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When Beliefs and Facts Collide

samzenpus posted about three weeks ago | from the what-do-you-think dept.

Science 725

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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It's Okay (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392739)

It's okay for Liberals to admit that there is no global warming.

Re:It's Okay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392773)

It's okay for Liberals to admit that there is no global warming.

It's ok for you to admit you are a stupid uneducated lowlife piece of subhuman waste.

Because you are.

Re:It's Okay (-1, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about three weeks ago | (#47392875)

I didnt get the impression he was a liberal, that cant distinguish their socialist agenda from reality.

Re:It's Okay (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about three weeks ago | (#47393013)

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

Re:It's Okay (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | about three weeks ago | (#47393231)

Well, over there you are all socialists so the political label doesn't matter much anyway.

Re:It's Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393025)

Hate is the ultimate form of ignorance.

Re:It's Okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393015)

Go back to Yahoo Comments where the retarded kids hang out.

Re:It's Okay (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393073)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

Mahatma Gandhi

Not surprising. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392745)

Humans aren't motivated by logic. Instead, they use logic as a tool to satisfy their emotional needs. No tool suits every problem.

Re:Not surprising. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392811)

One thing that we all need to realize is that ALL of us have this same issue, not just the people who disagree with you.

Re:Not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392901)

One thing that we all need to realize is that ALL of us have this same issue

Some significantly more so than others.

Re:Not surprising. (2, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about three weeks ago | (#47392873)

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

Re:Not surprising. (2, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | about three weeks ago | (#47392985)

"97 percent of climate scientists believe human activities are causing global warming."

That's not a scientific statement, it's a political one. Science doesn't vote, it either provably is or it isn't.

When we push beliefs on people and claim it's science, we shouldn't be surprised when they treat it as flexibly as they do any other belief. Nor should we be surprised when such misuse of science erodes their faith in its overall veracity.

Is climate change human caused? Hell if I know. But I know it's been pushed on the public about as unscientifically as Eugenics and Phrenology.

Re: Not surprising. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#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:Not surprising. (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about three weeks ago | (#47393115)

But I know it's been pushed on the public about as unscientifically as Eugenics and Phrenology.

Whoa! Phrenology has no scientific basis, but Eugenics certainly does. If you take all the people with traits you don't like, and murder them, you will have fewer of those traits in the next generation. That is a scientific fact. Just because you don't like the political act of mass murder, doesn't make it scientifically invalid.

Re:Not surprising. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about three weeks ago | (#47393213)

If you take all the people with traits you don't like, and murder them, you will have fewer of those traits in the next generation. That is a scientific fact. Just because you don't like the political act of mass murder, doesn't make it scientifically invalid.

Do you have a case study that you can reference which substantiates this claim?

Re:Not surprising. (2)

rwa2 (4391) | about three weeks ago | (#47393175)

Is climate change human caused? Hell if I know. But I know it's been pushed on the public about as unscientifically as Eugenics and Phrenology.

Null hypothesis: Does human activity have no impact on the environment?

Re:Not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393243)

Peer review = science, and it "votes" - sorry you don't know anything about the process but maybe that's why you fear actual science? 99% of scientists IS SIGNIFICANT.

Emotional Contradictions (1)

Joe Johnson (3720117) | about three weeks ago | (#47392747)

The inherit problem is that we second-guess our subconscious intuition with emotional overrides.

Yep (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about three weeks ago | (#47392753)

Those damb religio-political dogmatists keep blocking publication of my papers on the theory of anturgic phrogneal boropathy.

Religion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392759)

A permanent insult for knowledge. Whether you are scientific or not religion makes you a delusional fucktard.

It's like giving up on due thought process and effectively life.

Religion people are already dead.

Re:Religion (1)

Jason Goatcher (3498937) | about three weeks ago | (#47392991)

If I may quote from the Switchfoot song "Is this the World You Want." *ahem*

What you say is your religion. What you do is your religion. What you believe is your religion. All your wars are your religion. All your science your religion.

Etc. etc.

So...your personal belief system is your religion, which means EVERYBODY is religious and EVERYBODY has their own God, even if their God isn't actually sentient. Whatever's most important to you in your life is your God.

quelle surprise (5, Funny)

fche (36607) | about three weeks ago | (#47392767)

"for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican."

Unsurprisingly, TFA/NYT chose that polarity as an exemplar instead of its opposite.

Re:quelle surprise (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about three weeks ago | (#47392849)

Yes, but climate change is scientific fact. The opposing view that you're referring to would be that Liberal republicans could believe in the fantasy that climate change does not exist... and while it's true there are such democrats out there, they are not relevant to this topic. I think that, if you wanted to include democrats in a similar light you'd have to ask them about nuclear power. They tend to completely disregard science when it comes to technologies they fear. Thought this is a generalization. Which is the funny thing about this story. They seem to be reporting "Generalizations about an entire group of people are not 100% accurate!" Well, duh...

Re:quelle surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392863)

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.

Re:quelle surprise (3, Informative)

Friggo (765910) | about three weeks ago | (#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.
http://www.big-lies.org/NUKE-L... [big-lies.org]
There are nutters everywere.

Re:quelle surprise (1, Insightful)

Imrik (148191) | about three weeks ago | (#47393147)

Gravity isn't a scientific fact, exaggerating your position doesn't make it stronger.

Re:quelle surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393259)

Yes, but climate change is scientific fact.

Do you know that a circle is, in fact, nothing more than a straight line ?

Ofcourse, that is only true when you take a short enough segment such that your eyes have difficulty seeing that it has any length at all.

.

I'm quite sure that climate change has happened, is happening and will happen. However, I'm not at all sure that its currently truly affected by humans, nor that whatever those scientists measure* is something that will keep progressing in the same direction**.

*I'm not at all sure that (all) the measurements are true***, having read that those scientists refused to release their raw data, and how they extrapolated many measuring points from just a handfull.

**Are those scientists trying to extrapolate a small circle segment (just a few years of usable measurements)into a straight line ?

***As far as I read quite a few years of the earlier measurements had to be "re-evaluated" to make them conform the later, more current ones (re-evaluate to take differences in used measuring equipment into account, or to make the available (old) data appear more in line with the expected result ? Double-blind research exists for a reason).

Also, certain deviations that have been pointed to as significant are in fact smaller than the statistical errors for those measurements.

Re:quelle surprise (0)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about three weeks ago | (#47392861)

Unsurprisingly, TFA/NYT chose that polarity as an exemplar instead of its opposite.

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?

Perhaps this is another demonstration of the media's left wing bias that does not stand up to scrutiny.

Re:quelle surprise (1, Insightful)

fche (36607) | about three weeks ago | (#47392917)

"what is the scientific doctrine that Democrats typically reject?"

I wouldn't go so far as "typically ..." etc., but here are some candidates:

- "more guns, less crime"
- "skepticism in global warming science is warranted"
- "collectivist economies fail"

Are you sure these are scientific doctrine? (3, Funny)

UpnAtom (551727) | about three weeks ago | (#47393053)

Really?

Re:Are you sure these are scientific doctrine? (0)

fche (36607) | about three weeks ago | (#47393111)

If you squint hard enough, you can turn them into empirically testable predictions.

Re:Are you sure these are scientific doctrine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393183)

TFA is about "accepted scientific finding" and these are not, although they are testable.

Re:quelle surprise (1)

Skarjak (3492305) | about three weeks ago | (#47393165)

I hope you realize you are proving the article's point.

Re:quelle surprise (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about three weeks ago | (#47393225)

I don't think that those examples are anywhere near as apt as the global warming one. For one, these do not have such overwhelming scientific backing. Secondly, they are not as often quoted by the politicians.

Finally, they are overly-specific claims. The "more guns, less crime" claim misleads the gun control aims in that they are attempting to reduce the gun-related murders. Nobody claims that scepticism is a bad thing, but denialism dressed up as scepticism is. And all economies can fail, but few politicians advocate such a simplistic economy.

Re: quelle surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392919)

Vaccinations believe it or not. The I can't risk the horror of vacinations is rooted in several costal democratic areas.

Re: quelle surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393097)

Also the "if it's a GMO it's bad" belief is another bit of left-leaning anti-science.

Re:quelle surprise (0, Flamebait)

Rockoon (1252108) | about three weeks ago | (#47392937)

what is the scientific doctrine that Democrats typically reject?

That a fetus is a human being.

Re:quelle surprise (1)

forsted (3658407) | about three weeks ago | (#47393061)

Sorry, no. The question was requesting a scientific doctrine, not a religious one.

Re:quelle surprise (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about three weeks ago | (#47393263)

Science - Member of the species Homo sapiens sapiens.

You could have at least tried to go with the embryo vs fetus argument (which I left open for you...) but that would have required that you actually knew some of the science.

Other way around (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | about three weeks ago | (#47393069)

Science says fetuses don't have the brain capacity or structure to be even vaguely human until 20 weeks or so. Whether this is true or not is another matter.

Re:Other way around (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393237)

Oddly abortion is the current exemplification of Darwinism.

Re:Other way around (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about three weeks ago | (#47393245)

Science says fetuses don't have the brain capacity or structure to be even vaguely human until 20 weeks or so.

Sorry, science does not define "human" as having a particular "brain capacity or structure"

Human is a species, specifically Homo sapiens sapiens.

Under your belief system, apparently severely mentally disabled people arent human? What about really really intelligent people? Are they not human too?

This is what the left does. They de-humanize that which they want to restrict, steal, or deny rights to.

Re:quelle surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393199)

GMOs
Vaccination
Natural medicine
Dietary suplements

In those topics, you'll have plenty of people in the American left that deny reality, and instead of thinking of studies, they just start with fear, and go on from there.

Re:quelle surprise (1, Informative)

HanzoSpam (713251) | about three weeks ago | (#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. [scientificamerican.com]

CAGW is a trojan horse (-1, Troll)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about three weeks ago | (#47392789)

I'll believe in CAGW when the scientists quit fudging the numbers and it still shows it...when they can explain historical data that contradicts the theory...and when they can explain why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades.

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

Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (0)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about three weeks ago | (#47392799)

damned autocorrect.

that should be "the same old tired leftist government takeover of economies".

Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (-1, Flamebait)

andydread (758754) | about three weeks ago | (#47392835)

I'll believe in CAGW when the scientists quit fudging the numbers and it still shows it...when they can explain historical data that contradicts the theory...and when they can explain why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades.

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

seriously? wow. Tell you what. Just stick to your bible and fox news. This conversation is for people of reason. You seem to be too far brainwashed by the API and their minions on Fox News, Dailly Caller, Drudge, Linbaugh and the like. SMH.

Yet it was working before the merchants came in (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about three weeks ago | (#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:CAGW is a trojan horse (5, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about three weeks ago | (#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 sort...it'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:CAGW is a trojan horse (2)

fche (36607) | about three weeks ago | (#47393037)

"Yet, less than 10 (that's ten out of hundreds of thousands, disagree with the simple finding that humans are altering the average global temperature of the planet"

I'm sorry, until reading this point, I thought you were being serious.

Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (0)

Ly4 (2353328) | about three weeks ago | (#47392915)

Thank you Jay Maynard!
We needed someone in this conversation to serve as an example of the kind of stupidity described in the summary. Thank you for taking the bullet!

why the warming has stopped for the last couple of decades
But you may have gone a bit too far here .... only an idiot would pretend to believe this easily-disproved point. It makes your post look a bit too much like satire.

Re:CAGW is a trojan horse (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about three weeks ago | (#47392983)

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

Are you seriously saying that every single scientific study that matches the Global Warming theory has had their numbers fudged? How do you know? If you are given any random article from a journal, can you point to the data that has been altered to fit the theory?

If not, the perhaps the alleged fudging isn't as blatant - or as widespread - as you suggest. It could be that it is only obvious that the data is bunk if you come at it from the assumption that all the global warming theories are false; in which case you are obviously a perfect match for what this story is all about.

Religion poisons eveyrthing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392793)

Is something Christopher Hitchens would say

Factual beliefs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392795)

Why should anyone "believe" that human-caused climate change is happening? That's not science. It's ironic that the religious zealots are the ones who see most clearly that science functions as a religion in modern society, while the scientists, for the most part, are the least likely to recognize it...because it conflicts with their beliefs.

Re:Factual beliefs? (1)

pepty (1976012) | about three weeks ago | (#47392889)

religious zealots are the ones who see most clearly that science functions as a religion in modern society

In the sense that science and religion both underpin the way people see and interact with the universe, other people, and many of their attempts to control both. Sort of how apples function as oranges if what you are doing is holding a piece of fruit or chucking it at someone's head. Eating them are somewhat different experiences though.

Re:Factual beliefs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393059)

Classic piece of Completely Wrong. Here are the two common responses, in case you've chosen to forget them again.

1) Calling atheism a religion is like calling "not collecting stamps" a hobby.
2) The thing about science is it works whether you believe in it or not. (NdGT).

It's the politics (0)

mariox19 (632969) | about three weeks ago | (#47392801)

The whole idea of (whatever they're calling it now) global warming is inextricably bound up with centralized economic planning or, at the very least, extensive economic regulation; and in many cases it goes beyond that with the advocating of international boards that threaten national sovereignty. Furthermore, many of these proposed treaties are seen by their opponents—and not without good cause—as a way of stifling rich, developed countries while favoring un-developed or developing countries. They're seen as a political punishing of the "Great Satan." This is what people can't get past.

Re:It's the politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392845)

Those people are morons. The idea that moving away from fossil fuels "punishes" developed countries is entirely stupid.

Re:It's the politics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393079)

And that is why it is so difficult to have an intelligent conversation on the subject. The OP is right. Most of the AGW activists are pursuing political agendas that have a limited connection to AGW. Here are some questions to ask yourself - Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased hydroelectric power? Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased nuclear power? Why are AGW activists not pursuing geo-engineering solutions? I few might be, quietly, but I have yet to see a pro-nuke or pro-dams protest.

The reason is that the AGWers have aligned themselves politically with traditional environmentalists. In fact, many of them ARE traditional environmentalists. The idea that building more dams to produce clean sustainable hydroelectric and save the planet at the cost of some obscure sub-species of minnow should be an easy trade, but it is heresy to their cause, as are nuclear power plants. As it stands, the AGW crowd are pursuing a political agenda and AGW is just a tool in the box.

I've come to the conclusion that while AGW may be real, it isn't too bad or the experts would not be aligned with old school environmentalists who stand in the way of solutions. When I start to see AGW protesters holding up signs to keep nuclear power plants OPEN or protesting to keep dams open, then I will take them seriously.

Re:It's the politics (1)

overshoot (39700) | about three weeks ago | (#47393185)

Most of the AGW activists are pursuing political agendas that have a limited connection to AGW. Here are some questions to ask yourself - Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased hydroelectric power? Why are AGW activists not actively pursuing increased nuclear power?

Mostly because they're not interested in mandating specific aproaches. Instead of the old-fashioned approach of Nixon's EPA, they're going for market-based solutions: putting a price on carbon emissions, for instance. Or a conservative variant on that, George H. W. Bush's cap-and-trade mechanism updated by John McCain for carbon dioxide.

Or the most recent study's proposal: just eliminating taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels would get us halfway to the 2-degree target.

OP fails to apply own standards. (0)

tolip (2238708) | about three weeks ago | (#47392807)

Based on the example in the OP I suggest "you are what you resent" is proven yet again.

Belief in Dupes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392809)

http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/05/28/0332258/belief-in-evolution-doesnt-measure-science-literacy?sdsrc=popbyskid

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?

One versus millions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392813)

You may be able to convince a conservative Republican in Congress that he can believe that anthropogenic climate change is a real thing, but unless you convince millions of Tea Party conservatives of it too, that one conservative Republican will never admit it, for fear of his job.

YES! 74 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392815)

Influence, t4e [goat.cx]

And the tooth fairy gives $50 bills (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392821)

> by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still believe that Sadam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.

Sorry, but as soon as you start doing evidence or science based political reasoning, most of the Republican platform stops making sense.

Generalization Fail (2)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47392823)

for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican

How about making it clear that people have a wide variety of views on things like GWT, and its not simply true believers vs deniers. How about making it clear that not all Democrats believe in gun control.

Re:Generalization Fail (1)

itzly (3699663) | about three weeks ago | (#47392847)

The problem is that only laymen have a wide variety of views, while scientist are mostly share the same view.

Re:Generalization Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392905)

What makes you think the article is only talking about scientists?

Re:Generalization Fail (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47393179)

Do you think scientists are all exactly in line on the rate of GW, the extent to which it is exacerbated by human activities, which of those activities are most impacting, to what extent we can improve the situation, and the expected impacts in the future?

Re:Generalization Fail (3, Insightful)

pepty (1976012) | about three weeks ago | (#47392995)

All of the Democrats in the house believe in gun control. But then again, so do all of the Republicans:

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/03/gop-house-decides-2nd-amendment-limits-approves-gun-control-measure-voice-vote.html

The republicans are much better at drawing people together based on commonalities in what they hate and fear than the Democrats. That has worked best by pushing simple yes/no good/bad simplified versions of issues - like gun control - and burying the complications.

Re:Generalization Fail (1, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about three weeks ago | (#47393249)

The republicans are much better at drawing people together based on commonalities in what they hate and fear than the Democrats. That has worked best by pushing simple yes/no good/bad simplified versions of issues - like gun control - and burying the complications.

Better? How about the "war on women" for example? Nobody has a monopoly on expertise in using those tactics.

What if? (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about three weeks ago | (#47392833)

I'm relatively literate from a scientific perspective, I hate all politicians equally and I have no religious beliefs.
Where does that put me?

Re:What if? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392925)

In the top 2% .

Re:What if? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392987)

That puts you on NSA watchlist.

Re:What if? (-1, Troll)

Doomsought (3407379) | about three weeks ago | (#47393105)

Are you Atheist? If so, you still have a religious belief. You believe that the supernatural does not exist. Many atheist form rather dogmatic beliefs around science, believing that science is infallible (which is rather harmful to science, since the scientific method relies on the assumption of fallibility.)

Re:What if? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393139)

Nope. Atheism is not religious belief.

It's the very opposite thereof.

Ding. Next?

Thank you,

AC

Re:What if? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393151)

"Many atheist form rather dogmatic beliefs around science, believing that science is infallible"

I'm a scientist, move in social circles that are full of scientists and have never really met anyone that showed this tendency. I've met a few guys and girls who don't have a clue what science is, but they were really just doing grad school as a filler before moving on to something else.

They never really "collide" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about three weeks ago | (#47392843)

The facts are just ignored by the ignorant. Facts should eradicate any beliefs at time of presenting them.

Re:They never really "collide" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393009)

The facts are just ignored by the ignorant. Facts should eradicate any beliefs at time of presenting them.

So if anything, this study reveals simply how ignorant people really are when it comes to deeply rooted beliefs, no matter how nonsensical.

Of course, zealots have another word for ignorance. They call it "faith", and it has a certain place in humanity as well. It simply doesn't need to rule at the Kings table as it has for centuries.

Then again, one would have to believe that organized religion wasn't created as a form of control over the masses...perhaps by the Kings side next to his sword is where it has always meant to be.

Re:They never really "collide" (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about three weeks ago | (#47393033)

I don't believe you.

Re:They never really "collide" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393141)

Or what YOU think are facts, actually are only YOUR opinions.

False facts eradicate truth - its a lesson emplyed by leftists since the first leftist breathed his first lie

Re:They never really "collide" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393241)

Assuming the person believes the facts. The NSA and government spout a lot of "facts" all the time.

Who is this "we?" (1)

overshoot (39700) | about three weeks ago | (#47392857)

we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues

I suspect that there are more than a few groups and people with influence who disagree. And from the evidence, they're likely to continue to get their way.

This won't always work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392881)

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."

This strategy won't work on groups whose identity is fundamentally based on a false belief. For example, you'll have difficulty convincing holocaust-deniers that the holocaust actually occurred.

Ideological Footprint (1)

jmd (14060) | about three weeks ago | (#47392941)

Something like this might go a long way in providing an alternative to the usual suspects:

http://ideologicalfootprint.org/

There's belief, there's facts and there's politics (5, Insightful)

mark_reh (2015546) | about three weeks ago | (#47392945)

" for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican."

But you can't. The Republicans won't have you.

Ignorance is a choice, just like belief. The real problem is to get people to reject ignorance. The difficulty in that is that ignorance, like belief, is easy. Rejecting ignorance requires effort. That is why there are so many people who choose ignorance and belief over reason and fact.

For many, being identified as a member of a specific group, even if that group wants you to believe stupid things, is more important than objective reality. They must get something from that group membership that outweighs what they would get from reality. Reality CAN be a bitch.
 

The X Rays Too Bad (0)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about three weeks ago | (#47392961)

There comes a time when a doctor sees so many bad things in the X rays that there is no starting point or point at which any health can be sustained. If a person has degraded to the level of being a conservative republican there simply is no starting point for their rehabilitation or return to sanity. People in this state of depravity are dangerous and yet we have no laws that allow us to confine them until they lash out directly and harm someone. Their denial of global warming for the last 15 years will certainly cost us human lives and yet they will proclaim that they were only being responsible in delaying programs that might moderate the crises. Of course their response will be that I must be a communist as I have challenged one of their beliefs. I use Linux which apparently gets me on an NSA watch list already.

Scientific Literacy is not Enough... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47392967)

One of the main issues is that we teach kids what to think, but we don't teach them how to think. You can shove facts at them all you want, but if they don't have the ability to critically analyze something then what's the use. A critical thinking course in philosophy should be mandatory for high school students.

As usual wrong conclusions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393007)

Well first off I'm rather disturbed that more people believe that humans have existed in current form since the beginning of time (33%) than are skeptical of global warming (26%). Before blaming that on the religious right, I think the more likely group is the people who listen to top 40 radio.

But overall this article mixes so many things that make little sense. For example, it uses the belief in WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq, something that has nothing to do with scientific knowledge. Many of the other things (evolution, global warming, etc) really require a very high level (post graduate) to really understand. I have some high school and college life science knowledge, but I was not a biochemistry major. Based on my limited knowledge, the internal workings of the eukaryote cell is darn close to freaking magic. I found it much less amazing and magical when I had less knowledge. I'm not a religious guy, but I could certainly see how a little knowledge would INCREASE my belief in intelligent design.

How dare they question my facts! (2)

eatvegetables (914186) | about three weeks ago | (#47393017)

Increased scientific literacy increases sceptism toward those who claim to be the standard bearers of truth. "The more I learn the more I learn how little I know." Some old smart dude said something like this once.

Re:How dare they question my facts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393155)

Which is where you have to step back and decide WHAT you need to learn which is enough.

Consensus isn't Fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393023)

The article talks about scientists' consensus about AGW but that isn't fact. ..they just have models (which have issues with recent data - read: facts)

Libtard's self induced demise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393093)

Conservatives do not reject climate change, just realize humans play a miniscule role in it versus the panic-state of the liberal mind.

Bad example as Human Induced Climate Change ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393127)

Bad example, as Human Induced Climate Change is a hypothesis contradicted by alot of evidence and domain expertise

Factual belief ? isnt that also a strange phrase

Most people who 'believe' in Science never have seen the proofs of the majority what they 'believe' to be true.

Maybe an equal time 'example' of this political bias against facts should be a neo-liberal/leftist believing in an individual citizens right to bear arms should be offered as an equivalent....

Yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393171)

Exactly, believe in man-made global warming all you want, but it collides with the facts that its not real. Conservatives are not like Democrats, Democrats will stick to party lines to matter if they know its wrong or not. Conservatives will believe in the facts and ignore the misinformation put out by the media to help their preferred politician.

Ger provable facts and republicans will believe it, that don't work for democrats. Democrats don't need facts, they just believe in whatever they are told. Like. "beams in the WTC can not melt" (Of coarse that is untrue, but some democrats believe it).

Yes, there is climate change, but... (0, Troll)

satch89450 (186046) | about three weeks ago | (#47393205)

Anyone who says that climate isn't changing has their head in the dry dirt of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Recorded history shows clearly that there is climate changes over time. Indeed, climate shifts have influenced man's history more than any other single event source. Scientific evidence shows that climate changes constantly. The problem I have is the intensity which climate cultists point to humans as the cause.

Given that the magnetic poles have been shifting regularly, if slowly, means that the solar wind's interaction with the Earth will change as the magnetic field moves. ("Settled science"? I haven't heard any nay-sayers.) How about the argument that carbon dioxide has been "building up"? Yet one study I finally found, that looks at wider time periods than a century (http://www.biocab.org/carbon_dioxide_geological_timescale.html) suggests that (1) temperature has no significant correlation with CO-2 content, and that we are coming out of a period of low CO-2 concentrations.

Does this mean that man is completely blameless? No. Temperature is a function of released energy, and the Earth had stored sunlight for millions of years. We are releasing that stored sunlight at an increasing pace, which eventually ends up in the atmosphere, one way or another, as heat. How much is due to technology, and how much is a by-product of man's actions such as the clear-cutting of Amazon rain forests and covering the land masses with asphalt and concrete, and how much is caused by other, non-man-made changes? So the question is whether the existing natural system for expelling heat are up to the task. More importantly, details are important. How much heat does technology dump into the atmosphere? Clear-cutting (and clear-burning) of land? Other sources? Without numbers, everything is just opinion. And when it comes to such "science", one option is equally as good as another, absent accurate and provable forecasts -- I believe that is why the climage deniers hold to their beliefs. Cultists haven't proven their case, or even shown their case has merit.

Are there other solutions than those proposed by the client cultists? One way to keep heat out of the atmosphere, if that is the goal, is to keep sunlight reaching ground level from being converted to heat in the atmosphere. Photovoltaics can help, although the energy would be released -- just perhaps in a different spot or a different time; the benefit would that such energy would displace energy released from fossil fuels -- current sunlight instead of ancient sunlight. Ditto solar thermal power plants -- using today's energy instead of million-year-old energy.

Sunlight that never reaches the ground can't contribute much to the heat load. How about reflection and dispersion? Some of the energy would be converted to heat by the air itself, but the rest would escape into space in the form of radiation (light, infrared). Another way to trap sunlight so it doesn't contribute heat is to increase the surface area of leaves, to increase photosynthesis -- and that has the benefit of eating up CO-2 as well as keeping heat out of the air. (Cultists: when did you re-roof your homes with grass? It would lower your air-conditioning bills, too, by keeping the heat out of your attic.)

But is that all there is? There is considerable heat trapped in the core of our planet. Further, there are energy sources in the ground that contribute to the atmospheric heat load...but I never see that heat source mentioned in the Climate Cultist literature. What is the effect of volcanos on the solar balance sheet? We know that ash can bring down airplanes, but what is the effect of that ash in the air? It could well be that geothermal power generation, replacing fossil-fuel generation, would be an excellent way to keep the atmosphere in thermal balance. Don't hear much about geothermal from climage cultists, do you...

I was part of the generation that "grew up with the Bomb" -- and I remember all those discussions about "nuclear winter" that would be brought on by The Ultimate War. Block enough sunlight, and you drop world temperature. But you won't like the side effects.

And so I come to the end of my thoughts on the subject. If you have faith that we "need to do something" about the problem, show us your work, your accurate predictions of change, your proofs. Instead of trying to make us "believers" by trying to evangelize your faith, show something that can be vetted by the scientific method.

Groupism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about three weeks ago | (#47393267)

It's the same unconscious instinct that drives almost everything humans do. The safety of the group has been burned in our DNA since cavemen slew ancient beasts. We survive because we are in a group. Our group becomes the most important thing - perhaps not consciously, but it is there. Our closest group is called "family", our next "community", next "state", "nation", and so on. Each successive outer group lowers our allegiance, since it is less crucial for our day to day survival. Groupism promotes groupthink - a term I'm sure everyone here understands. And what you are seeing in this issue is just groupthink. Move along.

Don't let politicians control the discussion then. (4, Interesting)

Karmashock (2415832) | about three weeks ago | (#47393271)

The big mistake the AGW people made was letting politicians control the discussion.

They allowed some politicians to use it as a weapon against other politicians which turned the issue into a partisan weapon.

Around the time you saw Al Gore pushing an inconvient truth, that was when the AGW movement shifted from being about science to being a weapon.

Seriously... Al Gore has personally done more damage to the AGW cause then anyone else in the world.

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