A scientist on why churchgoers might be much less trustful of science than decades ago
|April 5, 2012||Posted by News under Culture, News, Science|
As a member of the scientific community, and a conservative Christian, perhaps I can add some insight into why churchgoers might be much less trustful of “science” than decades ago. I have all the qualifications usually claimed as proof of credibility: a Ph.D. (in physics), a consistent record of government-funded research for more than a decade, and an extensive list of peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.
Yet my scientific credentials have been called into question several times. Why? Because, according to the paper, “conservatives are far more likely to doubt scientific theories of origins,” and, “In 2010, only a third of conservatives believed that global warming is occurring.” To be skeptical of these things is, according to the paper, “anti-science.”
Here’s the sort of attitude among scientists that really cheeses him off:
Mike Hulme, a professor of climate change, explains, “The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved. … It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change … to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic, and personal projects over the decades to come.”
So, at least for Hulme—who in addition to his influential work with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a high-ranking professor at the University of East Anglia (of Climategate emails fame)—global warming “science” is not essentially about science but politics. Then science becomes not about seeking to understand and control our world, but about activism and controlling our neighbors.
Hmmm. The scientist as intrusive social worker … it’s a long way from Eureka!, and not exactly a winning or exciting image.