Comments about ‘Conservatives increasingly distrust science, study finds’

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Published: Wednesday, March 28 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

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American Fork, UT

As religion increasingly defines what it is to be a conservative, this study is no surprise. We are becoming our own taliban; we have a way to go but we're not moving away from it. Science is the first victim.

South Jordan, UT

Who needs facts, anyway?

Newport Beach, CA

As long as the Democratic Party remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of the plaintiffs' bar, which holds the copyright on junk science, and as long as liberals by the boatload go in for anti-vaccine, anti-gluten, and anti-genetic engineering hysterias; as long as liberals insist that the social sciences are actually scientific, and yes, as long as much of the scientific establishment remains hopelessly politicized to the point where they can't go five minutes without a scandal over their suppressing, distorting, or fabricating evidence, then I've got no problem being extra skeptical of what passes for science. Not the discipline itself, which is a marvelous thing, but the practice of it by the contemporary academy.

Let's Agree to Disagree
Spanish Fork, UT

Here is one conservative who is finishing an advanced degree in engineering and thinks that global warming is a complete scam. I realize how easily statistics and studies can be manipulated to fit an agenda. It is not at all an issue of trusting science, it is whether or not to trust people with a vested interest in promoting global warming hysteria under the guise of science.

Basically, unless your preconceived world view is that cars, industry, energy, oil, coal, urban sprawl, human existence, and/or big agriculture are evil, then the whole man made global warming pill is pretty tough to swallow. People who do believe in man made global warming embrace it because it justifies their previously held abhorrence of the above mentioned 'evils' of modern society, not because they were convinced by the scientific evidence.

Centerville, UT

Well, when emails surface that show an attempt to suppress certain, 'unfavorable' facts about global warming that don't fit the template already established, one tends to start to have some doubts.


In the Doctrine and Covenants of the LDS Church, the Lord states, "Worlds without number have I created."

A news article out just today tells of a discovery by researchers of "Billions of habitable planets within the Milky Way." Try not to paint with the broad brush.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

What a bunch of hogwash!

Figures may not lie but liars figure. Now that is called "science."

Conservatives have watched and seen how what used to be actual provable scientific facts have been selectively twisted into politically correct "junk science" largely supported by some of the outfits mentioned in the article.

Manmade climate change issue is an excellent example. The leftists and news media (but I repeat myself) were seduced by Al Gore's "Incorrect Truths" and kept telling us that it was "settled science" that manmade global warming was going to melt the icecaps, drown the polar bears, and other assorted horror stories. Well, that "science" was not settled, and it was eventually revealed that the supposed data which was the foundation of their claims was falsified. And, more actual scientists braved the media scorn to challenge the manmade global warming nonsense.

Bravo to conservatives who seek the scientific truth, and are willing to dispute the junk science! I am more worried about the gullible leftists who are so easily duped by politically driven junk science.

Stories like this attempt to paint critics of junk science as a bunch of dumb hicks, to divert attention from junk science.

Alex H.
Provo, UT

We scientists are taught in this nation's universities that it's unhealthy to NOT question things. We shouldn't reject them as a matter of course, but we should give them a trial by fire. The need for a healthy skepticism is a truth almost universally acknowledged in the scientific world. In fact, ANY ISSUE that doesn't allow me to bring up legitimate questions and concerns, including climate change and science by news conference (meaning things that the news reports on before they've been peer-reviewed), are suspect because real science doesn't have to do that. They could be right on the issue, but they need to allow scientific disagreement.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

Evidence does lean towards the scientists having an agenda when it comes to global warming. Besides, many liberals are atheists and therefore they only have science to rely on. Conservatives, on the other hand, are much more religious and that often conflicts with "science". I think LDS members trust science, but not "science" as some "scientists" have presented (for example, the idea that humans evolved from apes).

Salt Lake City, UT

"Here is one conservative who is finishing an advanced degree in engineering and thinks that global warming is a complete scam. "

This is why you aren't a trusted authority on climate and climatologists aren't designing bridges. You and I both have STEM degrees but neither of us would be trusted to perform surgery with good reason.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Science is the study of what is observable by other human beings. The real question is whether we can trust other human beings. In my experience, trust is earned not something we are entitled to. This brings me to my next question. Have scientists earned my trust, or credibility?

Many scientists are looking for answers. I appreciate this doctrine completely. Some of them think they already have the answers and refuse to listen to anything else.

I have experiences of my own that I have observed in one way or another. Despite whatever Stephen Hawking may claim about God's existence, I have experiences of my own that are evidence for my own judgement. Nothing anyone else can say will change that fact. The problem with so many scientists or the people funding them, is that they push one idea as the right idea and attack any other idea not fitting their theories. (One wonders whether they even know what theory means anymore).

Science isn't about proving or disproving, but exploring. Admitting possibility is prerequisite to the entire nature of exploring and science. I can admit possibility just fine, many scientists cannot. There is your problem.

Salt Lake City, UT

It's been said that, "Science is a way to avoid fooling yourself."

Looks like a lot of today's conservatives would rather be fooled. They value feelings over facts.

Whether the dispute is about global warming or evolution, real scientists argue the testable, replicable, relevant data, while conservatives increasingly resort to their feelings of mistrust of "government", conspiracies and persecution. They think a position paper by a conservative think-tank trumps peer-reviewed research.

What you "believe in your heart" is totally irrelevant if you don't have testable, objective facts to support your position.

Earth is 4.6 billion years old. Humans and apes share a common ancestor. Adam, Eve, the Garden of Eden and Noah's flood are myths. Global warming is real, significant, and primarily caused by human alteration of atmospheric chemistry.

Those are all proven facts. That's reality. The real world has no obligation to conform to the stories you like to tell yourself.

It's time to live in the real world.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

I don't think the conservative commentary for this article could do more to prove the data of this study correct. Wow, absolutely astounding and disheartening to see members of the Church reject science in order to preserve their political posturing.

Indeed, we Mormons believe God to be the preeminent scientist and we should embrace knowledge in all its forms. Granted, the wonderful thing about science is that it always subjects itself to scrutiny (unlike most religions), so there will always be debatable points but to truly believe that entire sectors of scientific research can be blithely sidestepped under the auspice that the whole of the scientific community has a liberal bias is illegitimate. The only bias that science has is a bias towards truth and, as time goes on, that bias undermines conservative principles.

@Riverton Cougar - I hate to break it to you, but the Church has no official stance on organic evolution. They have stated that the scriptures tell why we were created, but not how. I bet you also believe the Church thinks abortion is murder, right? How sad.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Conservatives don't distrust science. They distrust false science in a political agenda.

Danbury, CT

You people show such a US-centric view of the world. Global Warming is not a US Liberal idea. It is accepted by Liberals AND Conservatives in most countries of the world. Ask any LDS in Europe, for example and they are astounded by the strange views of their fellow members in Utah. It is only a political football in the US because Conservatives associate it with Al Gore - the enemy. Take a look at our Arctic ice cap and most glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere where most people live, and you can see the evidence, outside whatever statistics we may have.

I don't get how Conservatives would not like the idea that we could re-invest in our auto industry and regain our lead, stop funneling money to Russia, Venezuela, Iran, etc. and clean up our air in the process. We don't have to automatically disagree with everything the Democrats say. Teddy Roosevelt started the modern environmental movement in the US after all. Just like Civil Rights, the Republicans ceded leadership to the Left.

Springville, Ut

Riverton Cougar,

Most liberals are not atheists. I'm liberal. I'm an active member of the LDS Church. For the record, being atheist does not make you an evil person. Being conservative does not make you a saint. Making broad and sweeping generalizations regarding religious vs. non-religious or liberal vs. conservative is no better than promoting junk science. You're only compounding the problem and further dividing us. I urge you to learn respect for others who differ from your line of thinking. It's something I'm sure you'll hear a lot about this weekend on KSL.

Buena Vista, VA

I am a biologist and a conservative. I am also a "global warming, er, climate change, skeptic." Many of the "authors" of the UN IPCC reports are upset because they disagreed with the conclusions. Turns out, these reports are not really written by scientists who are supposedly the authors, and the "authors" names are put on just to give it credibility. Then we have climategate. We have scientists competing for funding, and only those with scare stories get funded. We have scientists trying to silence the "deniers" who disagree. When science is mixed in with politics, and when closed minded scientists say that the debate is over, this is no longer science. Science and politics don't mix. Further: Turns out water vapor is a huge greenhouse gas, but you don't hear about that, since there is nothing humans can do about it. Turns out that future scare stories are based on computer models, but these models have failed to predict changes that have already happened. Turns out that if the earth warms and more CO2 is present, there are advantages as well as disadvantages. When the 1970s global cooling predictions failed, scaremongers lost their credibility.

Bountiful, UT

Conservatives distrust science? The way I see it, both sides are at fault. In part this is because there are bad apple scientists who are willing to say what they need to in order to continue to recieve grant money (Remember global warming and the e-mail scandel, where many of them admitted to fudging the data)? In part this is because of Evengelicals who ignore evidence and interpret the Bible literally. These are the same people who keep saying the world is going to end.

Jared from CT

I'm an educated conservative, and I've read a lot about so-called "global warming" and climate change. Here are some of the FACTS: (a) There are 1000s of legitimate sciences worldwide that don't subscribe to man-made global warming theories. (b) The alarmists' climate models / predictions are abysmal failures. (c) Much of the anecdotal "evidence" to support global warming is bogus (i.e. ice melt in Antarctica is primarily due to undersea volcanic activity.) (d) Claims that "the science is settled" and that global warming skeptics should be jailed, etc., are all politically motivated to silence legit opposition and have no scientific basis whatsoever. (e) The IPCC is a political body that seeks political change and power by relying on assumptions and woefully bad data (you must remember Hadley CRU?) (f) Solar activity and ocean currents are the biggest drivers of "Climate Change". (g) In recorded history, pre-industrial revolution, the earth has been warmer than it is now. (h) Global temps stabilized and began declining over 10 years ago. (i) More CO2 is actually beneficial to life on earth. (j) The ice core records show that warming preceded rises in CO2 levels, not the other way around.

Layton, UT

I believe this trend applies more to Southern Conservatives, than LDS conservatives. LDS are encouraged to embrace mental discipline, study of sciences and intellectual rigor. Part of the reason LDS are different from other religious groups is that they encourage all members to obtain a witness of all truths of their own. A testimony is not in conflict with science--or scientific discovery. The LDS church's position on controversial and contentious issues like Evolution are not in conflict (Though there are members who seek to make it so, the official position remains neutral).

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

The earth and man were created 6000 years ago. That's all the science one needs to know.

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