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Subject: Who distrusts science the most? rss

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Professor of Pain
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An interesting article in the Washington Post reporting on some recent research into distrust of science: This is where distrust of science really comes from — and it’s not just your politics.

The core findings;
Chris Mooney, Washington Post wrote:
“The ‘direct effect’ of liberal-conservative orientation is spurious once the distinct belief systems that underlie those identifications are accounted for,” wrote Gauchat.

Which belief systems? In particular, being a biblical literalist — endorsing the statement, “The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word” — was a much bigger factor than liberalism or conservatism in explaining why some people disagreed with the use of science in “concrete government policy decisions,” and also why they were against federal science funding.

Meanwhile, several other factors also leaped out as being more important than simple left-right orientation. A politico-psychological trait called authoritarianism — often described as a tendency to see issues in sharply black-and white terms — was also tied to distrusting the use of science for policy. Meanwhile, distrust of government itself was (not surprisingly) linked to not wanting science to receive government funding.

“Overall, these results show that perceptions of science are polarized, but this political discord reflects deeper cultural belief systems that cohere on the political right,” wrote Gauchat.


Nothing terribly surprising I'd say.
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David desJardins
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The abstract question of whether science should be relied upon seems to be pretty different than the specific question of whether you're willing to consider scientific conclusions that differ from the result you want.

If you're a Biblical Literalist and also a Defense Hawk, you aren't likely to want to shut down research into new weapons that the US can use to impose its will on other countries. It's only when science tells you think that you don't want to hear that you won't listen.
 
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Donald
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I'm going to say the monkey with the electrodes in it's brain.

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David desJardins
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It's pretty slanderous to report polls based on statistics, because statistics is science and we know we can't trust that. The Devil probably cooked the sample to make Republicans look bad.
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Adam Alleman
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Facts have a liberal bias.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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Daddys_Home wrote:
Facts have a liberal bias.


Interpretations of facts have a liberal bias.
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Junior McSpiffy
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I don't trust science.

It stole my lunch.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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GameCrossing wrote:
I don't trust science.

It stole my lunch.


I trust science to steal Junior's lunch.
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.
 
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Trey Stone
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Jythier wrote:
The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.


Ah, but have we proven that it was indeed science that stole the lunch? And that in fact it was a lunch that was stolen?
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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tstone wrote:
Jythier wrote:
The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.


Ah, but have we proven that it was indeed science that stole the lunch? And that in fact it was a lunch that was stolen?


The fact that my schedule has me eating lunch close to 3pm does not change the fact that it is the second meal of the day for me. Just because it's not at noon or 1pm does not mean it's not lunch.

And science stole it. Liverwurst on rye with provolone and extra mustard. And I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope science liked it.
 
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Bimmy Jim
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People who blindly believe what others tell them are just as bad as people who blindly disbelieve them.

There are many topics that most people are simply not qualified to make a conclusion on, such as nutrition or acne vulgaris.

Aspartame is a big one that I like to bring up, because it seems like most people think it's all so terrible for you... well have they actually done any research? Obviously not. They just read about it in some magazine, so it must be true.
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Agent J
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tstone wrote:
Jythier wrote:
The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.


Ah, but have we proven that it was indeed science that stole the lunch? And that in fact it was a lunch that was stolen?


Yes, given by direct observation from Junior. However his definition of a lunch may be different than ours, and/or science, so perhaps we should have him clarify.
 
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Lee Fisher
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GameCrossing wrote:
tstone wrote:
Jythier wrote:
The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.


Ah, but have we proven that it was indeed science that stole the lunch? And that in fact it was a lunch that was stolen?


The fact that my schedule has me eating lunch close to 3pm does not change the fact that it is the second meal of the day for me. Just because it's not at noon or 1pm does not mean it's not lunch.

And science stole it. Liverwurst on rye with provolone and extra mustard. And I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally hope science liked it.


No one would steal your liverwurst.
 
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Agent J
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He's looking real sharp in his 1940's fedora. He's got nerves of steel, an iron will, and several other metal-themed attributes. His fur is water tight and he's always up for a fight.
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I also hypothesize that science has no taste buds.
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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Screw all of you. Science knows good eats when it sees it. Except it can't see it. It can't even see the outline of it.

Because science is double-blind.
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Jythier wrote:
Daddys_Home wrote:
Facts have a liberal bias.


Interpretations of facts have a liberal bias.


Is that the truth?

It's a sin to lie isn't it?
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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Altair IV wrote:
Jythier wrote:
Daddys_Home wrote:
Facts have a liberal bias.


Interpretations of facts have a liberal bias.


Is that the truth?

It's a sin to lie isn't it?


The problem has less to do with the facts and more to do with the current crop of Republican's approach to them. There are plenty of valid Republican approaches to the facts. We just don't get to see any of them because the loudest voices are just screaming "nuh uh."
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Steve Cates
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I feel like scientist should distrust science the most. They should always seek to find out where their model is falling short.

Copernicus-Newton-Einstein-Hubble and more continuously modify and falsify previous assumptions.

Don't even get me started with government food and drug recommendations that change every night on the news.
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The media trying to comment on a science study about distrust when they are the biggest reason most people distrust 'science'? It's the cherry picking and ham-fisted reporting of science in the media that gives people the wrong idea in the first place.

Top joke, everybody laugh.
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ironcates wrote:
I feel like scientist should distrust science the most. They should always seek to find out where their model is falling short.

Copernicus-Newton-Einstein-Hubble and more continuously modify and falsify previous assumptions.


Is this really distrusting science though? Depends what you mean I suppose, but someone trying to modify and falsify previous models are following the scientific method, whether they trust it or not.
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Chris R.
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"For me, the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission, it is my religion and my dharma." -- Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/24...

His religion? People often lie or shade the truth to promote their religious-type beliefs.

In 2007, Pachauri was the one who delivered the Nobel Peace Prize lecture.

...

Last month, Pachauri resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

(He said that he hopes to join a new foundation that includes Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby.)
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Jythier wrote:
tstone wrote:
[q="Jythier"]The observation that science stole Junior's lunch can be interpreted difference ways to form a hypothesis. Perhaps the contents of Junior's lunch matters, but we can't be sure - we just know that it was indeed stolen on that day, and by science. So I hypothesize that science always steals Junior's lunch. We will test this hypothesis by having Junior eat lunch today, and seeing if science does steal it.


Ah, but have we proven that it was indeed science that stole the lunch? And that in fact it was a lunch that was stolen?

You can only do that by proving the opposite is false. So you would have to leave a lunch not to be eaten for 24 hours (at standard temperature and pressure).

 
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Rob Doupe
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People of all political stripes will use science to buttress an argument when it's useful, and discount science when it undermines their existing beliefs or ideology.

Just pop into discussions about, say, gender bias in education, and use science to challenge commonly-held progressive beliefs. See if you'll be respected for using science, or have your motives denounced as misogynistic.

Or look at the firestorm of criticism unleashed by social justice advocates on Steven Pinker and his conclusions in the Better Angels of Our Nature. Who does he think he is, marshaling enormous amounts of evidence showing rates of violence have been declining relentlessly for centuries?
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David desJardins
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Rob Doupe wrote:
Or look at the firestorm of criticism unleashed by social justice advocates on Steven Pinker and his conclusions in the Better Angels of Our Nature. Who does he think he is, marshaling enormous amounts of evidence showing rates of violence have been declining relentlessly for centuries?


As a scientist, I say, yes, but so what? Pinker wants to draw non-scientific conclusions from this commonplace observation. That's what he gets pushback on, not the observation itself. More advanced civilizations generally have lower levels of violence. That doesn't really tell us anything about what kinds of policies we want, except perhaps that we don't want to turn back the clock to the Middle Ages, which no one wanted to do, anyway.
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