Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

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Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DJ Droood » 11 Nov 2011, 01:08

http://theconversation.edu.au/why-do-pe ... s-why-4050
Why do people distrust science? Why do some of us reject consensus on a whole range of scientific findings? As Professor Stephan Lewandowsky explains, it often comes down to the way we look at the world.
Perhaps most relevant to present public debate are threats to people’s “worldviews” – the very fundamental beliefs people hold about how the world should be organised.

Worldviews come in many shades and forms, but one prominent distinction — popularised by Professor Dan Kahan at Yale University — is between people whose worldview is “hierarchical-individualistic” and those whose worldview is “egalitarian-communitarian”.

Hierarchical-individualistic people (HI from here on) believe rights, duties, goods, and offices should be distributed differentially and on the basis of people’s own decisions without collective interference or assistance.

Egalitarian-communitarian (EC) people, by contrast, believe rights and goods should be distributed more equally and society should bear partial responsibility for securing the conditions of individual flourishing.

Like all binary classifications, the distinction between HI and EC worldviews lacks nuance and oversimplifies the complexity of human worldviews. Nonetheless, the distinction is extremely powerful and permits prediction of people’s attitudes towards numerous scientific issues.

Perhaps not surprisingly, HI individuals are more likely to resist acceptance of climate science than EC individuals.

Why?

Because implicit in the message we get from climate science is the need to alter the way we currently do business. The spectre of regulation looms large, and so does the (imaginary) World Government or other interventions — such as multilateral agreements — that are anathema to the notion that individuals, not governments or societies, determine their own fate.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Explorer » 11 Nov 2011, 08:43

:bs:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DJ Droood » 11 Nov 2011, 12:43

Explorer wrote::bs:
you are obviously an HI individual.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DaRC » 11 Nov 2011, 13:16

Agree with explorer really - the article explains the problem succinctly if indirectly.

A journalist has spoken to a Professor and simplified what is (most probably) a complex theory into a binary soundbite = bs.
Perhaps part of the problem is that the media (I now hesitate to use the word news as it implies something of more value than our current 'news' is) simplifies science to sell 'news'.

So lets break this soundbite down...define 'people', 'mistrust' & 'science'.

People might not want to hear the message about climate change, there's also a whole lot of deliberate misinformation as well as huge gov't and business interests who are playing chicken with the future. It's a massively complex problem that hints at parts of human nature; demonstrated best on Easter Island around human society's unwillingness to change even when it knows it should.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 17 Nov 2011, 14:58

The premise of global warming morphed into climate change due to the same reasons: it is just not that simple and frankly false.
The earth's natural climate "reaction" to too much CO2 is to cool off. The cycle of course begins with a warming period.

Back to simplicity,
We are simply, at the end of a natural warming period, compounded by our own addition of CO2. We all perhaps have triggered the reversal of the warming trend prematurely.
So... now we have "climate change" that may well be a dive into an ice-age over the long term. This of course is yet to be seen, and by the time we know the results, we may as well bark at the moon. This all has made many skeptical of the science used to predict the weather, climate trends and opened the door to a "carry on" kind of mentality.
That is where I see the danger. Due to this oversimplification, way too many factors are being allowed to be "business as usual".

Some clearing of the minds,
We do see a kind of caution now. The facts surrounding the global warming period can't be denied. The results of global warming could be disastrous. If we indeed head into a cooling trend, we are ill equipped to deal with it. Our squandering of oil resource will leave us with skyrocketing expense for what is to come. Heating our homes and dealing with the climate change, bad weather, downed power lines, flooded towns, destroyed roads and on & on will be very difficult without oil. Farming and food production & distribution will become very expensive and in some cases impossible if in a temperate zone which becomes prohibitively cold to grow food.

So skeptics gain a hold on the minds of people, as the science comes under fire for predicting the wrong trend, having to re-name it all and admit it is a crap shoot what is to come. The only certain thing is we are all way to dependant on easy fuels like oil. And the overpopulation caused by this easy fuel making sprawling suburbs and problems like Japan and China are dealing with now, will soon if not already force a serious need for change due to starvation, famine, and all of those four horseman kind of problems.

I don't think we reject science. We all however are wary of who thinks what and why...
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Bart » 17 Nov 2011, 20:44

Science, by definition, is uncertain. Each "proof" is only as good as the next test. Quotin Einstein won't help, he refused a number of theories because he could not believe them: God does not play dice, to name one.

Strong evidence does not make solid proof. There are fluctuations in the temperature of the earth and have not reached the same height as we once knew with cars. On the other hand living in tune with nature doesn't hurt. But the Amzone rainforest produces more greenhouse gas than any other human fenomenon, shall we cut it?

Living in tune with nature, also means we should not becom prepostourous and think we solely define what happes on earth. We can only do our small bit and maybe the cockroaches will do the rest.

Science does not need defending, it was never intended for the masses.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 17 Nov 2011, 21:11

The social aspect,
It appears that the majority is in the middle, not any kind of black & white polarized thing as this article implies. No regulation is chemistry for disaster. Too much regulation is slavery bound. A comprehensive Republic is the goal, compromised by ever evolving needs and goals. More would like a solution than not.

The subject of climate change isn't a defining theory when it comes to rejection or acceptance of science. It is a revealing distrust issue when science is politically gerrymandered to achieve political goals like "cap & spend" that is the seed for disaster as the rich simply pay to pollute and the problem ends up lining political pockets and not doing anything to stop the problem when manufacturing goes overseas to pollute even worse than before.

Any progress toward stopping global warming was abated by the large grants going to whoever would produce a scientific study to meet the goals of political greed.
We now have a compounded problem with virtual currency based on the very thing that creates the problems we need to stop. Feeding a fire will not put it out.

Making each country self dependant and culpable for it's own problems would be nice, however we are all past that ability due to overpopulation. The land cannot provide.
Though science brought us out of the dark ages, it appears to be heading us into an age of poverty we may never imagine.....yet..
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DJ Droood » 17 Nov 2011, 23:03

Bart wrote:Science does not need defending, it was never intended for the masses.
If something is not useful to the hoi polloi, it simply is not useful.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Bart » 18 Nov 2011, 14:59

I was not saying it is not usefull. I am saying that not everybody needs to understand. I have no clue how an engine works, exactly. I still find it usefull when I want to get somewhere.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DJ Droood » 18 Nov 2011, 16:45

Bart wrote:I was not saying it is not usefull. I am saying that not everybody needs to understand. I have no clue how an engine works, exactly. I still find it usefull when I want to get somewhere.
ahh...I see...yea, my understanding of most things is dodgy, but that never stops me from turning things on...thanks, scientists and engineers!
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DaRC » 21 Nov 2011, 13:13

Or as I say to the kids Science that you don't understand is Magic :D It's glory and a wonder |-)

How many people understand the interaction of TCP/IP, SSL, server load balancing, failover, session state etc... required for all those internet based services they use?
So to the majority it's magic (although they don't like it being called that because they're a cynical bunch who think that magic is just superstition).
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 21 Nov 2011, 14:32

Try explaining the balance of lambda, closed loop fuel injection and how an oxygen sensor works to allow the palladium in the catalytic converter to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. Or how a dwell signal makes a fuel injector meter fuel, or how a piezoelectric sensor and a computer manages ignition timing to stop pre-ignition. Or how Nox emissions is controlled by exhaust gas recirculation.

All of this is going on every time you drive your car, yet very few could tell you how it all works. This all is important to emissions and directly affects global warming and the resulting climate change :wink:
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Al Hakim » 26 Nov 2011, 22:11

Well, most people have noticed the contradiction in what so-called scientists say. Be it the warming of the Earth or other subjects. As for the climate: It's the greenhouse effect caused by cars and industry, says one fraction whilest others point at the finding that a warming up period had occurred every 10,000 or more years. So it is nature. Remember the last pandemic. Epidemiologists predicted an end-of world-scenario but the swine flu turned out to be harmless. Would you trust such scientists? I am always wondering how to become an expert on TV.
On the other hand there is no discussion about the iPad or other modern tools. That is accepted science.
In my opinion any scientist who claims that he can ignore the public is an arrogant idiot. Science must serve common knowledge but should not be content to just be.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by DJ Droood » 26 Nov 2011, 22:33

Al Hakim wrote: It's the greenhouse effect caused by cars and industry, says one fraction whilest others point at the finding that a warming up period had occurred every 10,000 or more years.
I'm with the 84% "fraction" that believes it is caused by humans.
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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Bart » 27 Nov 2011, 19:56

If science should only serve the common goal, we would only invent the next frying oil. Science with a specific goal not so clear to the commons, will provide a lot of progress. Space travel gave enough practical solutions, but did not serve the common good (per se).

If you think cars polute the earth, you should look into the energy consumption of Google. This website is contributing to the burning of fossil fuels.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 29 Nov 2011, 16:13

It is pretty well accepted that: over the last 100 years, humans have caused a 1 degree increase in earth temperature.
This becomes a bit confused when we see that the normal fluctuation caused by ocean currents, other factors and all far over-shadow the small increase caused by humans. People look at the reality of climate change, see how small our contribution is and think "so what?" :shrug:

What does a .01% difference in the over-all normal cycles of climate change do? After pouring over all of the data, pro and con, I tend to say..... not very much.
The trouble I DO see is different... That is "how the normal earth cycles react to CO2" This is where my own findings differ from that of the "Global warming" people.

Aside from burning O2 at an alarming rate (something totally ignored by all of this) and leaving us with depleted atmosphere gases, what we may well be doing is creating a perfect storm. 1 degree of warming will become far from a concern if the earth reacts to an overly rich amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Rather than global warming, we may well trigger a small or even large ice-age. Humans could adapt to a warmer climate fairly well. Humans would not adapt well to a colder climate. I think this kind of science is far down the road, so-to-speak, and will really on the scientists getting over this first "climate gate".

It all remains to be seen, and frankly will be long past our own life-time.
Trouble is, by then, oil to heat homes will be long gone history also...

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 29 Nov 2011, 16:28

Science must serve common knowledge but should not be content to just be.
Like a lot of things, science is either in or out of context. Part of the problem is making a case for change.
In the mean time we need science to produce the needed changes to stop pollution. The target for global warming was found to be making a case for "cap and spend".
That unfortunately resulted in creating worse problems. Rather than comply with EPA regulation, cap and spend caused USA business to simply go elsewhere and pollute even more!

Politics and science mix as well as oil & water.

The challenge as i see it to science is to make non-polluting methods far less expensive, much more practice if not even free and effective.
Trouble with humans is they are LAZY, self serving, often ignorant to their own destructive habits and insist on overpopulating, as a whole.
Working to achieve goals has been replaced with an oil driven environment that promotes bad human habits. (This kind of fits into DJ's article more)

The two issues as I see them (overpopulation and peak oil) are like burning a candle at both ends, when it comes to what our earth can provide.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Muddy Fox » 29 Nov 2011, 18:04

Humans have a tendency to be lazy and self-serving but there are some humans around that are genuinely concerned and others who are overwhelmed and at a loss as to what course of action to take. A lot of people seem to have the mindset that any effort on their part, ie seeking different forms of transport or work will not make any difference to climate change now, so don't bother. And then I suppose everyone just gets tired and caught up in life, trying to survive from one day to the next, particularly in this climate of unemployment and debt. And when you are on a tight budget, life choices are limited in every area,plus you may be dealing with stress and depression.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Al Hakim » 29 Nov 2011, 19:43

I share your opinion of human laziness. On the other hand there is hope as many of the big trusts are considering "sustainable development" nowadays. The driving force behind is the globalization I think because old-fashioned producers are not competitive in the international business any longer. But it will need two or more generations until sustainable awareness will have reached the minds of the people in the street from top down. That might be a chance of the individual: To start sort of a revolution bottom-up.

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Re: Why do some people reject science? Here’s why …

Post by Merlyn » 30 Nov 2011, 15:34

First: "Oil & water"
http://www.npr.org/2011/11/30/142895926 ... m-politics
On Wednesday, Ruch's group is testing some of the government's new protections by filing a complaint with the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year, it was the first government agency to set up a new system for protecting science.
Ruch's complaint alleges that federal officials with the Bureau of Land Management hired researchers to do a major review of all the different environmental impacts on a half-dozen regions in the Western U. S., but directed the scientists to exclude livestock grazing from the analysis.
Government officials said they didn't include livestock grazing in the review because they didn't have the appropriate data. But Ruch doesn't buy it. He says livestock grazing on public land is a touchy subject because any restrictions would affect ranchers.
The problems range from who gets grant money, all the way to what is allowed to be reported. The politics of gerrymandering science is nothing new. It reminds us of the dark ages all too much and yes, even the alarmist science, done to bring all eyes to the news.

Second: "Lazy"
As Muddy Fox and Al Hakim take note: so much is being done to stop scientific progress it is staggering. We all know the technology for alternative fuels and methods of transportation have been around for decades, yet no grant money is given to further these goals and if anything is given a possible chance and runs into problems it is smeared all over the news as a scam. The resulting Lazy attitude is hard to avoid when we all know very well what is going on between big buisness and politics. I find we all feel like giving up when we know full well the big oil industries will lord over all, at least until they have squandered every drop of oil and more....

Overpopulation is a by-product of the oil-age. Industrial revolution driven, our conquest of the earth and what would never have been possible is all driven by oil and without oil the ability to provide food for the existing population would be impossible.

It would require a complete redistribution of farms, food transport and more to even begin to deal with what we face now. If science does not provide a real solution very soon, then hard work is the only answer. Kind of going back to the early days, small town and locavore methods.

So in keeping with the A or B type thinking, It is really not just a choice by the person, as much as it is forced on us to say "Yes we know global warming is a fact, but so what?" Mostly because we all know full well we fail to make politics work from the ground up. That is in many ways our own fault. Yes there are many who are hard working, driving forces for the good. But we (1%) and they are far too few compared to the vast LAZY majority... Do they call it 99%?

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