Conservatives distrust science more than ever

We talked a bit about the growing conservative distrust of science and the smart idiot effect this weekend. Now, the story is starting to trickle into mainstream media:

(US News) — Gauchat says conservatives’ rebellion against the “elite” and the shifting role of science in society is to blame for the decline. He argues that the conservative minority has rebelled against science in the same way it has against media and higher education.

Why might conservatives specifically discredit education, media, and science, and by extesnion academia? Simple, these are all independent sources of credible information that could potentially contradict conservative propaganda and disinformation.

Sowing doubt about credible sources of info is an old trick, one that’s been used by dictators and theocrats throughout history, and still used all over the world to this day. It may serve the conservative cause for now, but it can lead to situations like what one sees on Israel-Palestine threads, where participants cannot even agree on the most basic facts. Confusion, conflation, misinformation, anger and fury, these are all great environments to run a scam or work a con, but it’s a terrible way to run a first-world country that depends on thousands of applications of science for the well-being of its citizens everyday.


  1. christophepetroni says

    It’s also “sowing” doubt, like one would sow seeds. And that’s more than enough pedantry for a morning.

    People’s willingness to suborn reality to their political preferences is endlessly frustrating.

  2. StevoR says

    @1. slc1 :

    Spelling Nazi alert: It’s Palestine.

    Umm, that’s what he’s got :

    situations like what one sees on Israel-Palestine threads

    BTW. As a matter of fact there has never been an independent nation of “Palestine” although there *was* hitsorically an indpenendent Jewish kingdom of Israel – and Judea – and the Roman client Kingdom of Judea and the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom and there is the current nation of Israel established on the traditional and long standing Jewish homeland.

    The above facts are not in dispute – and nor is the reality that when the Arabs have had a chance to create “Palestine” on sections now being claimed as it (Judea and Samaria aka the so-called “West Bank” with the eastern bank being modern Jordan, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem during the decades from the 1948 Israeli War of Independence up till the 1967 Six Day War) they declined that opportunity with Egypt and Jrdan ruling the “Palestinian” territories instead.

    It is also quite clear that if the Palestinian goal was a state of their own rather than destroying the Jewish state they have oddly turned down and rebuffed many attempts at getting it and peace. So many peace talks, so much Jihadist terror.

    Personally, I think the philosemitic side of this debate has shown it is worth listening to, its antonymn, not-so-much.

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