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The Motivated Rejection of Science

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the brains-are-bad-at-accepting-their-environments dept.

Science 771

Layzej writes "New research (PDF) to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found that those who subscribed to one or more conspiracy theories or who strongly supported a free market economy were more likely to reject the findings from climate science as well as other sciences. The researchers, led by UWA School of Psychology Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, found that free-market ideology was an overwhelmingly strong determinant of the rejection of climate science. It also predicted the rejection of the link between tobacco and lung cancer and between HIV and AIDS. Conspiratorial thinking was a lesser but still significant determinant of the rejection of all scientific propositions examined, from climate to lung cancer. Curiously, public response to the paper has provided a perfect real-life illustration of the very cognitive processes at the center of the research."

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Suprising how? (0, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#41262507)

Lefty professors ask a loaded question rigged to produce the result they wanted, anyone suprised? Good way to prove our point that science has been politicised to the point a lot of us take a default position of "BS!" on any pronouncement from the white labcoat set that has the slightest whiff of politics.

We notice that all of the mentioned 'science' issues are tied to public policy positions of the left and that the 'scientists' are working outside their areas of expertise when they push policy solutions to the problems they 'find.'

We doubt AGW because we have been given very solid fact based reasons to. We see hacks like Mann protected from the consequences of his fraud with the 'Hockey Stick" and nay, even rewarded for it. Cleared from all wrongdoing by the same corrupt institution that turned a blind eye to Sandusky and covered his crimes until they exploded into the newspapers. And both for the exact same reason, they were stars who brought in the sweet sweet cash money.

The whole HIV/AIDS thing got wierd because it is a complex and murky thing and yet anyone with an eye willing to open it could see that it was totally politicized. It was the only disease in human history to get a bizarre sort of 'rights' attached to it. Whole lines of research were simply forbidden as career ending. Consipracy theories almost always pop up in vacumns of fact, especially when it is pretty obvious that facts are suspected but being supressed.

Re:Suprising how? (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41262597)

You, Sir, are what is known as a "data point".

Re:Suprising how? (0, Flamebait)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#41262743)

Damned right. As a rational person pissed at the debasement of science by the political hack poseurs.

At most a climitologist can rightfully say the Earth is warming, CO2 is the cause and human activity is the likely cause of the increase of CO2. Beyond that they should say NOTHING. Other scientists, in other fields, are qualified to evaluate proposed policies. What to do about it in the policy realm is as far outside their expertise in climatology as Sally Field's infamous Congressional testimony on the plight of farmers because she had played one in a movie. The second they use the cloak of science to push policy solutions they aren't scientists anymore, they are amateur politicians. Emphasis on the amateur.

Re:Suprising how? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262799)

From the mouth of an amateur politician.

Re:Suprising how? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262869)

first post is gay, I mean, differently gendered

Re:Suprising how? (-1, Troll)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#41263081)

Exactly. I am exactly as qualified to discuss the policy implications of AGW as Mann. Both of us are interested lay people who have studied the issue and can debate it as ordinary citizens as part of the political process. Except of course that isn't how it works, he is held up as an expert. He isn't. Al Gore on the other hand, IS a politician and is actually qualified to debate (I can disagree and experts on my team can take him on, it is politics) the policy side. Where he fails is in trying to go the other way and argue the science. He isn't a scientist any more than I am and it is silly when the media hold him up as an expert on the science, scientists were embarrassed by much of the science in _An Inconvenient Truth_ but because they agreed with his politics they kept their yap shut.

Re:Suprising how? (4, Interesting)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about 2 years ago | (#41263231)

The fun part they didn't apparently check is that the 'Free Market' folks are also going to be the most likely to deny evolution....which is the ultimate 'free market'.

Ooooo the irony...

Re:Suprising how? (4, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41262881)

At most a climitologist can rightfully say the Earth is warming, CO2 is the cause and human activity is the likely cause of the increase of CO2. Beyond that they should say NOTHING. Other scientists, in other fields, are qualified to evaluate proposed policies.

Que? A climatologist is best positioned to evaluate a proposal to see how it may affect the climate.

The second they use the cloak of science to push policy solutions they aren't scientists anymore, they are amateur politicians. Emphasis on the amateur.

Oh, it seems that you are confused by the meaning of "politician". For one thing, all good politicians are "amateur" - a professional politician is the worst sort.

Next, a politician isn't someone who creates "policy solutions". A politician in a representative democracy represents the voice of the people. He selects from the among the expert proposals the ones which align with the people's wishes, puts them forward to a legislature, listens to the alternatives, debates them, and ultimately votes on them in line with the wishes of those he represents.

To recap: a politician does not create solutions. He is not a professional in any particular field. He can't be - he's voted in as a voice of the people, not an expert on a particular thing.

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263285)

Que? A climatologist is best positioned to evaluate a proposal to see how it may affect the climate

That's like saying a butcher is best positioned to evaluate how much meat someone needs to throw a successful barbeque.

Re:Suprising how? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262983)

Its a good idea to have scientists advising politicians on science. They know a HELL of a lot more about science than politicians.

I mean, we just had a guy on a congressional science committee forcefully and publicly proclaim that women emit some kind of magical substance to prevent pregnancy when "legitimately" raped.

I think that this pretty clearly shows that we need more science in political discussions about science. Just because Akin is a "professional" politician does not mean that he is suddenly great at making political decisions regarding science on his own.

And hell, we all know that if scientists completely divorced themselves from the political and social ramifications of their work, that you would be whining to high hell about how scientists isolate themselves in their ivory towers and can't communicate with the public. But if they do communicate their results to the public and talk about real world ramifications you get upset that they might be influencing politics directly related to their work.

Re:Suprising how? (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41263057)

What is it that makes you say they are political hack poseurs? Do you have a criticism of their methodology, or is it just that you don't like what they're saying? The paper doesn't seem to be relying on the theory of climate change being true.

I think it's cute that you're upset at a debasemt of science, as you reject scientific findings based on your gut feelings.

One imagines Jmorris1 arguing in the vatican that Galileo Galilei should be punished for besmirching the honor of science and astronomy by clearly promoting falsehoods.

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263127)

I don't how you can be "pissed" at something you're so actively engaged in.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about 2 years ago | (#41263219)

You do realise that your credibility degrades every time that you fail to spell 'climatologist' correctly? Do you also realise that you have no expertise in the field of climatology and have very little right to comment on what climatologists "should" be doing? Potentially you also realise (but I doubt it) that politics and science is inextricably linked when business is involved?

Re:Suprising how? (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#41262819)

That's right, the only possible way to disagree with the study is if you are opposed to science. A study that took as data online polls on blogs. Yep, some sound science right there. (/sarcasm)

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262947)

Sounds like you're categorizing people for future use. What a generous view of humanity you must have. I can't imagine how your offspring will manage to keep an open mind in their lives, but lucky for you I'm not calling you a "data point" on the road to regulated procreation.

Re:Suprising how? (4, Insightful)

myrdos2 (989497) | about 2 years ago | (#41262615)

We notice that all of the mentioned 'science' issues are tied to public policy positions of the left and that the 'scientists' are working outside their areas of expertise when they push policy solutions to the problems they 'find.'

Whole lines of research were simply forbidden as career ending. Consipracy theories almost always pop up in vacumns of fact, especially when it is pretty obvious that facts are suspected but being supressed.

So... is your post some kind of satire, or what?

Re:Suprising how? (0)

jmorris42 (1458) | about 2 years ago | (#41262917)

No. I have looked into the HIV/AIDS thing enough to be willing to bet that if it isn't the entire story it is pretty close to it. But when the banhammer came down in the 1980s on any dissent (the science is settled! Settled I say!) there was still some room for doubt. That is the sort of thing that creates conspiracy theories. Especially when you have celebrated cases like Jordan who was announced to be HIV positive how far back and still AIDS free?

There is a lot of areas of scientific inquiry that are simply forbidden. People notice that. There is also a lot of 'settled science' that is probably far from settled. There is a word for that sort of thing. Politics. So the only people who don't believe science has been politicized is the few who agree with so many of the political decrees they don't even see it as a controversy. I.e. progressive academics.

Re:Suprising how? (2, Informative)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41263029)

It was actually Earvin "Magic" Johnson who was declared HIV positive. And yes, he has remained AIDS free. While I personally find this miraculous to the point of incredulity, I'm willing to believe he has a good combination of genetics, a fantastic health regimen, and lots of money for experimental drugs to stave off full-blown AIDS. For the record, there are recorded cases of people who live with the HIV virus and never show symptoms without taking ANY special medication.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

emho24 (2531820) | about 2 years ago | (#41263115)

Johnson not Jordan. I bet Michael would have been unpleasantly surprised.

Re:Suprising how? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41263121)

Jordan had the best HIV and AIDS preventative treatment in the world. and even common people are living for decades without going into terminal immune states if they have the insurance to afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatments. HIV is now something that one can be expected to live a long life with if they stick to a strict treatment plan. That is a terrible example.

What areas of scientific inquiry are simply forbidden as you say?

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263281)

people get AIDS after HIV ruins their immune systems. Sometimes, HIV can take a while to do that, or never manage to accomplish it.

Here's something the Left wants to forget (except for my anarcho-communist friends). Back when AIDS was first discovered, gay anarchists were talking about bombing AIDS research clinics.

Today, the Left likes to tell people that gays and blacks aren't more at risk of HIV inspection due to lifestyle choices.

Re:Suprising how? (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#41263093)

We notice that all of the mentioned 'science' issues are tied to public policy positions of the left and that the 'scientists' are working outside their areas of expertise when they push policy solutions to the problems they 'find.'


Whole lines of research were simply forbidden as career ending. Consipracy theories almost always pop up in vacumns of fact, especially when it is pretty obvious that facts are suspected but being supressed.

So... is your post some kind of satire, or what?

Bloody good question. These right wing nut jobs are so far out there these days that it's hard to tell the satirists from the real deal.

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263137)

Whole lines of research were simply forbidden as career ending.

When was the last time you heard anyone talk about human biodiversity and notice the racial characteristics of Olympic winners?

West African sprinters, East African joggers, European power lifters, East Asian gymnasts.

This is something that everyone knows, and sociologists and other leftist academics are paid to assure us that if only East Africans had heavy things, instead of open space, they would be power lifters instead of joggers.

Does anyone try to find the genes that make some races better at some things than other races?

Whole lines of research are simply forbidden as career ending.

Re:Suprising how? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262619)

Anyone that rejects AGW, vaccination of children, evolution, the earth not being the center of the solar system, or any other of the misguided beliefs the right seems to cling to is, quite simply, ignorant. When an overwhelming majority of scientists give you incontrovertible evidence and you scramble to rationalize your beliefs any way you can rather than doing the logical thing and accepting that you may have been mistaken, you are letting stubbornness and ego cloud your judgment. You might as well be living in the dark ages.

Re:Suprising how? (1, Offtopic)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41262715)

A lot of people simply want to set up a social environment where the strongest can exploit the weak. They do this either because they already have strength or because they believe they can reach for that rainbow.

It is said that we should not attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. But your captains of politics and corporate welfare aren't incompetent - they're smart as hell and I'm sure they know exactly what they're doing.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262729)

I haven't been overly paying attention to it but it seems to me that most of the "vaccination of children" was more lefty new age bs.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41263163)

Its a mixed bag of nuts on that topic.

Re:Suprising how? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41262745)

Are you suggesting that the earth is the center of the solar system?

Re:Suprising how? (3, Insightful)

Quanticfx (2443904) | about 2 years ago | (#41262967)

Stubbornness and the ability to cling to your ideas/ideals in the face of overwhelming evidence/facts is seen as a good thing these days.

God forbid anyone be able to actually consider alternatives based on presented evidence/facts and change a stance on an issue, you'd be known as a flip-flopper!

Re:Suprising how? (3, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 years ago | (#41262979)

or any other of the misguided beliefs the right seems to cling to is, quite simply, ignorant

While I agree, it's important to note that the left can be equally stupid. Most of the "People are allergic to WiFi" and/or "Vaccines are dangerous" and/or "My naturopath can cure cancer" fools are on the left.

Relgious belief - not ignorance. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263105)

You're talking about people's religious beliefs running contrary to scientific fact. Emotional versus rational thinking.

That's what Dawkin's, Shermer, and Armstrong don't seem to get - religion isn't about rational thought: it's about feelings. And most humans will trust their feelings over that facts - they are emotionally attached to their World view. They let their feelings overrule what their head says. That's why you have paleontology Ph.D.s throw everything they learned out the door so that they can still believe in the literal truth of the Bible (Dawkins talks about him in his "God Delusion" book) - the science is wrong not God's word. That paleontologist is hardly ignorant - especially about Evolution - but he still chucked everything out the door.

And that's where most unbelievers don't understand, they are trying to state a rational argument for an emotional one. And that's where the believers fail miserably - they try to stand toe to toe with science and try to challenge facts with a book of fairy tales and myths.

There will never be an agreement. The only thing that can be done is just keep hammering folks with the data and eventually some will come around and the rest are doomed. to believing in their stories. But if that give comfort to them, if their delusions don't harm anyone else, then who gives a shit. But it's when they start trying to legislate their irrationality on others - like teaching "Intelligent Design" or "the controversy about Evolution" - is when they need to be stopped.

It's fine for yo to believe in Santa Claus, but don't you dare try to force those beliefs with law - like teaching Creationism in school.

Re:Suprising how? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262697)

You, Sir, are a Grade A Fucktard.

Unless you are being totally sarcastic, but somehow I doubt that. How much did you pay for that user ID?

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41262699)

You are a perfect example of the type of conspiracy theorist that the article is talking about. Congratulations for being so unwittingly on topic.

Re:Suprising how? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262755)

What I love is that "conspiracy" is only ever assigned to those evil "right-wingers". Like.. not vaccinating your children, which is a position I see mostly embraced by Left-wing celebrities and organic-food eating liberals. Bush orchestrated 9-11? Yeah, only Romney voting Republicans believe that one!

Additionally, since basically everything that drivels out of Michael Moore's mouth is some form of conspiracy theory, does that mean Michael Moore is now the world's biggest Capitalist? He sure lives like a 1%er using the money he collects from pliable liberals at the movie theater, so maybe this study is true!

Oh wait.. I've figured it out: This "researcher" simply took all left-wing conspiracy theories and called them: THE TRUTH. Therefore, using this "logic" it is only physically possible for a right-wing nut job to believe in conspiracy theories and hate science, because whenever a left-winger does the *exact same thing* we just relabel their idiotic beliefs! You see how great a job these guys do spending your tax money?

Re:Suprising how? (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#41263055)

I hear what you're saying and it sounds like "stop oppressing the ultra-rich!"

Everyone, prodded hard enough, can be shown to hold dear some unsubstantiated hypotheses about the world.

But someone on the right has the ultimate aim of helping themselves, either convinced or pretending to be convinced that it'll help other people if everyone strives to help himself. This is an ego-increasing exercise, and too much ego produces an insane amount of self-belief. Self-belief is the origin of faith or conspiracy or whatever you want to call it. This is why conspiracy theories on the right are very well-organised: there is a tremendous amound of unwarranted self-belief.

Those on the left do have their own conspiracy theories, but they tend to be a lot weaker and less organised. This is because it's hard to reconcile "be selfless and love one another" with "here's this thing I think and I have no evidence for it but I am quite convinced in myself". Selfless objectivity and subjectivity tend not to mix. Leftist conspiracy theories are thus more a failure of mind than inherent to the principles of their politics.

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263065)

Let's get some facts clear here.

The issue of not vaccinating your children is not a left or right wing issue. It's a stupidity issue. People put some celebrity's opinion against medical and scientific consensus, the media plays along (because it sells) and before you know it you have a major measles/TB/etc epidemic.

Why would people do that? I think it is down to poor education, media rhetoric and fearmongering. The media (and politicians have played along) have turned science into something hated by the "common" person who doesn't understand it (despite using the fruits of science all the time). There is selective hate and distrust of scientists, caused by the media, and clearly influenced by other factors (such as the scientific findings being really inconvenient for them, or business, or the people that tell them what to do and think).

Re:Suprising how? (0)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#41263131)

Anti-vaccination vegans haven't exactly taken over the Democratic party now, have they? They just don't have enough voting strength because they're confined to the fringe. The fact is, right wingers are way more prone to paranoid thinking and rejection of reality than liberals.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41262781)

Many will question science.

The same people will not question how their smart phone works or the wonders of physics, electronics, ergonomics, materials and programming they represent, let alone the fact you can't see the radio waves, but the thing works.

Selective science is what people are all about these days. We'll pick and choose what we'll accept, let our children be taught, but we won't let our eye stray to the advances of science which have brought us the vehicles, clothing, entertainment and electronic devices we take for granted.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Jalfro (1025153) | about 2 years ago | (#41262883)

Personally, I'm fairly sceptical about psychology research, but if you begin your analysis of scientific issues with a crude left/right dichotomy you're bound to come up with some way off answers. The AGW science looks pretty solid to anyone coming to it with an unbiased eye, notwithstanding Mann's dubious practices. Conspiracy theory is necessary to those who deny the evidence because it is the only way of explaining the scientific consensus.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41262939)

Who said it was "surprising?" Science doesn't need to always produce unexpected results. Furthermore, I have no doubt that if someone were to just assume any of the things demonstrated here, such as someone saying "Free market ideologues are much more likely to reject scientific results that are challenging to their worldview", you'd be the first to demand they prove it with research. So it's good someone went ahead and tested it and wrote it up, so that you don't even need to make that demand.

Re:Suprising how? (1)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 2 years ago | (#41263109)

The science issues are not tied to public policy positions of the left.

The public policy positions of the left are tied to the science issues.

There's a considerable difference.

You clearly didn't read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263141)

"Endorsement of the free market also predicted the rejection of other
established scientic ndings, such as the facts that HIV causes AIDS and that smoking
causes lung cancer. We additionally show that endorsement of a cluster of conspiracy
theories (e.g., that the CIA killed Martin-Luther King or that NASA faked the moon
landing) predicts rejection of climate science as well as the rejection of other scientic
ndings, above and beyond endorsement of laissez-faire free markets."

So it is just about one scientific issue that the right politicized.

better to be a fool and remain quiet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263233)

than open your mouth and remove all doubt, eh jmorris42?

Re:Suprising how? (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41263237)

Bullshit. You doubt AGW because it means having to actually do something that costs money.

Re:Suprising how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263261)

If you thought about world death logically, we would be fighting for better water quality, since that is the main killer across the globe (chronic diarrhea). When you look at funding for problems across the world, most funding for health problems goes towards AIDS/HIV (more funding goes towards AIDS/HIV in Vietnam than compensation for the Vietnam War (US)). The only reason that makes sense to me, to justify the gross inequality is that AIDS/HIV is the only thing that scares rich donors, so it is able to always get the most funding. However, that is probably incorrect due to the other inconsistencies you have mentioned surrounding AIDS/HIV. Would love to know how we might avoid scientific authors that are known for their support of political agenda and possible corruption (if not even lack of any real science).

Re:Suprising how? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#41263283)

And there it is, right before our eyes. Care to speak a bit about versiongate and the Monash conspiracy?

These so called "experts" - so predictable (5, Funny)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41262515)

What do they know about anything??? This study just proves what I knew all along - the scientists are all in collusion with each other AND the government to take my gas and my guns and my cigarettes!!!

Re:These so called "experts" - so predictable (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262591)

Your post just proved that even liberals can be bigots.

Re:These so called "experts" - so predictable (5, Funny)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41263033)

Probably the saddest thing is that I wasn't posting based on a stereotype, I was posting based on my father-in-law.

Wow (0, Flamebait)

geek (5680) | about 2 years ago | (#41262555)

This "story" is just one big ass troll isn't it? Seriously, bunch of socialist shrinks deem people who believe contrary to them are crazy. This isn't news.

Re:Wow (1, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#41262655)

Leave it to Slashdot commenters to provide free evidence for the study!

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262725)

that's funny! Someone mark that comment by "geek" as funny LOL

Re:Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262759)

Hmm from your comment I can tell.

1) You vote republican.
2) You support reduced taxes, because only you matter.
3) Anything that you dislike, because it might negatively affect your like, you will rationalise as being incorrect by whatever means you can.

You don't deserve your user ID or to be on this sight. Go back to AntiScienceDarkAges.Org - News For Those Who Can't Deal With The Truth.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263043)

3) Anything that you dislike, because it might negatively affect your like, you will rationalise as being incorrect by whatever means you can.

Re-read your post.

Then feast on the delicious irony.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262793)

"Seriously, bunch of socialist shrinks deem people who believe contrary to them are crazy."

People who believe in an old man in the sky _are_ crazy.

Especially if he talks to them like Bachmann and Bush.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | about 2 years ago | (#41262953)

It's funny how idiots like you use words like "socialist", "left(y)", and "liberal" as if they're some sort of insult.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263225)

The good thing about people using them as insults is that you can rapidly tell the mouth-breathers from the rest of the population.

Labelling like this is the recourse of the slow witted. Because they disagree with it, they label it the work of those "on the other side".

Re:Wow (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41263275)

I agree with you. those are HONORABLE things to have in your personality.

for some reason, there is a lot of inertia in the now-loaded terms you listed. its amazing to me that these good attributes have been turned upside down by the religious right (mostly its them that I blame).

I view this like a pig rolling around in shit. happy, but still rolling around in shit.

when ignorance is seen as a positive attribute, you've just jumped the shark.

reminds me all too much of when smart kids are picked on in school. the mentality is understandable for kids, but NOT for adults! adults should know better but sadly, the culture of ignorance encourages them to stay dumb.

Re:Wow (4, Insightful)

tooyoung (853621) | about 2 years ago | (#41263025)

With the free market bit I don't think that they are labeling anyone as crazy. Rather, they seem to be suggesting that free market proponents will dismiss evidence that counters their established views, which is probably true of many people who hold ideologies.

One interesting aspect of the report is that the conspiracy theorists tend to side with the corporations over science. While I do see how this is an attractive conspiracy, I would think that people would be more likely to think that the companies are conspiring against science to further their economic goals.

Carnies avoid playing the shell game for cash... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262561)

SHOCKER!

Capitalism is in terminal decay (5, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41262571)

Once upon a time the capitalist system, a tremendous advance over the feudal system of property that preceded it, drove an unprecedented expansion of scientific and technical progress.

Now capitalism is in its imperialist epoch of terminal decay, dragging humankind into a new dark ages. Only the proletariat can save humanity by smashing the power of the bourgeoisie and inaugurating the socialist future! Workers to power!

They often react violently (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#41262573)

When a certain in-duh-vidual started claiming there was mercury in vaccines & even RFIDs, I pointed-out that mercury was removed years ago. I also politely asked for proof of the RFIDs.

At first the guy said I need to do my own research, and I said I already did, but I've found nothing. Then he blew up and started calling me nasty names & other bullshit.

These conspiracy persons have more problems than just lack of faith in scientific research. They have emotional/anger management issues. Of course that also means I won the argument..... he never did provide proof that vaccines have RFIDs in them.

Re:They often react violently (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41262839)

Being right doesn't mean you win.

Proving your opponent wrong doesn't mean you win if they don't accept it.

There are only 2 ways to win an argument:

You bring your opponent over to your point of view and they agree with your superior logic and evidence.

You are brought over to your opponents position and agree with their superior logic and evidence.

Re:They often react violently (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 2 years ago | (#41262907)

These conspiracy persons have more problems than just lack of faith in scientific research. They have emotional/anger management issues.

There may be something to this. A relative who suffered a head injury a few years back and has since undergone some significant emotional changes has become much more likely to latch on to conspiracies. From belief in the end of the Mayan calendar to being sure that a recent explosion at a refinery in Venezuela was triggered by the CIA (this was deduced from watching a couple of 60-second CNN reports on it), everything is just a cover story for the true workings of the universe. The explanation for knowing all of this is a long-expired secret-level clearance that was required to work on production programs for the military. It gets very frustrating to listen to this when visiting because responding to the ideas usually means starting an argument ending in an angry dismissal of my views.

Re:They often react violently (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about 2 years ago | (#41263059)

Conspiracy theorists tend to be middle-aged, majority, males, with a sense of powerlessness. The conspiracy tends to give them a sense that they, alone, know the truth. It's an obsession, and they tend to wrap their own self-worth in their "knowledge". Since they have no other purpose for existing, they can't be persuaded otherwise. (Until another, better, conspiracy comes along)

Personally, I find gardening much, much, more fulfilling than most conspiracies, but I do like to make up a good one now and then.

Re:They often react violently (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41263111)

Just goes to show that wise men discuss, foolish men argue. Anti-vaxers, global warming deniers, creationists, tobacco cancer link doubters... they very rarely are interested in hearing your side of the story for a reason, they just want to win and cast aside their doubts.

Re:They often react violently (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 2 years ago | (#41263113)

Yeah, you're right about that. There are people who have conspiracy theories about vaccines, or just believe wrong things about vaccines. They are calling people names, rejecting science, and have emotional management and anger issues.

They are also associated with the left.

Read the Wikipedia article on "Thiomersal controversy". Robert F. Kennedy. Rolling Stone magazine. Oprah Winfrey Show. Real free market people, all of these guys.

Odd. They left out "religious people" (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41262613)

Seems obvious to me we're talking about a group of people who are willing to believe what they are told to believe or give in to ideas because one makes them feel better or less uncomfortable.

It kind of describes a lot of people, but primarily, it describes the religious faithful.

Re:Odd. They left out "religious people" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262769)

Very good point, IMO.

Absurd! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41262621)

I do not "reject" science as my socialist detractors may claim. Rather, I merely withhold my currency from the marketplace of ideas in order to incentivize the production of science more in line with today's consumer preferences!

Re:Absurd! (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41262865)

That is hilarious.

Consistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262627)

So at least people are consistent with their skepticism to non-proofs.

Globalist B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262661)

Anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot!
Disagree? See you proved my point!

Or:

This story is the globalists trying to justify their lies with the only thing they can: BS.

Re:Globalist B.S. (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#41263185)

Anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot!
Disagree? See you proved my point!

Or:

This story is the globalists trying to justify their lies with the only thing they can: BS.

See what I mean?

Cancer link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262665)

So, does that mean that Conspiracy Theorists are more likely to get Cancer? This could be significant, folks! IOS. [::I am the descendent of a mutineer, and I'd like to post a vote for "Make 9/11 International Speak Like A Mutineer Day"?::]

Hahah!! (1)

Lashat (1041424) | about 2 years ago | (#41262673)

I am elated that this immediately stunk to all ./ posters thus far in this thread. What a Freaky Friday storyt!

free-marketers reject state run economy? (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#41262713)

Really? He had to do a study to conclude that people who believe in the free market reject attempts to replace it with a state-run economy?

Re:free-marketers reject state run economy? (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41263039)

Acknowledging that there might be a problem with lots of extra CO2 in the atmosphere does not require replacing a free market with a state-run economy.

Re:free-marketers reject state run economy? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#41263205)

Perhaps not, but all of the solutions I have heard suggested for dealing with that problem have been to give the government greater control over the economy and reduce the freedom of people to make decisions for themselves.

Re:free-marketers reject state run economy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263133)

Most people who are "free market" have no grasp whatsoever of the underlying economic theory of free markets. They have no clue what "comparative advantage" means, or "price elasticity of demand". They believe in free markets because it's the default position in our culture. It's so firmly embedded in our collective identity that even conspiracy theorists hold firmly to it, and especially conservatives.

If these same researchers did their study in Russia circa 1960, they'd get the same results, except for people who believed in a state-run economy.

(FWIW, I'm don't "believe" in free markets anymore than I believe gravity. They're both concepts based on empirical analysis of natural phenomena. No amount of state intervention could destroy a free market, anymore than a ton of magnets could hide gravity. But "free market" in America is more often a profession of a conservative cultural perspective.)

Film at 11 (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 years ago | (#41262779)

Randtards are 'tards. Whodathunkit?

Bad Summary as usual: (4, Insightful)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#41262815)

From one of the linked articles:

"More than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussions of climate science completed a questionnaire"

I'd agree that it is probably a fairly good representation of those deeply involved in the debate, who read those blogs and are willing to take time to do the survey.

How much it says about the general populace is a different question. And notably one the researchers don't try to answer.

This is a classic example of taking a study about a sample of a limited population and broadly generalizing it in the submission write-up for slashdot.

Re:Bad Summary as usual: (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | about 2 years ago | (#41263063)

"More than 1000 visitors to blogs dedicated to discussions of climate science completed a questionnaire"

There some evidence they all didn't complete the same questionnaire. I'd hesitate to call this a conclusive study when the leaders might have been caught looking for data to support their point.

Re:Bad Summary as usual: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263181)

This study seems much worse than that... he claims to have invited skeptical blogs to participate, but nobody can find where those invitations went. And several versions of questions have been identified, so comparing the collected data would be difficult. As well as some of the conspiracy claims seem very weak.

Paging Dr. Stephan Lewandowsky - show your climate survey invitation RSVP's [wattsupwiththat.com]

Stephan Lewandowsky's slow motion Psychological Science train wreck [wattsupwiththat.com]

Science and conjecture (1, Insightful)

jodido (1052890) | about 2 years ago | (#41262841)

"Global warming" as the term is generally used is not science. It's a political program. It's true that measured temperatures are higher than the last hundred years or so. That's a fact. But the "why it's happening" is not science, it's conjecture (I deliberately don't use the word theory, because I respect theory). IMHO it's not useful to lump belief or disbelief about global warming in with distrust of vaccines. In any case the root is the same--a growing distrust of authority, especially governmental authority, as government less and less appears to be capable of solving the big social and economic problems of our time. Combine this with the dismantling of public education and what other outcome could you expect?

Re:Science and conjecture (5, Insightful)

zerobeat (628744) | about 2 years ago | (#41263061)

I think there are many reasons to lump disbelief of global warming with the distrust of vaccines. Both groups of people have these beliefs, despite an overwhelming volume of data that says otherwise. Worse yet, showing these people data that contradicts their beliefs bizarrely reenforces the baseless beliefs. There is a common phenomenon (psychological) going on here, and it is worthy of study.

Re:Science and conjecture (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#41263221)

"Global warming" as the term is generally used is not science. It's a political program. It's true that measured temperatures are higher than the last hundred years or so. That's a fact. But the "why it's happening" is not science, it's conjecture (I deliberately don't use the word theory, because I respect theory).

Sure. And evolution by natural selection hasn't been proven yet either, has it?

*rolls eyes*

The researchers are socialists? (3, Insightful)

zerobeat (628744) | about 2 years ago | (#41262851)

Its remarkable how many people criticizing this study have concluded the authors are socialists. How do you know? What is your evidence? You have already made up your mind that these researchers are just colluding with other scientists to make a political point that deniers of science are conspiracy nuts.

But you have no evidence at all. How many of you have already run off and read the paper yet... thoroughly? And yet, here you are condemning it. Wow! Good way to prove the authors point but announcing a conspiracy when you see science you don't like (but haven't read). Their work has just been beautifully f*$king demonstrated here in the comments section of /.

The pathology of not being a progressive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262861)

The climate has always changed and will always change.

The arguments over public policy and the apocalyptic nature of the supposed outcomes of agw are legitimate.

Cigs cause cancer, but many support the idea that people are free to make choices about their bodies beyond abortion.

The left is a religion just as insular and unaccepting of dissent and blind to policy outcomes as the religious right.

A pox on both their houses.

Once again... (4, Interesting)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 2 years ago | (#41262877)

correlation is not causation.

This "study" is heavily polluted by republican propaganda. Did these test subjects come to these conclusions under their own accord, or were they influenced by right leaning media (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.).

People feel the need to identify with social groups, and therefore may be influenced by others in their social group. In my opinion, it's why people align along party lines. In other words, I suspect the cause is social, not neurological, as implied above.

Re:Once again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263119)

correlation is not causation.

This "study" is heavily polluted by republican propaganda. Did these test subjects come to these conclusions under their own accord, or were they influenced by right leaning media (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.).

People feel the need to identify with social groups, and therefore may be influenced by others in their social group. In my opinion, it's why people align along party lines. In other words, I suspect the cause is social, not neurological, as implied above.

correlation is not causation.

This study is heavily polluted by democratic/leftist propaganda. Did these subjects come to these conclusions under their own accord, or where they infuluenced by the fact that it was conductied on the Daily KOS. OF COURSE people that believe in Free Enterprise are conspiracy theory nuts,

Dipshit.

Re:Once again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263147)

Is this a "nature vs. nurture" response? I'd assume that neurology would, in at least some way, influence social alignments.

SURPRISE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262887)

I didn't see this coming.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262893)

So let me see if I have this straight:

People who are prone to believe the government is a fundamentally malevolent organization, bent on deception, destruction, and evil... those people ALSO believe that the government should be prevented from meddling with the economy, and they also doubt the veracity of claims by government agencies and government-funded scientists that man-made global warming is happening?

Well - I NEVER! I just can't believe that a group of people so mistrustful of the government in every other area of their belief... would ALSO mistrust the government when it comes to things like economic policy and global warming!

Please also note, before you tards invert the relationship - as I know many of you are rushing to do right now - that "belief in free markets" correlating strongly to "climate change skepticis" among respondents to a survey posted on climate-skeptic blogs does not mean that "every person who believes in limited government intrusion in the markets is a retarded climate change denier."

Ad Hominem (1, Insightful)

mfwitten (1906728) | about 2 years ago | (#41262943)

This research (and how it has been reported to the public) is an example of an ad hominem attack (in this case, an attack against free market "ideology").

Fear and Greed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41262991)

Many people have a severe fear of losses in social positions, income or status. This applies to climate change issues just as it applied to the civil rights movement. In 1950 the white population was hostile to other races advancing due to a fear that a loss of power would result. Gradually the white population has learned that people of another race doing a bit better really does not threaten them much at all.
                  Now with climate science it becomes obvious that vast changes in lifestype will almost certainly become compulsory. The era of the MacMansion has decayed. The era of large engined cars is ending. Obviously people in the auto industry will feel fear of job losses and people in the construction industry face even greate fears. After all how can you build spiral staircases for smaller more efficient homes. How about those fancy showers with a dozen spray heads and a booster pump to gain enough pressure to consume all of the water needed to push them as well as a hot water heater so large that only three of them will do?
                    And it just keeps multiplying. Build a well insulated home and only tiny AC units will be needed. Build a car that weighs only 1000 lbs and a lot less tires will be sold. Build electric cars or hybrids that can plug in and gas stations will take a huge hit. Extract hydrogen and the oil industry will collapse.
                    So the investor class and the working class all have great fears of loss of dominance. That is why things move so slowly.

what nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41263023)

9-11 trutherism is all about science! Fire can't melt steel. See? And Sheriff Joe is all about science when he proved that Obama's birth certificate was a fake. And OJ was found not guilty because of science! Do I need to go on?

People think logically (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41263069)

To believe that science is right and at the same time that man didn't land on the Moon would be a contradiction. No surprises here.

TFA: -1 Troll (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | about 2 years ago | (#41263157)

I predict exactly zero rational discourse will be inspired by this study, on either side.

Conspiracy Theorists on Theory of Conspiracy (1)

uncadonna (85026) | about 2 years ago | (#41263183)

The conspiracy theorists, of course, have been quick to spin counter-theories about this work.

http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyCCCresponse1.html [shapingtom...sworld.org]
http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyVersionGate.html [shapingtom...sworld.org]

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