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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Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you for a thoughtful article. It is difficult to have confidence in a "science" system that rewards government funding to those who can find-perceive the biggest crisis and goads formerly dedicated and honest scientists to alter or present unbalanced findings.

Danbury, CT

Go ahead and stick your heads in the sand. Meanwhile, Western Europe, Japan, South Korea and other leading industrial nations are investing in new technologies that are more sustainable than fossil fuel-dependent ones. Companies in most foreign countries are leading the way. The more we stay anchored in the past, the more we fall behind. I'm not advocating government intervention, it's more of a broad cultural shift to looking into the future. Forget the politics.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

So many opinions, expressed by so many voices, and so few are actually informed, much less "reasonable".

The superstition of religion has been and continues to be the bane of human rationality and intelligent endeavor.

This is most unfortunate.

Examine the history of religion and the history of science objectively and empirically. You will likely find that religion has a long and bloody history of oppression, destruction, conflict, and deception. Science, on the other hand, has done more for the salvation and exaltation of mankind than any other force.

Hayden, ID

All science is fleeting! Everything we think we know will eventually be proven to be wrong or at least very incomplete. Why put your faith or hope in something that is constantly changing? Politics and science mix poorly (as in climate change) and most rational people know it would be extremely unwise if not very costly to invest much hope or confidence into anything that changes with every new wind of data (doctrine).
By the way, scriptures tell us the God took existing matter in space and organized the earth about 6,000 years ago. He hasn’t told us yet how the existing matter came into being, but someday He will. Until then its more logical to trust the greatest scientist in the universe (God) compared with mortal, infallible, corruptible, arm of flesh scientists, which seems very logical to me!

Granny Franny
Washington, DC

I work with a lot of scientists but I am not a scientist. One thing that I have observed is that they are allowed to further their research through funding. Often times the non-political dynamics of their research is compromised due to pressure to find funding. There is so much invested not only by the scientist to further their understanding of the unknown but the expectation to see results from those who financially support them. Unlike an investment that will bring financial rewards, the financial investment made in non-polital scientific research can be a hard sell. It seems to be a lose/ lose proposition until you take a closer look at the outcomes. The purpose of scientific research is rarely quantifiable but over time data that is collected, analyzed and published is not the end of the story. It is just the beginning of the next chapter. We need science and corageous scientist to risk the security of positive public opinion to progress. I once heard that when a scientist says he knows the answer, it no longer can be called science.

Kearns, UT

Whether it’s meant to or not, science often times conflicts with Religious “beliefs.” Thus the standoff between science and Conservatives, who have bought full-in on Religious doctrine, and therefore see facts/data/science as a threat to what they believe.
It is ironic that many on here claim science should not be trusted because it is just one persons’ view/opinion given the data in front of them. While they have grown to accept without question the views/opinions/recollections/word of people who happened to claim as their evidence a spiritual nature, not numbers or figures.

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

The notion that there is a huge group of colluding scientists lying about climate change for grant money simply isn't true. 99% of scientists who study climate all agree that climate change is real. The problem is that 'truthiness' (if it sounds true it must be true) trumps truth for many conservatives. They apply the same approach to the constitution and the scriptures. When evidence meets preconceived notions, conservatives choose to not listen.

Gail Fitches
Layton, UT

Geoengineering / Weather Modification is destroying the health of the world. There is no oversight, and many agencies and private contractors are putting toxic chemicals in the sky,using us a guinea pigs, and I hope people research this fact. Lobbyist are now in high positions of our government and are pushing weather control and pushing genetically modified foods that other countries have banned, because it will destroy our organs and health. By now everyone has seen crisscrossing streaks of white clouds trailing behind jet aircraft, turning the sky into a murky haze. This is altering the chemical composition of soil and water. They have been underway since about 1990 and the effect has been devasting to crops, wildlife, and human health.They do weather modification experiments more in UT, ID, CO, and TX, more than most locations. I believe the 4 brain tumor deaths on our block was caused from this experimentation. I hope people investigate and read what other countries are saying. We have to bring out the truth regarding the assaults that are taking place against our health. Please do research on Geoengineering, Weather Modification, and Chemtrails, because there is a lot of info available. This is destroying our health.

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

Jared from CT - the problem is that you culled your 'facts' from conservative talking points. Unfortunately, none of them are true.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Bruce R McKonkie said it best "between true religion and true science, there is no difference"

That being said, our understanding of BOTH evolves over time and understanding. Man at one time thought the world was flat. The apostle Peter had a hard time understanding the Ressurrection until it happened. People guessed as to why Blacks were denied the Priesthood, and have later said their understanding was limited and wrong.

We just need to accept that as long as we are human, we will always (hopefully) be in a state of learning and progression. We need to be open to learn new things, secularly, and spiritually. If it ever comes down that there is an apparent contradiction, then our understanding in at least of the two is lacking.

We know not everything in Science, and God has not revealed everything to us on the Spiritual side, to suppose otherwise is folly.

Riverton, UT

It's easy to see why people would say they don't trust scientists.

They probably stay away from physicians when they are sick or injured. The doctor might try to give them antibiotics or use MRI or some dubious science-based treatment.

They don't own electric appliances or any electronic devices. It's pretty obvious that the whole electricity thing is a hoax.

Who can blame them for questioning the validity of developments in agriculture, chemistry, and materials science over the past centuries? Clearly the scientists are always pursuing their own agendas.

Yes, scientists as a group are certainly worthy of our distrust.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wow - some of the comments above show how readily certain conservative positions are willing to distort reality.

"Climategate" is a manufactured scandal. It is in fact a non-scandal. At least four independent investigations have found no evidence of any attempt to distort the science.

References to a "trick," related to a statistical method that the scientist in question thought was clever, as in "I tried using your trick of using chicken wire in the garden to keep the rabbits out." References to "hide the decline" related to finding a way to reduce the errors in tree ring data that became less accurate as a measure of temperature in recent decades.

Someone else above nailed it when they said climate scientists shouldn't be designing bridges, and guys with a degree in engineering shouldn't pretend to be experts about climate.

What's so bizarre is the claim by conservatives that climate science has become politicized, when in fact it is they who are politicizing the science. Genuine scientists do not see a controversy - global warming is real. The only real controversy is what do we do about it.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT


"By the way, scriptures tell us the God took existing matter in space and organized the earth about 6,000 years ago."

Really? Where are these scriptures? Which scriptures tell us exactly how long ago the earth was created?


I can't remember who said it but it goes like this: "There are three kinds of lies; lies, damn lies, and, statistics!"

Tooele, UT

Re: "You and I both have STEM degrees but neither of us would be trusted to perform surgery with good reason."

Yeah, but even those who are trusted to perform surgery have credibility problems.

A recent study found that 90+% of published cancer research is flawed or irreplicable. The culprit was identified as an "academic climate" that is curiously uncurious, at least when it comes to "publish or perish."

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

1896 was the year that the first scientist did the calculations and published the model of how global warming works. I'm sure he was heavily influenced by Al Gore. As to the "climategate" affair. It has been investigated by several independent commission, all of whom found there was no manipulation, or distortion of data.

Have you heard of the Heartland Institute? Some of their email were also recently leaked, concerning their strategy of using corporate donations to publish denialist propaganda.

Provo, UT

Wow, the comments on this article exemplify exactly what the article is discussing. The amount of misinformation that has been spewed by some of the commentators above is absolutely ridiculous. What's ironic is that while conservatives claim their distrust of science is caused by science's political motives, it is conservative political institutes that have spread false information about science relating to global warming. I highly suggest those who actually want to understand the history of the global warming debate read "Merchants of Doubt" and look up what the Marshall Institute has done to spread false information about global warming, the ozone, and effects of tobacco.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I doubt they distrust true "Science" (Physics, Chemestry, Mathematics, etc). But when you mix in some recent politically motivated pseudo_science... you may get some doubts.

I have no problem with analytical science like physics, calculus, etc, I can prove and predict with experaments and mathematical proofs, but I differentiate between that and the junk_science you get on the morning news on the TV (like the latest "scientific" weight loss study, the latest discovery that will help you live longer and happier, etc

I have no problem with analytical science, but when the "science" is not provable, and you just trust the experts or have faith they are right, or a vote to get consensus... but can't prove it with the scientific method, and the "science" has a political agenda and a profit angle for people like Al Gore, and can only be proven by policical methonds (votes, consensus, etc) instead of the scientific method.... you lose some people.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Read the article people – it isn’t JUST Global Warming.
That was just used as an obvious example.
Conservatives [in GENERAL] increasingly distrust science, [meaning ALL Science]. Not just Global Warming.

Not to wonder, their heros and mentors [Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck] were all a bunch of college drop outs, who spew garbage like tobacco doesn’t cause cancer, ect.

Columbus, OH

The scariest thing is when you can convince people that what is before their own faces is not true. Rejecting empirical evidence because it doesn't fit into your own preconceived ideas about how the world works is a good way toward establishing theocracy, or at the very least, irrational tyranny. We're headed back to the days when the church tortured scientists for asserting the earth revolves around the sun.

Instead of testing scientific hypotheses and questioning them based on evidence, conservatives are quickly becoming the anti-science party that merely screams "Heretic!"

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