Skip to comments.It's not science I don't trust - it's the scientists
Posted on 08/24/2018 2:02:42 AM PDT by cartan
Everyone knows the real reason people like Donald Trump are sceptical of climate change is that conservatives are fundamentally anti-science. Some doubt science because it conflicts with their religious beliefs; others because its implications might mean radically shifting the global economy in an anti-growth or heavily statist direction, which goes against their free-market ideology; others because, being conservative, they are prisoners of their dogmatism, need closure and fear uncertainty. I hear this all the time from lefties on social media. And there seems to be some evidence to support it.
At least there is if you believe studies like The Republican War on Science (Mooney, 2005), Politicization of Science in the Public Sphere (Gauchat, 2012), and Not for all the tea in China! Political Ideology and the Avoidance of Dissonance-Arousing Situations (Nam et al, 2013).
But theres a wrinkle here and you may have guessed what it is. The world of social science is overwhelmingly left-wing: so heavily agenda-driven, so rife with confirmation bias and skewed methodology that almost inevitably its studies will show conservatives as blinkered and dim, and lefties as open-minded and clever regardless of the evidence.
Lest you think this is my own bias showing, another recent study confirmed it: a survey of 479 sociology professors found that only 4 per cent identified as conservative or libertarian, while 83 per cent identified as liberal or left-radical. In another survey of psychologists this time only 6 per cent identified as conservative overall.
Just occasionally, though, a more balanced study does slip through the net like the one just published by a team from Oxford University. The study by Nathan Cofnas et al Does Activism in the Social Sciences Explain Conservatives Distrust of Scientists? pours scorn on the idea that conservatives are any more anti-science than lefties. Its not science they distrust so much as scientists especially ones in more nebulous, activism-driven fields like ecology or sociology. As Cofnas told Campus Reform, a site that exposes left-wing bias at universities: Conservatives are right to be sceptical. Take any politicised issue that is connected to some disagreement about scientific fact. I do not believe there is a single case in the last couple of decades where a major scientific organisation took a position that went against the platform of the Democratic party. He added: What an odd coincidence that science always, without exception, supports the liberal worldview.
Wait, though. While Margaret Thatcher said the facts of life are conservative, how can we be sure that the facts of science dont naturally swing left? This is what left-wing scientists seem to believe. But as Cofnas shows, in order to reach that conclusion, they have to torture the data till it screams. Or even just make it up.
In 2014, a paper was published in Science called When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality. This demonstrated that instinctively homophobic, buttoned-up conservatives were more likely to become liberal on meeting a gay man. Their study showed that a 20-minute conversation with a gay canvasser increased their acceptance of same-sex marriage nine months later. Great! Except as two graduate students subsequently demonstrated, no study was ever conducted. To the chagrin of the social scientists who had welcomed this paper and its heartwarming message, it had to be retracted.
Where are the peer-reviewers who are supposed to vet these things? Well, it turns out theyre generally willing to give a free pass to any thesis that accords with the liberal narrative. For example, over the course of more than a decade, Diederik Stapel published dozens of sensational papers on such topics as how easily Whites or men can be prompted to discriminate against Blacks or women. When exposed as a fraud, Stapel explained that he was merely giving social scientists what they were waiting for.
Stapel probably had a point. If research supports a liberal shibboleth say, the notion that violence is a learned behaviour rather than innate then it will be given huge prominence. In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics testified to Congress that more than 3,500 studies had investigated the link between exposure to media violence and actual violent behaviour. This was a lie. Even those few studies fewer than 1,000 that purported to find a causal link often did so on the flimsiest of evidence. For example, one established the elevated aggression caused by watching an exciting film by asking a child whether he would pop a balloon if one were present.
If the evidence doesnt accord with the correct woke narrative then right-thinking social scientists tailor it till it does. This is what happened to a 2007 study showing racially diverse communities are more suspicious, withdrawn, ungenerous, fractured and fractious. Such an incendiary refutation of the well-known truth that diversity is strength could not go unedited. So it didnt. Publication was delayed until the author could develop proposals to compensate for the negative effects of diversity. To publish the facts on their own would be irresponsible.
Eventually, the author published it with a disquisition on how increasing diversity would lead to significant benefits in the medium or long term. This accords with contact theory a notion popular among social scientists (see also the imaginary encounter with the gay canvasser, above) that the more were physically exposed to diversity the more well learn to love it. And if the hard evidence speaks otherwise, well never mind. You can just do what the author of that diversity report does: every time some unhelpful conservative type cites it to back up their argument that diversity causes social problems, he accuses them of selectively citing his findings because theyve ignored the bit at the end where he explains that diversity will be good one day.
At the outset, “social science” isn’t really science in any meaningful sense. It’s not even a ‘soft” science.
For Progressives, Marxist Communists, and Socialists, ‘science’ is the revelation of Ultimate Questions regarding the origin of cosmos, life, man, and all else. This is why Marxist Communism was described as scientific socialism. It’s their religious worldview.
Some people are logical decision makers and say Ill believe it if In see it. Some people are emotional decision makers and can only see it if they believe it.
This is why love is blind. People who are in love with themselves are blind to their faults!!!
Liberals love science when they can use it, distort it, or just conjure I up out of nothing. Their whole peer review process is nothing more than assumed consent amongst likeminded people. Its the truly technical studies that make this more difficult because liberals dont like contravening findings that put their near religious social scientific belief structures to the test.
The scientist community relies on federal funding, they drank the cool aide the rats and their criminal agenda were offering or the unemployment line,
Physics and math fit the Bible very well. No conflict for me.
>>Its not science they distrust so much as scientists especially ones in more nebulous, activism-driven fields like ecology or sociology.
Jerry Pournelle called these the Voodoo Sciences many years ago, and was quite dismissive of them, and for good reasons.
The first part of the above was written in 1988, so the issues with so-called Science in these areas have been known for a few decades.
They blinded me with science.
It’s not science. It’s institutional Lysenkoism.
As others have already pointed out, sociology is not science. Its publications are rampant with descriptions of studies that exist only to confirm pre-conceived biases.
Sociology could provide important insights into the roots of various societal trends and so forth, but that is not what it is used for. Its practioners use it to prove utopian ideas that any person with a rudimentary understanding of human behavior and economics would recognize as unworkable and destructive.
>>The scientist community relies on federal funding, they drank the cool aide the rats and their criminal agenda were offering or the unemployment line,<<
Deep State Federal “climate change” funding comes with a conclusion for “researchers” to confirm.
The funding scientific methodology: draw your lines, then plot your points.
“cIt’s not science I don’t trust - it’s the scientists”
Such as the National Marine Fisheries Service “scientists” that fraudulently concocted millions of pounds of red snapper landings that never happened but was used to collapse the southeaster stock in their computer. This fraudulent data was used as a basis for a total closure of the fishery many years ago and it remains closed today.
This information was presented to Congress in a Fisheries Sub Committee Hearing...NOTHING has been done about it.
The ocean is brimming with red snapper and our fishermen can’t touch them...however you can buy all the Vietnamese Catfish you can eat (BASA).
The mistake is equating sociology with any form of “science”.
My ideas are so good that have to be true.
It would be a waste of time and money to do the research to prove my theory.
It will be cheaper just to write up the results the way I know that they will turn out.
Richard Feynman had a hierarchy of the sciences (and one non-science):
Physics is applied mathematics.
Chemistry is applied physics.
Biology is applied chemistry.
Psychology is a bunch of witch doctors.
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