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Archive for the tag “science”

Conservatives disagree with me? Must be a biological flaw

In a desperate attempt to avoid reading the vast conservative library or quickly glancing at The PillarsChris Mooney at the Washington Post releases a classic of the “Why the heck do conservatives think the way they do?!” genre:

“Follow the money.” As a young journalist on the political left, I often heeded this well-worn advice. If conservatives were denying the science of global warming, I figured, big fossil-fuel companies must be behind it. After all, that was the story with the tobacco industry and the dangers of smoking. Why not here?

And so I covered the attacks on the established scientific knowledge on climate change, evolution and many more issues as a kind of search for the wealthy bad guys behind the curtain. Like many in Washington, I tended to assume that political differences are either about contrasting philosophies or, more cynically, about money and special interests.

Mooney should’ve stopped at “contrasting philosophies”. Read more…

Conservatives reject liberal’s definition of “science”

Flowchart of the steps in the Scientific Method

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Yahoo News blogger Liz Goodwin details the sad story of Conservatives revolting against knowledge itself:

Study: Trust in science among educated conservatives plunges
Conservatives, particularly those with college educations, have become dramatically more skeptical of science over the past four decades..”
Saying that Conservatives have lost trust in “science” based on this study would be like saying they’ve lost trust in “the Constitution” because of a poll showing their confidence in Congress has plunged. What did the study really say?
Fewer than 35 percent of conservatives say they have a “great deal” of trust in the scientific community now, compared to nearly half in 1974.
Exactly. The distinction between “science” and “the scientific community” is everything. Conservatives’ belief in the scientific method’s ability to obtain practical knowledge about the world has not waned one bit. The issue is with a too often politicized scientific community, which liberals exploit to try to justify federal government expansion. It’s the Vision of the Anointed conservatives are revolting against, not science.
In 2008, half of all conservatives believed in climate change. By 2010, only a third did, compared to more than 70 percent of liberals, according to a Gallup poll.
Hmmm… now what happened between 2008 and 2010 that could have caused that? I can’t remember. Whatever it was, I’m sure it won’t happen again.

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