Shock Study: Teaching Conservatives About Science Removes Their Liberal Leanings
Copied from John Livingston by 
@ottobattista
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Shock Study: Teaching Conservatives About Science Removes Their Liberal Leanings

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Copied from John Livingston by 
@ottobattista
| North America North America

This kind of news drives the liberals crazy. I find it delightful…

Liberals are perplexed. They have discovered that facts rarely change peoples’ minds. They’ve discovered that just “explaining science to people,” particularly the “science” of manmade “global warming” doesn’t make people believe in manmade global warming.

But worse than that, their plan to “educate” Conservatives on the dangers of manmade global warming has the reverse effect: it changes their belief that climate change poses great risk to human health.

And now they’re trying to figure out how to persuade people to convert to their side if the “facts” don’t do it.

WORLDVIEWS INTERPRET FACTS

The problem is this: there is no such thing as a “bare fact.” There are no brute facts in the universe. All facts are connected to every other fact. Facts are interpreted in terms of a person’s worldview.

This means that facts can tell different stories to different people. And as a series of studies over the last few years has revealed, it gets really bad for liberals the more people actually learn about science. This Slate article gets to the heart of the problem:

If the deficit model were correct, Kahan reasoned, then people with increased scientific literacy, regardless of worldview, should agree with scientists that climate change poses a serious risk to humanity.

That’s not what he found. Instead, Kahan found that increased scientific literacy actually had a small negative effect: The conservative-leaning respondents who knew the most about science thought climate change posed the least risk. Scientific literacy, it seemed, increased polarization.

In a later study, Kahan added a twist: He asked respondents what climate scientists believed. Respondents who knew more about science generally, regardless of political leaning, were better able to identify the scientific consensus—in other words, the polarization disappeared. Yet, when the same people were asked for their own opinions about climate change, the polarization returned. It showed that even when people understand the scientific consensus, they may not accept it.

The takeaway is clear: Increasing science literacy alone won’t change minds. In fact, well-meaning attempts by scientists to inform the public might even backfire. Presenting facts that conflict with an individual’s worldview, it turns out, can cause people to dig in further. Psychologists, aptly, dubbed this the “backfire effect.”

They think teaching Conservatives about science makes them recoil against the “truth” of climate change and the scientific “consensus.” But maybe, instead, as they become more informed of the science, they actually apply their reasoning skills and decide that the science doesn’t support the liberal hysteria.

POLITICAL DIVISION, BUT THEOLOGICAL UNITY

The country is politically divided. Half vote Democrat, half vote Republican. But only a tiny percentage of the population is liberal.

Everybody has a worldview, and all worldviews are religious. They are informed by fundamental presuppositions that are untestable by science. Science itself rests upon certain unprovable beliefs. Science can’t test science and prove it’s reliable — that’s a logical fallacy we call circular reasoning. Science, for one, rests upon the faith that the universe is going to behave pretty much the same tomorrow as it has today, yesterday, and the indefinite past.

But what proof do we have that that’s the case? None. It’s pure faith, regardless of your religion. The question becomes, what’s the basis of your faith?

The first component of every worldview is a person’s belief about God. Does God exist? What are his attributes? How powerful is he? Can we know him? How?

The Darwinian worldview believes in no god. Random forces got us to where we are today. Now that people showed up on the scene and developed, incredibly enough, the ability to reason and think, we need to take control of the universe and subdue nature through science.

Which, funny enough, is a predictable set of rules that’s founded upon the randomness of nature. It’s rationalism founded upon irrationalism.

Anyway.

What do the majority of Americans believe about God? That’ll determine what they tend to believe about the nature of the universe and just how fragile our environment is. Is our environment here to serve us out of God’s design, or is it capable of wiping us from the face of history if we mistreat it?

LITTLE FAITH IN SCIENTIFIC ESTABLISHMENT

The General Social Survey (GSS) says that 50% of Americans have “only some” confidence in the scientific community. This has trended up ever so slightly from 48% since the 1970s. Contrast this with the number of people who have “a great deal” of confidence in the scientific community. It’s at 40% in 2016, and has generally been trending down from the mid-40s since the 1970s.

This tells us that there hasn’t been much change in Americans’ attitudes toward the scientific community since the 1970s. If anything, their confidence has been slightly eroded in the generation since. What hasn’t changed is this: 60% of the country has less than a great deal of confidence in the scientific community. Most Americans don’t trust it.

That’s because “science” is a methodology. The “scientific community” is a group of people. And people are subject to bias, even though the methodology isn’t supposed to be.

LOTS OF FAITH IN GOD

The General Social Survey reveals some interesting results. A USA Today article points out that more people trust the scientific community than they do organized religion. That’s true, trust in organized religion is down since the 1970s. But what percentage of respondents is confident enough to say they don’t believe in God at all?

Four percent. That’s tiny.

What about the percentage of people who “Know God exists” and have “no doubts”?

Fifty-six percent. This is down from about 60% since the mid-1970s, but the truth remains as follows: most Americans have no doubt God exists. Hardly any believe he does not exist at all. Everybody else is floating between don’t know (0%) and believe, but with doubts (16%).

NOT A BOOK OF FABLES?

What about the Bible? Only 22% of people consider it a “Book of Fables.” About 75% of people believe it possesses some amount of divine character.

And life after death? Seventy-three percent say “Yes.” This contradicts Darwinism, its materialistic worldview, and atheistic science, all of which says there is no such thing as “spirit,” only matter.

This all spells bad news for liberals. They are a tiny percentage of the population. They believe that humans are the greatest intelligence. A majority of people think there is a higher intelligence.

The more liberals educate people about science — people who probably believe in God and think the Bible has some degree of inspiration — the less the people fear global warming.

Keep it up, I say.

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