Conservatives, by larger numbers, are rejecting science. That’s the headline that I’ve had sent to me by about 50 people – all liberals – touting how this “proves” exactly what they’ve been saying about us radical right wing conservatives. We get stuck in our dogma to the point that we can’t even accept plain, simply, incontrovertible scientific fact. And the headline certainly leads you to think that way. Until you actually read and apply critical thinking to the “study” in question. When you do that, this whole thing ends up being quite an indictment of the left and validating exactly what we conservatives have been saying for decades.
Theodore Dawes has an excellent take on this entire episode over at the American Thinker. Here’s what he writes:
Check out the story about the study in the well-respected Scientific American. The headline reads, "Conservatives Lose Faith in Science over Last 40 Years."
The subtitle adds detail, saying "a new academic analysis finds conservatives expressing more and more distrust in science in recent decades, particularly educated conservatives."
Unfortunately for the reputation of Scientific American, the study says no such thing. In fact it reports that educated conservatives have lost faith in the "scientific community." The two -- science and the scientific community -- are without basis simply assumed to be one and the same.
Bingo. This is precisely what we conservatives have pointed out for years. The left has hijacked the name of science, using it to describe what is really their INTERPRETATION of science. When their interpretation is touted as “true science,” it means all alternative explanations and interpretations – and the people who buy into them – are unscientific or (the favored term of the left) anti-science.
This “study” simply claims to validate that same sham. But don’t take my word for it. Look at what the author of the study says himself:
Author Gordon Gauchat says his study is based on the data found in the 2006 through 2010 General Social Surveys, which he chose "because it contains a wide variety of items that probe different aspects of public trust in the scientific community."
So far, so good. But then he makes a leap of faith that is simply breathtaking: "These analyses suggest that the confidence measure used in this study is a reasonable approximation of a favorable disposition toward science."
Classic liberal right there: use a bunch of big words to try to mask a fundamentally unscientific, un-academic and irresponsible methodology. The dude is saying, “the tendency of an individual to agree with my conclusions is what measures whether they like science or not. If they don’t agree with me, they must be anti-science.” Dawes had a great conclusion:
Note, too, that Gauchat makes no mention of Climategate, the scandal that arose in 2009 when climate researchers around the world were found to have been fudging their findings. The fallout from Climategate almost certainly had a big impact on the data.
None of this matters to Gauchat, or to the editors at Scientific American. Or to the dozens of other media outlets that have picked up and run with the story.
In fact the real question, the one waiting to be asked and answered, is: who would have faith in this community?
Those who share their same ideological objectives, that’s who. They are all in for the groupthink, unsubstantiated claims and the ostracizing of all critical and contradictory voices. That’s what they call “science” these days.