Conservatives don’t trust science?

That is the claim. Mother Jones reports.

…this decline in trust in science has been led by the most educated, most engaged segment of conservatism. Conservative elites have led the anti-science charge and the rank-and-file has followed.

This is presumably part of the wider conservative turn against knowledge-disseminating institutions whose output is perceived as too liberal (academia, the mainstream media, Hollywood) in favor of institutions that produce more reliably conservative narratives (churches, business-oriented think tanks, Fox News). More and more, liberals and conservatives are almost literally living in different worlds with different versions of consensus reality.

I have to call shenanigans on this one. I very much doubt conservatives – especially educated conservatives – are losing faith in science.

If I may speak for conservatives, we still very much believe in science as a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. We still believe in the body of reliable knowledge itself if it is of the type that can be logically and rationally explained. We still believe in scientific techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge and correcting and integrating previous knowledge. We certainly believe in non-authoritative scientific theory that speaks for itself and allows for contradiction and falsifiability when the theories are shown to be incorrect.

We are losing faith in one aspect of the world of science, however. We are losing faith in scientists. Two decades of activity by scientists who have run effective campaigns to mislead the public and corrupt well-established scientific methods in support of political and economic agendas has caused us to lose confidence. In case after case, scientists around the world have been caught suppressing data, modifying results, misrepresenting inputs and massaging outputs to produce politically correct findings.

According to one poll, 69 percent of Americans say some scientists falsify data to support their own beliefs. The Climategate email leak proved that global warming scientists colluded to keep unfavorable information from global warming skeptics, to bar skeptics from reviewing papers or having their papers published and colluding with the environmental activist groups to convince the public that man-man global warming is a huge threat.

That isn’t science. That is the opposite of science. Conservatives haven’t lost faith in science. They have lost faith in the practitioners of a dark activity that masquerades as science in order to corrupt it.

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9 Responses to Conservatives don’t trust science?

  1. Jim22 says:

    There are several reasons to call bullsh1t on this one.

    “…knowledge-disseminating institutions whose output is perceived as too liberal (academia, the mainstream media, Hollywood)…” Mainstream media? Hollywood? Since when are those institutions knowlege-disseminating? They are the corrupters of knowlege.

    “More and more, liberals and conservatives are almost literally living in different worlds with different versions of consensus reality.” Just what is the definition of Consensus Reality, as opposed to, say, Ohm’s law?

    The tip-off should have been that this came from Mother Jones, the Mad magazine of moonbats.

  2. DocO says:

    This liberal crap trap drives me up a freaking wall. I’ve been a software engineer working in research and development for 30 years. I have a BS and MSE. In my thirty year career I’ve learned something that would be amazing to most of the elitist media.

    Scientists are people. Made from the same venal and vain material as the rest of humanity. Sometimes they are corrupted by mere, banal money. But most of the time they are corrupted by pride. Pride in themselves and their own brilliance. Hungry for the same recognition and approbation that all humans crave. This desire for validation tends to blind them to any contradictory evidence from their preconceived hypotheses. Up to a point this is good, as it motivates the scientist to keep pushing to improve and refine his theories. But like most of us, the ugly green monster of pride may eventually lead the scientist to simply ignore the blindingly obvious fact that what they believed is not so. I think what drives me most crazy is that most journalists have NEVER TAKEN a hard science course after high school, and yet they certify each proclamation of a scientist (if it confirms their liberal beliefs) as if the hand of God had written it down in flaming letters on stone tablets.

  3. jacksonsdad says:

    Nice post DocO. Thank you.

    This came to mind…

    http://newsbusters.org/node/11710

    “The first time in history… steel was melted by fire.”

    Man… it’s a good thing we’re able to unearth steel girders and whatnot in the exact specifications of every project under the sun. Can you imagine an Adobe Aircraft Hanger?

    How about an Adobe Aircraft?

  4. BaconNeggs says:

    Since “Trust” is based on a solid record of ethics – truth, honesty and integrity, is it really so surprisng that there is no trust when one repeatedly find these qualites lacking.

    Political Science is not Empirical Science.

  5. DocO says:

    Jacksonsdad,

    Oh God how I miss Phil Hartman. My only consolation these days is watching Larry Kudlow, who reminds me of a Phil Hartman type character. Larry Kudlow, the anal-retentive pundit. I’m just saying.

  6. sig94 says:

    And this is not a recent development. The Royal Academy of Science waited over forty years until officially disavowing the existence of the Piltdown Man which in 1912 was presented as one of the cornerstones of human evolution. It was an utter fabrication but to spare the egos of the scientists who supported this “find” the Academy waited until they were all dead before releasing it as a hoax.

  7. R.D. Walker says:

    Here is yet another “conservatives are unintelligent” study. They claim we are “cognitively impaired.”

    New research provides evidence that, when under time pressure or otherwise cognitively impaired, people are more likely to express conservative views.

    I think an alternative explanation is that liberals have a tendency to intellectually masturbate. In other words, when the conservatives create safe, stable, productive societies of great wealth, it creates an environment secure enough for some members of that society to engage in self-stroking leftist fantasies.

  8. DocO says:

    RD – wow interesting “study”. I didn’t know there was an CONSERVOMETER device that could be attached to a human being to accurately and reliably measure “conservative view” levels. Is it some kind of tricoder device? What is the standard unit of conservatism?

    An old girl friend of mine was a PhD nursing student whose research involved coming up with a measuring device for home nursing intervention outcomes. The “device” that she used and all these socio-pyscho “studies” employ is usually a survey. No chance at all of introducing experimenter bias when creating a survey questionnaire, nope, none at all. They’re as accurate and unbiased as a thermometer or Geiger counter. Ughhh…..

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