoD seems to recognize the value in funding basic science. That being said, it would be nice to see more of those dollars being distributed by the NSF.

  33. 33
    dannicoy

    This ancient greek skeptism – Where do I sign up?

  34. 34
    dannicoy

    skepticism even

  35. 35
    daniellavine

    @25,@27:

    Ahahahahahaha, poor pouty Republicans.

    It’s OK. 6% isn’t that bad. (OK, it’s pretty bad.)

  36. 36
    scottcunningham

    I’m looking at this question from the other angle. Scientists are disproportionately older white men with high social status, disproportionately coming from higher income families of birth, who have job security if they have tenure and actual knowledge and skills to feel they earned their position above other people in society, and there’s a definite problem with sexism in hiring, advancement an retention.

    So really, the question’s more like how the GOP lost so many people with multiple kinds of privilege who could erase it by claiming hard work, study or personal genius. I mean, doctors have a pretty similar demographic bias and real abilities to cover up race, sex and class privilege, and even here in Canada there are a lot more than 6% of doctors who are conservative.

    Endlessly attacking the legitimacy of science itself, years of attacks on scientific funding and nonsense about Jesus riding a T Rex and shooting Romans with an M16 probably cost the GOP a lot of voters who started right in their pocket.

  37. 37
    Martha

    @10 dongiovanni:

    A number of them are probably Engineers pretending… /blockquote>

    Don’t forget chemists. In my experience, even in academia, they tend to be conservative, and I’ve met a surprising number of chemists who are fundamentalists. I guess chemistry doesn’t challenge their views of the world with pesky little ideas like evolution or the big bang.

    Actually, as a member of a chemistry department, I was surprised the number of Republicans was so low. At first, I thought it was likely that the bulk of the 35% who call themselves independents were secretly conservative. But then I looked at the next chart in the Pew Report and saw that only 9% self-identify as conservative at all.

    Samihawkins (#15) is right: some of those “moderates” must be libertarians. Or the AAAS sample is biased toward biologists and physicists (which it may well be).

  38. 38
    moarscienceplz

    Oh, this is quite easily explained. Most “scientists” are just liberals and hippies who make up lies about Evolution and Global Warming in order to get free money from the government to buy their pot with. The 6% are undoubtedly the true scientists who get their money honorably from oil and tobacco companies.

    /snark

  39. 39
    nullifidian

    Ogvorbis @ #18:
    I mean, would the guy who does Timecube consider himself a scientist? (Not saying that any of these people are actually GOP, just pointing out that those who self-identify as scientists may not be what I consider a scientist)

    He may not be a registered member of the GOP, but Gene Ray did endorse McCain.

  40. 40
    coffeehound

    @ 27, md,

    Diversity is our strength.

    Yeah, all those y chromosomes in multiple shades of…..beige.

  41. 41
    Haakon Thunestvedt

    Does that mean that most Amercan scientists vote Republican since there are few republican parties worldwide? ;)

  42. 42
    quidam

    dongiovanni: A number of them are probably Engineers pretending…

    Snide asshole.

    Engineers can be scientists, scientists can be engineers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.

  43. 43
    Eamon Knight

    @42: They *can* be, but are not so automatically, and there is a common phenomenon (called the Salem Hypothesis) of an engineer parlaying their credentials into undeserved status as a “scientist”, who should therefore be listened to on subjects they have only superficial understanding of.

    Me? I’m an engineer who tries to know his limitations.

  44. 44
    quidam

    Indeed. The same is true for any discipline. Not all biologists, physicists, geologists, chemists are scientists.

    It’s not so much a hypothesis as a prejudice pulled from the nether regions. Calling it an hypothesis is only an attempt to give it undeserved status as a scientific observation

    Any scientist outside their discipline may have only a superficial understanding. I wouldn’t allow PZ’s credentials to give him ‘undeserved status’ when commenting on say sub-atomic physics. Or a physicist commenting on evolution. Or for that matter an electrical engineer commenting on rock mechanics

    Knowing one’s limitations is fine but you make it sound like knowing one’s place.

  45. 45
    anchor

    The blaring correlation is obvious: its not a dispute between reasoned opinion. Its obviously a war against willful and abject stupidity.

    There are ‘atheists’ who thunder against the popular notion of supernatural entitlement.

    There are ‘skeptics’ who scorn rinky-dink beliefs outside of rational real-world explanation.

    Its time for rationality to bite down and declare a war on ignorance and stupidity.

  46. 46
    chigau (違う)

    anecdata
    The only person I have ever met in meat-space who thought that humans could not have built the pyramids was an engineer.
    The only person I have ever met in meat-space who thought that men have one fewer ribs than women was an engineer.
    /anecdata

  47. 47
    quidam

    Well that certainly proves something

  48. 48
    ck

    As far as I know, due to the various perversities of the U.S. political system, there are good reasons to register Republican in some places even if you’re never going to vote for them.

  49. 49
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    As far as I know, due to the various perversities of the U.S. political system, there are good reasons to register Republican in some places even if you’re never going to vote for them.

    Primaries.

  50. 50
    Jeff Lewis

    More anecdata – my brother is a scientist who doubts AGW. I’m an engineer who accepts it. Is the Salem Hypothesis anything more than just a lot of confirmation bias. Does anyone know of any polls similar to this Pew one, but for engineers? After a few minutes of googling, the closest I could find were this study:
    http://www.evolution-outreach.com/content/6/1/3

    and this article:
    http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/01/why-do-so-many.html

    neither of which addressed the issue directly, but which would suggest that engineers do accept evolution at a higher rate than the general public (I know that’s not the original defintion of the Salem Hypothesis, but it seems to have morphed in many people’s usage to mean that a lot of engineers are creationists).

  51. 51
    rustiguzzi

    FWIW, the difference between science and engineering was explained some years ago by the head (I’ve forgotten his name) of a British engineering company, thus:

    “If a spaceship lands on another planet, it’s a triumph for science. If it blows up on the lauchpad it’s an engineering failure.”

  52. 52
    Ing

    @md

    Yes just like being riddled with cankors and tumors makes you strong.

    See how the small minded retreat into a sophistry? “All opinions are equal” truthiness

  53. 53
    quidam

    I am aware that there is a perception that ‘engineers are creationists’ – which if challenged becomes more nuanced and falls back to ‘maybe engineers are creationists a higher rate than some other groupings’.

    The reality is that there is no data that I am aware of to support this. It may be true, there is data that suggests that chemists are slightly more likely to be creationists than biologists and physicists. But it would be stupid to accuse chemists of being creationists.

    It’s certainly true that a small number of very prominent creationists with legitimate academic qualifications have been engineers (Henry Morris, Walt Brown, Andrew Schlafly and Harold Camping spring to mind). A surprising number of YEC’s have held PhDs in Geology (Andrew Snelling and Kurt Wise for example). And large number have bogus qualifications (Kent Hovind and most of the rest).

    All we’re really saying is that anyone who appeals to an argument from their academic credentials, is committing a fallacy and likely to be misrepresenting (or at least over valuing) them, and (possibly) that the closer a discipline is to dealing with issues that directly contradict the bible, the less likely the members are to believe it. Oh and that creationists are dicks.

    The real difference between science and engineering is that there is isn’t. There is considerable overlap and discussing how the extremes – a university research physicist and a structural engineer (say) – differ, overlooks the reality that most people with a science degree don’t do science in their everyday jobs.

    And let’s not forget that Peter Debye had a degree in Electrical Engineering, a PhD in Physics and won a Chemistry Nobel Prize. Engineering and Chemistry? Clearly a creationist. Oh and Jamie Hyneman’s degree is in Russian linguistics and Adam Savage has no degree or formal science qualifications.

  54. 54
    quidam

    Oh and I forgot the prominent biologists in the creationist camp: Behe, Wells, Purdom et al.

    All who parlay their credentials into undeserved status.

  55. 55
    Usernames are smart

    In school, every Political Science (major) I knew was a Junior Republican.

    Maybe many of them grew up to be “libertarian.”

    // What Chigau #46 said

  56. 56
    David Marjanović

    Gene Ray did endorse McCain

    Day saved.

  57. 57
    CSB

    Are they counting economists as scientists?

  58. 58
    Igor Melios

    Looking at the membership and board of the AAAS it looks like >90% of the people work for a public institute in some fashion. It seems likely that a poll of an organization of people whose lives are spent in public institutions earning publicly funded salaries would support the political party most supporting them.

    You’d get a similar effect if you asked how many petroleum engineers are democrats. Yes, people tend to vote for the party that supports their best interests.

Comments have been disabled.