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When Beliefs and Facts Collide 725

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-do-you-think dept.
schnell writes A New York Times article discusses a recent Yale study that shows that contrary to popular belief, increased scientific literacy does not correspond to increased belief in accepted scientific findings when it contradicts their religious or political views. The article notes that this is true across the political/religious spectrum and "factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines." So what is to be done? The article suggests that "we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican."
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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

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  • Belief in Dupes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:57AM (#47392809)

    It's not like it was a buried Slashdot post. It had >500 comments to it and has appeared for over a month in the "Stories you Might Like". How about reading Slashdot once in a while, Slashdot editors?

  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:02AM (#47392841)
    Climate science recognised El Nino/La Nina before the current bunch of "fundamentalists" got popular by blaming the 1906 San Francisco earthquake on Gods will instead of geology. The latest batch of science denialism is just the latest recruiting drive for that bunch of merchants in the temple - all you have to do is deny reality and fill the collection box with cash and a dumbed down cardboard God of an unchanging world will make it all better.
  • Re:Not surprising. (Score:2, Informative)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:10AM (#47392873) Journal

    Yes we know. We've all discussed this [] a very short time ago. The intellect serves the primitive brain.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:17AM (#47392911)

    I'll believe in CAGW when the scientists quit fudging the numbers and it still shows it...

    They aren't "fudging" numbers. This is climate data, it's HARD to deal with. You're talking about millions, even billions of measurements over periods of centuries. There are more moving parts to this data than you can possible conceive of. And companies that make profits off of fossil fuels have armies of people scouring their data for the tiniest errors. Surprise surprise they find some on occasion.

    when they can explain historical data that contradicts the theory...

    It doesn't. It's dead on.

    and when they can explain why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades.

    It hasn't, at all.
    You are confusing local and short term temperature variations with a global, long term problem. People working for... well... whomever doesn't want you to believe in climate change, pick and chose data from a specific time, or location, or both... and show a cooling period in that specific area or at a specific time and then claim "Global warming is reverse! It's all lies" but this isn't about that specific area or time. This is about then GLOBAL AVERAGE temperature of the entire planet. That is, without a doubt, increasing. It's very slow, but it's like compound interest. It just keeps growing and growing, melting ice, heating bogs, and compounding the issue further. Temperatures in North Dakota falling for the past 10yrs is not relevant. The climate is a very, very, complicated machine.

    As it is, he fudging is so blatant that "climate science" is nothing of the's a Trojan horse for the same lod tired leftist government takeoff of economies. That trick never works.

    Plenty of scientists are republicans or even further right. Yet, less than 10 (that's ten0 out of hundreds of thousands, disagree with the simple finding that humans are altering the average global temperature of the planet. A global conspiracy to make your gas more expensive could never have that kind of influence. This is a consensus of unquestionable proportions. Either all the wind turbine makers and solar panel manufacturers have a hell of a lot more money than we thought and are using it to bribe the scientific community on a scale unprecedented in human history, or we really do have a problem.

    I think that if there's one thing everyone could agree on, dumping crap into our atmosphere is a bad thing. We can fix it, and become a world leader in cheap power or we can sit back and hope all our scientists are lying to us. I, personally, am going with the former. And no, I'm not a democrat or a leftist.

  • Re: Not surprising. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:52AM (#47393101)

    The percentages come from looking at all studies, papers, research, etc. and determining the number one one side or the other. The "voting" is indirect through statistics, not scientist going to the polls, so to speak.

  • Re:quelle surprise (Score:3, Informative)

    by Friggo (765910) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @11:04AM (#47393173)

    Nuclear power is an imperfect example as well, because the argument there isn't about the science - no one is disputing that nuclear reactions exist, and that electricity can be generated. The argument is more about whether humans can build and manage nuclear power plants with the near perfection that is required.

    Oh, ye of little faith. There are absolutely people who believe that nuclear reactions doesn't not work. []
    There are nutters everywere.

  • Re:quelle surprise (Score:2, Informative)

    by HanzoSpam (713251) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @11:18AM (#47393255)

    What is its opposite to which you refer? If you are looking for an example of people disbelieving science when it conflicts with their own religious or political views, what is the scientific doctrine that Democrats typically reject?

    Ask Scientific American. []

  • Re:Not surprising. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @02:58PM (#47394429)

    Talk to me agitation when you've read the IPCC report.


    In any case, I have. It's available right here. []

    Do you deny that is says the climate sensitivity for CO2 is lower than they reported before? Do you deny that the projections for increased severe weather events is low labeled "low confidence"? Etc.

    Read the damned thing yourself.

  • Re:What if? (Score:5, Informative)

    by calstraycat (320736) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @05:34PM (#47395233)

    Doomsought wrote: "Are you Atheist? If so, you still have a religious belief."

    This a a tired and specious argument. Not believing in something for which there is no evidence is not a religion.

    But, let's put your hypothesis to a test. Do you believe in Santa Claus? No? Ok, you are an asanta-clausist and practice the religion of asanta-clausism. Do you believe in leprechauns? No? OK, you are an aleprechaunsist practicing the religion of aleprechaunsism. Do you believe the souls of the dead hang around and haunt houses? No? You're nothing but a aghostist worshiping at the alter of aghostism. Get it? Atheists simply don't believe in god the same way you don't believe in Santa Claus. That doesn't make it a religion.

    Oh and you obviously don't understand science either. The scientific method does not rely on on the "assumption of fallibility". Where the hell did you get that from? Maybe you mean falsifiability? Falsifiability is a very different concept and is key to the scientific method. Humans are fallible. Scientists know this which why experiments must be repeatable and statistical analysis of data is required. But the scientific method doesn't "rely" on the "assumption of fallibility" in any way.

  • Re:Not surprising. (Score:5, Informative)

    by canadian_right (410687) <> on Sunday July 06, 2014 @06:09PM (#47395419) Homepage

    Pretty much everything in your post is wrong. The IPCC's latest report does NOT state that the science supporting global climate change is "weaker than ever". Sure, a few minor botches were discovered in the report, but that doesn't change the fact that there is overwhelming evidence, supported by over 90% of climate scientists, that global climate change is real and caused by human actions.

  • Re:It's Okay (Score:4, Informative)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Monday July 07, 2014 @01:02PM (#47400759) Journal

    You must be an American if you equate liberal with socialist. In Europe, they tend to be the very opposite of each other.

    Yep. The European Liberals [] actually stand for liberty. The American users of the name are the opposite — their first solution to any problem is to create a government agency responsible for solving it, as well as simply banning the use of anything potentially dangerous — and thus the proper name for them is Illiberal.

    You're right: Liberalism in Europe []
    "In general, liberalism in Europe is a political movement that supports a broad tradition of individual liberties and constitutionally-limited and democratically accountable government. This usually encompasses the belief that government should act to alleviate poverty and other social problems, but not through radical changes to the structure of society."

    A "liberal" in Europe wants smaller govt like conservatives do in America, while liberals in America want a bigger govt that has more control and attempts to eliminate poverty by equalizing income like a socialist would, like doubling minimum wage to the same wage most college graduates receive.

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