Americans Like Science — and Scientists

22 07 2009

Well, thank goodness! (or should we thank god for making it so?)

Cock of the snook to the Global Ethics Center for this summary of the new Pew poll.

Read even more about it here.

[S]cience and scientists are viewed positively by those who differ over evolution, global warming and other contentious issues.

On the question of evolution, for instance, 78% of those who say that humans and other living things have evolved over time because of natural selection and other natural processes say that scientists contribute a lot to the well-being of society. Those who say humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time express a less positive view of scientists; nonetheless, 63% of them say scientists have contributed a great deal to society.

Pew poll graphic July 2009

Pew poll graphic July 2009

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5 responses

22 07 2009
Daryl Cobranchi

They may respect scientists but they have little knowledge of and regard for the product of scientific activities.

22 07 2009
COD

Along the same vein…
http://abstrusegoose.com/62

23 07 2009
Luke Holzmann

I’m guessing it’s largely due to the context in which they hear the word “scientists.” I think the same is probably true for other labels, like, “Christian”…

For those who find evolution to be a foundational truth for life, then “scientists” are the good guys, revealing the deepest truths about life.

For those who see evolution as the lie against the nature of reality, then “scientists” are the bad guys, destroying society.

But the setup question biases the–largely unrelated–actual question: How much do scientists contribute to society?

They’ve contributed a lot. Many of them have been strong Christians who found the nature of God something on which to base scientific inquiry. And many other scientists have been non-religious, but their incredible work into how things interact have lead to tremendous advancements in society.

How much have Christians contributed to society?

A lot. But if your answer is prefaced with: “How many psycho Christians do you know?”… I’m guessing the answers would vary .

Just a thought…

~Luke

24 07 2009
NanceConfer

Indeed, answers may vary. Some answers are based in fact and some in political manipulation, for instance. Like this — http://www.centerforinquiry.net/opp/news/senate_minority_report_on_global_warming_not_credible/

Nance

24 07 2009
JJ

And there’s just plain stupid, too. Sarah Palin’s anti-science example, which is literally know-nothing or even anti-knowing (did we all know that sci- means knowledge? A new (Christian) parent blog I’ve just added to Snook’s roll, defines it as “knowledge sought [scita] and knowledge that must be sought to make sound decisions [scienda]”):

As Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin prepares for the next stage of her political career, a majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of her, and there is broad public doubt about her leadership skills and understanding of complex issues, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

. . .57 percent of Americans say she does not understand complex issues, while 37 percent think she does, a nine-percentage-point drop from a poll conducted in September just before her debate with now-Vice President Biden. The biggest decline on the question came among Republicans, nearly four in 10 of whom now say she does not understand complex issues. That figure is 70 percent among Democrats and 58 percent among independents.

“She just, to me, lacks substance and dedication,” poll respondent Barbara Jamison, 59, a data-entry worker at a publishing company

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