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  1. #11
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Lateralus - interesting points. I do tend to agree with most of it, the only real exception being the statement about people not being capable of scientifically studying something that they care about. I do think that it is more difficult than optimal, but it can be done - especially over a longer term (as the interviewer mentions).

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Try talking to the green wing of the democrats about nuclear energy.
    That's a good example. As is the discussion over genetically modified foods. As are, of course, climate change and evolution on the other side (too bad nuclear energy is almost certainly the best short-term practical solution to controlling climate change - lose-lose, there). Unfortunately, tribalism is alive and well, and a large part of our decisions are often influenced by, if not controlled by, our participation and identification in social groups, and pumping those groups up via positive feedback. Anyone can come to do and say truly stupid things when they get caught up in that.

    The process of science is probably the best thing we have right now to try and cut through some of the mistakes that worldview gives us... but for most people, in most situations, there just isn't a surplus of time, effort, and personal vulnerability to bring that to the forefront. Huddling with a social group is comfortable, easy, and seldom entails as much personal risk as even *trying* to see things objectively.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Everyone will deny science when what science is saying is inconvenient to your worldview. That's why science isn't a belief, it's a practice.
    I think this is a wise view...being open-minded to new data/conflicting data always has to be sifted through the mind and weighed against what is known and accepted by each individual. I think we are all capable of this bias in the field of science as well as other personal beliefs, just as Lateralus stated above so eloquently.

    I was unable to view the video due to some error message but am interested in this debate. This thread ties into another current one that discusses people's resistance to facts.
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  3. #13
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I don't think conservatives deny science. I think non representative enclaves within the GOP electorate are focused on by the media to further the narrative that all conservatives deny science.
    @DiscoBiscuit -- the words you are looking for are "stereotyping" and "bigotry".
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  4. #14
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    Yeah the retardation goes both ways but for different reasons.

    Religious people ignore science that conflicts with their beliefs, for example creationism
    Lefties ignore science that conflicts with their beliefs, for example egalitarianism

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by grey_beard View Post
    @DiscoBiscuit -- the words you are looking for are "stereotyping" and "bigotry".
    Sorry I don't play the victim.

  6. #16
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    After viewing the video I found the graph presented was very interesting in that liberals' support of science remained equal to that of conservatives until the '90s. At that time, conservatives showed a steady decline in believing science while liberals went up slightly. The reverse is true in Japan where liberals are more skeptical of science than conservatives.

    I can understand the skepticism of studying in a field when there is some emotional attachment to the topic or outcome of the study. The importance of peer review cannot be stressed enough and the process of "constructive disagreement" as discussed in the video. This is extremely important when looking at solving the world's problems in the future...we truly have to be open to all solutions.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

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  7. #17
    The Typing Tabby grey_beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Sorry I don't play the victim.
    @DiscoBiscuit -- yah, neither do I, but I do enjoy pointing out hypocrisy on the left. A little bit of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals pointed back at the left "make the enemy live up to his own standards..." and all that.
    Best wishes.
    "Love never needs time. But friendship always needs time. More and more and more time, up to long past midnight." -- The Crime of Captain Gahagan

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  8. #18
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    Interesting video. One of the reasons why some people may be skeptical of science, or rather the conclusions that various scientific studies claim as absolute truth, is a lack of consistency. It's not uncommon to read about studies that directly contradict the results from other studies, which calls into question the integrity and motives of those conducting the research. The scientific community is in a constant state of evolution as it gains new information and discards previous "facts" which the consensus believed to be true. Theories are too often touted as fact. I think people on both sides of the political spectrum doubt the competence of the scientific community more than the study of science, itself.

  9. #19
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think it's a product of extremism. It's part of being human. We're all capable of denying truths that challenge what we believe. It's most obvious (in the US) when conservatives do it, a little less obvious when liberal "extremists" do it, but we're all capable of it. I don't think this should be dismissed as something only extremists, or those "other people", experience.

    That said, this is something I really try to avoid, personally. See my signature I've had for the last year or two.
    This is also true, I was speaking in terms of politics. I try and strive for the same thing, but I am not perfect at it (it's rather stressful). Though I do see it as those who lean to the extreme of anything are more likely to be prone to this.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet View Post
    Interesting video. One of the reasons why some people may be skeptical of science, or rather the conclusions that various scientific studies claim as absolute truth, is a lack of consistency. It's not uncommon to read about studies that directly contradict the results from other studies, which calls into question the integrity and motives of those conducting the research. The scientific community is in a constant state of evolution as it gains new information and discards previous "facts" which the consensus believed to be true. Theories are too often touted as fact.
    The scientific community is not to blame for the what you call "lack of consistency", but rather sensationalist and/or misguided pop-science literature - i.e. the people who are supposed to translate the language in scientific papers into something understandable to a layman. Good (in the eyes of the scientific community) scientists never proclaim their findings as Absolute Truths or facts because doing so would directly contradict the scientific method at the core of modern science.
    You mentioned it yourself: The community is in a constant state of evolution. No fact or conclusion is final, questions are always asked with nothing taken for granted, and controversy and discussion of competing ideas are seen as a sign of good science. The community understands this; that scientific knowledge is never absolute. Rather, it represents the consensus of a critical and vigilant community of scholars. It is this idea of consensus which is often confused with Absolute Truth by laymen, and which pop-science literature doesn't put any effort into clearing up because it would be bad for business. By wilfully leaving their readers in the dark on this point, and giving equal voice to the consensus-side and its antithesis, thereby forging a false balance either out of a misguided journalistic principle of fairness or desire for commercial success, they make the scientific community appear much more prone to changes in consensus than it actually is.

    I think people on both sides of the political spectrum doubt the competence of the scientific community more than the study of science, itself.
    And those people only doubt when the results go against their views. External parties should stop trying to paint the natural sciences with their ideological crap. The community is most competent at what it does, and the work of pseudoscientific mouthbreathing ideologues will be found wanting once weighed by their impartial colleagues.
    Politicians should in general stop playing scientists and follow the scientific consensus since it BY DESIGN will be the best answer given current our current understanding of the world.

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