Saturday, March 31, 2012

Conservative distrust of science

It is interesting to see that the general public had a pretty good, ca .5, relationship with science around the time Apollo ended. I bet if you went back to the 50's and 60's, the numbers would be even better. When you stop exploring in a way that is visible to the public, they will no longer grow up loving science.

"An analysis of 36 years' worth of polling data indicates that confidence in science as an institution has steadily declined among Americans who consider themselves conservatives, while confidence levels have been at steadier levels for other ideological groups.

The study, published in the April issue of the American Sociological Review, provides fresh ammunition for those who complain that conservative views on issues such as climate change are at odds with the scientific consensus."


It is clear that, as a republican candidate, you simply cannot run for president without denying some form of established science. Just ask Sarah the 'cuda Palin who ridiculed important research (shrimp on a treadmill or fruit-flies iirc) or worse, McCain who called a world-class planetarium "an overhead projector."

McCain's planetarium problem

One would be hard-pressed to find a more dangerous thing than embracing ignorance as a virtue. It happened in the middle east about 800 years ago. Baghdad was once the center of learning and knowledge, and the largest city in the world, but that all changed with the increase of a sect of Islam that did not accept science and math. That is, after revolutionizing math, astronomy, optics, etc., the golden age of Islam died quite abruptly. The crusades and mongols did not help either... And centuries later, the middle east has yet to recover completely! Let us not make the same mistake.

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