Conservatives increasingly distrust science, study finds

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 2, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    Lets not get all wound around the axle on the details. No one can out know another to better faith. We know the planet is older than 6,000 years. We know there is much about the history of this planet we don't have scientific nor religious good answers for.

    But we do know what we need to do. We know this planet was organized for our benefit, and for the generations that fallow us. Abusing it is the ultimate form of selfishness, and frankly disrespect, leaving it in a lessor state for those who come after us. That alone should be enough for us to honor our stewardship and assure that those that follow have the same blessing we enjoy.

    So I could really care less about global warming. We know it is happening. We have little control over it. But there is much we can control, and these "discussions" are simply smoke screen for what we know we should be doing.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 2, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    To "atl134" yes, what you say is true, but that does not mean that it is correct. For example there used to be a theory that the earth was flat. The explaination worked, until somebody continued to question it, and it was proven false. The same with the Earth being the center of the universe, it was thought to be correct until the questions that were being asked proved it wrong.

    A theory is not the same as a law. You and your ilk would have us view scientific theory the same as scientific law. I am sorry it doesn't fit into your world view, but they are not the same, and theories should be questioned.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    April 1, 2012 10:56 p.m.

    There was a time when science said you just needed to 'bleed' people to get rid of the vapors. There was a time when science knew nothing about microscopic germs. There was a time when science said the only way to stop witchcraft was to kill the witch. Science is ever growing and changing according to man's discoveries. We are wise when we combine the current scientific discoveries with our faith. Sometimes science is a long time in getting an "answer" only to change again and again. It was in the 1800's when God told us to stay away from alcohol and cigarettes. Science laughed. Now they join us in what was originally a move on faith. "With all thy getting, get wisdom."

  • labman57 Bay Area, CA
    March 31, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    Understanding and accepting scientific data, concepts, and explanations requires a moderate amount of critical thinking.

    Some folks would simply prefer to accept the dogmatic preachings of a pastor and the anecdotal passages of the Bible to help them understand the world and cope with the stresses of day-to-day life.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 30, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    @Riverton Cougar

    Re: evolution - Clearly, based on the fact that you are posting on these threads, you have access to the internet. Please, go look up the Church's official stance on evolution and report back. Your claims on evolution are not supported by the Church Doctrine you purport to follow, not very logical or reasonable, in my book.

    Re: abortion - Again, please consult the Church's official stance. They use the phrase "potential for life" so, no, a fetus is not considered "alive." But, just for my entertainment, please make the case that since conception occurred by incest that God then allows one to "take the life" of that child. Come on, justify the "taking of that child's life" merely due to the manner in which that child was conceived. Your "exception" is neither logical nor reasonable.

    Net net, please do some due diligence and actually review the Church's official stance on these issues. I know it is hard for you conservatives to swallow, but the truth is the truth, and it will us all a lot of time in explanation.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 30, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    The problem is simple anything in the republican party today is all or nothing. There is room for science and religion in the same discussion. There is room to say that global warming is real and we need to put reasonable regulations in place. There is room for some tax increases without life as we know it coming to an end. The either or mentality currently espoused to by republicans is not good for them or the country.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 30, 2012 10:25 a.m.


    I don't think that you are being fair in suggesting that Republicans want to destroy the planet. Of course they want to take care of it! But they don't take it too kindly when a group of scientists with an agenda suggest that we in a sense go back to the stone age to reduce our signature on the planet. That may be an extreme example, but it seems like a "sky is falling" kind of thing.


    Of course it makes sense that God is the ultimate scientist, because I know for a fact that He is better, more powerful, smarter, and wiser than any scientist on the planet. Besides, I don't understand how your plan to throw the GOP in disarray will work.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    It is clear from the comments here that the bulk of mistrust in science derives from people's religious beliefs that conflict with objective, evidence-based reality.

    Comments such as "God is the ultimate scientist" make no more sense than saying that "Spiderman is the ultimate superhero."

    I now know the perfect way to throw the GOP presidential process into a firestorm of disarray: All it will take is for someone to ask a GOP presidential candidate if they believe that species, including humans, have evolved over millions of years through the process of random mutation and natural selection.

    The meltdown will be epic.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 30, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    "I’m going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real.
    I am a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment, and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I’m a meteorologist, and the weather maps I’m staring at are making me uncomfortable. No, you’re not imagining it: we’ve clicked into a new and almost foreign weather pattern. To complicate matters, I’m in a small, frustrated and endangered minority:  a Republican deeply concerned about the environmental sacrifices some are asking us to make to keep our economy powered-up, long-term. It’s ironic.
    The root of the word conservative is “conserve.”  A staunch Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, set aside vast swaths of America for our National Parks System, the envy of the world. Another Republican, Richard Nixon, launched the EPA. Now some in my party believe the EPA and all those silly “global warming alarmists” are going to get in the way of drilling and mining our way to prosperity. Well, we have good reason to be alarmed."
    Paul Douglas

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    March 30, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    Scientific studies show:

    eggs are bad for you ... wait, eat more eggs. Whole milk is a killer ... hang on, kids aren't drinking enough milk. The sun causes cancer ... hey, low on vitamin D, get out in the sun. Men should have a PSA analysis once a year ... a PSA analysis has no effect on prostate cancer treatment. Junk food makes us fatter, eat healthy stuff ... oops, lean red meat more than once in a blue moon will kill ya, and white rice'll give you Type II diabetes ...still, ya gotta eat something, try grass. Cell phones cause brain tumors ... uh, forget that. Thalidomide will fix your morning sickness, ma'am ... uh oh, birth defects. Alchemy will turn your rocks into gold ... ah, heck, forget that. Red wine is good for the heart ... wait a minute, no it ain't. Take a multiple vitamin daily ... no, actually they are bad for you. Don't take it.

    If one put ALL one's trust in science, one would be buying food and throwing it away weekly, and then returning to the grocery to repurchase it, purchasing and tossing cell phones and then going back to get another one.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 29, 2012 5:02 p.m.

    "According to any line of reason or logic regarding observation- one cannot represent the truth by looking at 'only the information we want'."

    - This goes both ways. I see the most irrational and illogical justifications from church members about 'questionable' doctrines, changes in scripture, etc. They see things how they want to see them.

    Same for those who wouldn't believe in God if he came in their sleep and talked to them. "Just a dream" I would say. I gave up believing in all of that a long time ago.

    I firmly believe this statement: Just because you want something to be the true, doesn't mean it is.

  • milojthatch Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    I'm really getting tired of this issue. Religion and science fit hand in hand, we just have to get past human divisions.

    As for Global Warming, I think religious conservatives need to change their tune on the issue. Even if it turned out the facts are not there that we humans are causing Global Warming, please explain to me why that means we have the right to completely mis-use our planet anyway? Outside of our very lives and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, this world is the greatest gift God has ever given us. And this is how we thank Him? I don't know about the rest of you, but I've never know any human who wasn't hurt over a gift they gave someone that they really put a lot into that was then mistreated by the gift receiver. Think about it.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    Sorry, what I meant to say was that the creation of humans is separate from the creation of animals. I was distracted when I typed that. Unfortunately, other people caught it before I had a chance to reread it and correct it. Of course animals came first; man was created on the last day. However, the creation of man was not done through animals, and the Bible says otherwise. Seeing how much more worth we are than the animals is evidence that we did not originate from them, or else there would be other advanced animals. Our logic and reasoning powers far surpass theirs.

    About abortion, the term "murder" does not necessarily apply, but abortion is terminating a life. However, we have seen examples of people's lives being terminated, even for medical reasons. They are extremely rare, but so are abortions due to rape (0.3%). Even then, the church says you may CONSIDER an abortion in those rare cases of incest, rape, and physical life of the mother or baby (again, around 2%). There are exceptions. They are, however, exceptions nonetheless. Abortion for any other reason is taking life away unnecessarily (kind of like murder), for which there should be consequences.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 3:10 p.m.


    Your comment is laughable because you don't know what the scientific definition of theory is. Theories are the best (i.e. most likely) available explanations of what's going on.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 29, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    The liberal comments here are laughable. Liberals don't understand the very definition of theory. They hold onto Global Warming Theory like it is the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    A theory, such as Global Warming or Carbon Cycle theories are not proven facts like the Laws of Thermodynamics or Gravity.

    Theories, while able to explain some things, are not 100% correct, hence the term theory. Theories should always be questioned and never trusted all of the time. All this proves is that if you want a good scientist, you should look for a conservative.

  • Jared from CT SOUTHBURY, CT
    March 29, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Contrary to "popular" media reports and related claims, the science is NOT settled, and there is NOT a consensus on the idea that man is causing global warming / climate change. Such outlandish claims are not scientific -- they are an attempt to railroad the issue. The reality is there are 1000s of skeptical scientists, plenty of contrary evidence, and lots of holes in the alarmists' research and climate models. Don't believe me? I can't include links, but for starters you can Google these searches:

    1) Open Kyoto to Debate An open letter to Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, from 60 Expert Scientists
    2) Global Warming Petition Project
    3) Wall Street Journal The Climate Change Climate Change
    4) friends of science

    Are there scientists in both camps? Yes. To ignore the one camp exclusively in favor of the other is irresponsible. Read what the skeptics have to say. My conclusion after a lot of reading of both sides is that a) the science is not settled, and b) there is no crisis. The socialist politicians and political bodies that want to control our lives through climate mandates don't like that conclusion.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    @Riverton Cougar

    Re: Creation - It seems others have readily pointed out your glaring misunderstanding of basic biblical tenets. But, to answer your question, I read the KJV and suggest you try doing so more often to avoid this from happening again. If you believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible then I’ll sell you two tickets to a musical featuring a talking serpent, I’ll sell them cheap, say a rib? Regardless, your perspective does not change the fact that the Church has no official stance and members, like me, find complete harmony between evolution and LDS doctrine.

    Re: Abortion - Take your cues from wherever you want but you should consider actually consulting the Church’s official stance wherein we allow for abortions under various circumstances. What Elder Holland, and others, never square with is that if abortion is murder then the Church is willfully condoning murder based on the manner of conception (ie rape). When considering such an abortion, members are directed to prayerfully consider their options. So, if it were murder, our Church is asking us to petition God whether we should murder our child. Sorry, that is not reality and abortion is not murder.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 2:05 p.m.

    I'm a conservative who believes "true" science and religion are the same. We should welcome all facts as being friendly and ultimately a part of a great whole of universal truth.

    We should promote scientific research, not hinder it.

    Oh, and by the way, Global Warming will be disproved in 20 years.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:51 p.m.

    While we are examining the bloody history of religion- we should also examine the good history of religion. See, that is what it means to be objective, fair, and balanced. If we only looked at 'bad religious people' we would have a biased sample. According to any line of reason or logic regarding observation- one cannot represent the truth by looking at 'only the information we want'. I guess us religious people can be 'reasonable' by nearly every accepted definition of the word.

    If one looked at Rene Descartes and Galileo one would find highly intelligent men. They believed in God as have many other predecessor scientists. Just because one believes in God, participates and upholds the right to organized religion and practices it for themselves, and so on- does not in any way presuppose anything other than those facts. I still understand and argue objectively, I still support observing data according to high standards, etc. When such persons claim that I don't simply because I'm religious (a prejudicial argument), they have condemned their own argument according to their own methods of reason and logic not supporting prejudice (ad hominem).

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    March 29, 2012 1:50 p.m.

    @ Riverton Cougar

    Um, I think Genesis makes it clear that the creation of humans came before the creation of animals. What version of the Holy Bible do you read?

    Gen 1:24-25 "24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."

    Gen 1:26 "Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness..."

    I actually don't believe in God at all, but even I know the order of creation.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 29, 2012 1:45 p.m.

    Science is amazing and we have been truly blessed by brilliant minds.

    It is also unfortunate that more and more are pursuing the money at the exclusion of all else. It has reached the point that in many situations, if you want to know why a scientific study came up with the results they did --- follow the money. The results are often tainted by who ever was paying for the study (if you don't come up with the results the sponsors wanted, you don't get paid).

    I have no problems with science as a discipline, only with scientists who seem void of discipline.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    "Um, I think Genesis makes it clear that the creation of humans came before the creation of animals. What version of the Holy Bible do you read?"

    Read Genesis 1:20-26. Animals came before humans. I use KJV and looked it up on the LDS scripture site.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 29, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    Don't know why I'm getting denied here, it's ludicrous and biased. Other's are making the same opinions.

    All this talk about Science being 'questionable' because it comes from humans who can sometimes be distrustful and biased. All I'm saying is the same can be said for any religion ... it was all transcribed, voiced, or written by a human through his interpretation of God. Science is all transcribed, voiced, and written by a human through his interpretation of studies.

    So both religion and science, ultimately, come down to a human being telling us 'the truth'. We either take it or leave it.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 29, 2012 1:12 p.m.

    "Bob A. Bohey
    Marlborough, MA
    The earth and man were created 6000 years ago. That's all the science one needs to know."

    Very comical. And the Earth is still flat .... or else religion will put you in jail!

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 29, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    "@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."

    Um, I think Genesis makes it clear that the creation of humans came before the creation of animals. What version of the Holy Bible do you read?

    "I bet you also believe the Church thinks abortion is murder, right?"

    I base my comments on Elder Nelson's talk "Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless" in the Oct. 2008 Ensign/Liahona.

    "Most liberals are not atheists."

    I never said most were atheists, I simply said many are atheists, which is true.

    "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."

    I never implied either. I said that religious people have religion to explain many mysteries of life, while atheists don't hold to those beliefs and turn to science for answers. Sorry if that offends you, but it seems you chose to be offended by it.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    @ Lagomorgh. God has no peers, only floundering understudies and we call them scientists.

  • CGS Pleasant Grove, Utah
    March 29, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    @The American

    You should submit your evidence get it peer reviewed and collect your Nobel Prize.

  • jam23 Ammon, ID
    March 29, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    If conservatives are losing confidence in science at a rate greater than the national average it is because they are the ones paying closest attention to what has been happening to science. A lot of science has become agenda driven rather than fact driven for the purpose of politics or money or recognition. There have been a lot of examples of this that have been excused and glossed over by mainstream spokesmen and if you are not paying close attention you may have missed it. You could also look at it in this way: Because the practice of science is closely tied to Academia, which has elevated “Political Correctness” to its highest principle, conservatives are the segment of the general population less likely to align themselves with the influences of Political Correctness. Political Correctness is politics and emotion based and de-emphasizes truth and science so this would be a reasonable decision by conservatives.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    As some people have pointed out... many theories that were once accepted as "science" were subsequently disproven, so why would we now make it a point of ridicule to not accept everthing a politician/scientist says as 100% fact foever more with no more questioning or testing? Even thought there is not hard proof (only consensus of opinion) that the theory is proven fact?

    I don't think it's a threat to question science. That is the role of scientests... to question what we NOW know and to prove it or dis-prove it in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. I don't think we will ever stop discovering new things and disproving old things as long as man exists.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    March 29, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    "1896 was the year that the first scientist did the calculations and published the model of how global warming works."

    Yes. Svante Arrhenius. And his calculations predict vastly less warming, for each doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, than either the alarmists or the "consensus" people predict.

    To get enough warming to care about, you need to hypothesize that from this point forward, there will be significant net-positive feedback effects that magnify the small amount of initial CO2-driven climate warming. This is a problem, because for most of Earth's history, feedbacks have been net-negative -- that is, the Earth is cooler than it would be if only greenhouse -gas warming were driving its temperature, becuase convection and other feedbacks cool things down. I don't see the case being made sufficiently for this assumption, and neither do my astrophysicist father or geologist brother (both of whose disciplines, incidentally, bear directly on many of the key disciplines that go into the hybrid field of "climatology".)

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    March 29, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    Yes, I have a college degree, and yes, I am more and more distrustful of science. This is as much factor of science becoming less scientific, more politicized, and shoddy; as it is my disbelief of real and valid science. No one should ever assume that just because something is called "science," that is is correct. Science has been wrong often, and recently.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    Mountanman: "Until then its more logical to trust the greatest scientist in the universe (God)..."

    Maybe, but has he published any original research in peer reviewed journals? I see a pretty scant record of publication-- only one work of consequence, and it was written by the technical staff, not the principal investigator.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 29, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    One scientific study isn't proof positive. It is only after several studies, sometimes many studies are conducted that a theory is established or rejected. Often what happens in the media is one study is reported on and everybody jumps on the bandwagon. Then later, after more research is done, the picture which emerges might not be so simple.

    Climate change is that is real. Even the Koch-funded climate skeptic realized he had been wrong claiming climate change was not real. To those Utahns who claim there is no need to be concerned I would like to ask, what will happen to Utah's economy when there is no snow? What will you do for water when there is no snowpack?

    A certain level of skepticism in life is healthy. But that means skepticism applied to both sides of the question.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    The increased political nature of our world is the result of the commercial competition between the giants of our world. As the one group of giant corporations find ways to get a commercial advantage, there is always the other group who looses. In times past, distance and isolation played an important part in tempering the conflicts. Today’s world is becoming so crowded that this tiny world cannot hope to separate the conflicts.

    If we would remove science and other non commercial entities from the effects of the commercial competition we would have to remove the commercial giants from our government.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2012 10:02 a.m.

    @ Mormon Cowboy. You nailed it and you are absolutely correct. Any scientist that says they have the final word is no scientist at all. All science is incomplete and all religion is incomplete as well (I refer to the LDS 9th article of Faith). I love that about my religion, to know that it is incomplete!

  • The American Spanish Fork, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    I'm a scientist. I'm working on completing my degree in Earth Studies. I can with basic 101 concepts prove global warming, due to human activity, to be false. I agree global warming (climate change) is happening, but we as humans have no control over it by any degree. I believe in truth and most of the so called facts out there are false. It's not science I don't trust it's people and what they claim to be science. For religion if you question me on that, I believe God to be the Ultimate Scientist.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    March 29, 2012 9:49 a.m.

    It isn't science. It's the abuse of science for political reasons. When engineers take off their engineering hat and replace it with a manager's hat people, like the Challenger crew, die. They should stand up to the truth. When I was a Catholic kid I was taught that one purpose of religion, and it's religious beliefs, is to describe why God does things. The purpose of science, and it's theories, is to describe how God does it.
    It seems like weekly, something comes out that refutes something that came out previously. I can see improvement in accuracy, but going the opposite direction brings up the question of which, if either, is correct. Was data manipulated by the principal investigator or whoever paid for the research?
    This is the source of distrust.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    March 29, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    The problem with this article, and the ensuing comments, is that they rely on gross overgeneralizations. This is an inept rhetorical strategy that allows people to make outrageous accusations without having to be accountable for them. First no one should be expected to trust “science”. That goes completely against the nature of what science should be. Science isn’t an authority, it is a system. Good science explains its reasoning and evidence. Criticisms against science should therefore not be levied against its authorial credibility, but against its reasoning and evidence. If someone doubts the validity of global warming, then they should show why the scientific evidence doesn’t stack up. That’s all pretty simple. Science can neither be right or wrong, because at its heart it is not a body of knowledge, but rather a system of observation. Scientists can, and often are, be wrong. That’s okay. But, the conversation is much more useful when it is approached on scientific grounds, rather than invented partisan grounds.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    Questioning is okay, nobody has a problem with questioning or healthy skepticism. It's the fanatical rejection of everything to the contrary of your view under the assumption that it's one all global conspiracy theory... that's the problem.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2012 9:34 a.m.

    @ CHS. Thanks for asking! It’s a chronological analysis of events recorded in the Old Testament. In other words, we know how to count backwards. What we don’t know is how long the intelligent design (organization of matter) took. In essence, my argument is that true science and true religion is the same thing! The problem we struggle with today is that we have much false science and false religion competing and we are left to distinguish the difference, at least for now.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 29, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    Conservatives don't trust science.

    That seems very appropriate, seeing how... increasingly has no trust or faith in Conservatives!

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 29, 2012 9:06 a.m.

    I'm with you Blue. It's interesting how the article just randomly connects global warming to all of science, and then off we go. Global warming despite all the real science that has been done has been turned into a pop science, because of it's political ramifications. "I've done a lot of reading about climate change..I'm getting an advanced degree therefor I think". Some how you never hear these statements, even in casual conversations about particle physics, or microbiology.

    The wildest scientific claim hidden in this thread was this "A news article out just today tells of a discovery by researchers of "Billions of habitable planets within the Milky Way." . billions..with water, atmospheres etc. Seriously.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    March 29, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    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!"

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    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.

  • sciencepete Provo, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    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.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:42 a.m.

    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.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    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."

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:40 a.m.

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

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:37 a.m.


    "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?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    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.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:25 a.m.

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

  • Gail Fitches Layton, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    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
    March 29, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    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.

  • williary Kearns, UT
    March 29, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    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.

  • Granny Franny Washington, DC
    March 29, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    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.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 29, 2012 7:54 a.m.

    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!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    March 29, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    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.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 29, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    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.

  • JDMAC Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    March 29, 2012 7:10 a.m.

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

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 29, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    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).

  • Jared from CT SOUTHBURY, CT
    March 29, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 29, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    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.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    March 29, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    March 29, 2012 6:00 a.m.

    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.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    March 29, 2012 5:46 a.m.

    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.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 29, 2012 4:16 a.m.

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

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2012 2:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2012 12:25 a.m.

    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.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    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.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    "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.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:31 p.m.

    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).

  • Alex H. Provo, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:25 p.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:21 p.m.

    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.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:16 p.m.

    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.

  • Let's Agree to Disagree Spanish Fork, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:12 p.m.

    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.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    March 28, 2012 11:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2012 11:03 p.m.

    Who needs facts, anyway?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2012 10:44 p.m.

    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.