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People reject science because...

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You'd be forgiven for thinking science is under attack. Climate science has been challenged by deniers and sceptics, vaccination rates are falling thanks to anti-vaccination movements, and GM crops are pillaged by anti-GM activists. But what determines why people take these positions?

...

It's all a conspiracy

Our study examined another factor repeatedly implicated in science denial – conspiratorial thinking.

Indeed, our study found that rejection of all the science areas studied—GM, vaccinations, and climate science—was associated with conspiracy theories. The extent of this association differed between areas. It was modest for GM food and climate science, but rather substantial for vaccinations.

Why is there an association between science rejection and conspiracy theories? Conspiratorial thinking in science denial may serve two distinct roles.

First, a conspiracy may help dismiss findings that are inconvenient or threatening for other reasons. For example, the tobacco industry has referred to medical research on the health effects of smoking as "a vertically integrated, highly concentrated, oligopolistic cartel."

The invention of a conspiracy can also explain away a scientific consensus—as in the case of climate change. If a person cannot accept that researchers independently converged on the same, evidence-based view, then a conspiracy among researchers provides an alternative explanation.

Conspiracies are also antithetical to scientific reasoning. While consistency is a hallmark of science, conspiracy theorists often subscribe to contradictory beliefs at the same time – for example, that MI6 killed Princess Diana, and that she also faked her own death.

While science relies on evidence to guide theory – including revision where necessary – conspiracies reinterpret data to match theories.

And while science considers all available data to develop hypotheses, conspiracy theorists dismiss evidence that supports the "official" account, instead relying on small pieces of anomalous data.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news...cience.html#jCp

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IMO, science is often rejected because people don't really understand the scientific method. Science seems threatening to such people, it conflicts with their worldview, they don't like the way this makes them feel...so they reject science in favour of conspiracy or faith based reasoning.

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IMO, science is often rejected because people don't really understand the scientific method. Science seems threatening to such people, it conflicts with their worldview, they don't like the way this makes them feel...so they reject science in favour of conspiracy or faith based reasoning.

I'm not really sure about that. For me it has to do with a number of things, one of them being the difference scientists themself speak about. For instance Scientist A says chocolate is bad for you and in the next moment Scientist B says its good for you. I know its an easy minded example but it counts for other things aswell.

When groups of scientists go against each others oppinions in ways like public media etc, it can easily confuse people and no one knows what to beleive anymore. Apart from the fact that in some science so much stuff is simply overlooked or not taken into concideration. I found that science to some people is kind of like a religion. They have a set mind on how things are/work yet when evidence shows up that could dis-proof their view it gets swept under the rock.

Those are the kind of things that turn me off of science. I'm sure some facts are correct, but its just not worth the hassle around it.

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Vaccinations aren't science.

My BS is in SCIENCE.

I know what TRUE science is.

Vaccinations USE science to make a lot of money at the expense of others.

It a type of science, as is thermo nuclear combustion.

So what.

This article does nothing more than to try to claim people who do not buy their lies about vaccines, Gmos and their other poisons, aren't intelligent enough to understand.

Nice try, but FAIL.

Most of us understand science just fine, it's why we know and understand to NOT USE THEM OR BE FORCE TO TAKE THEM.

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Too much information traffic going on in science. They could use a Frank Merton or two to make things more simple, not more Mikko-kuns. And people hold on to their bias too strongly, blind eye is turned too easily even if you give something that ought to warrant them to think again. There was a time when I used to think that no matter what your opinion was, most people would be interested in knowing the truth. But the more I spend time in forums, the less it seems to be so for a decent number of people. They may be interested in finding the truth, but their terms of finding it... are one-eyed. So my opinion is, a lot of people aren't really interested in finding out the truth even if they could convince themselves they are, on the surface.

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I'm not really sure about that. For me it has to do with a number of things, one of them being the difference scientists themself speak about. For instance Scientist A says chocolate is bad for you and in the next moment Scientist B says its good for you. I know its an easy minded example but it counts for other things aswell.

When groups of scientists go against each others oppinions in ways like public media etc, it can easily confuse people and no one knows what to beleive anymore. Apart from the fact that in some science so much stuff is simply overlooked or not taken into concideration. I found that science to some people is kind of like a religion. They have a set mind on how things are/work yet when evidence shows up that could dis-proof their view it gets swept under the rock.

Those are the kind of things that turn me off of science. I'm sure some facts are correct, but its just not worth the hassle around it.

Science is all about correcting itself. when new data arrives it has the right to be published. Even if it contradicts with earlier data.

Also, lets take this chocolate example. Both scientists may have a point that chocolate is bad for certain types of ppl...while the other scientist is also correct when saying it might be good for other types of ppl.

It all falls in line with what Lilly says, that these conspiracy theorists and alike just don't understand the depth of science. And use the first thing they don't understand as an excuse that all science is wrong and should be categorized as a "religion".

I couldn't type the word religion with a straight face btw...always makes me chuckle when ppl say that.

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Vaccinations aren't science.

My BS is in SCIENCE.

I know what TRUE science is.

Vaccinations USE science to make a lot of money at the expense of others.

It a type of science, as is thermo nuclear combustion.

So what.

This article does nothing more than to try to claim people who do not buy their lies about vaccines, Gmos and their other poisons, aren't intelligent enough to understand.

Nice try, but FAIL.

Most of us understand science just fine, it's why we know and understand to NOT USE THEM OR BE FORCE TO TAKE THEM.

Yes Simbi, this article is part of the conspiracy as well...they are all trying to bamboozle everyone. I was fairly certain you were gonna conclude that. Science backed me up with statistics and psychology on that one.

Funny how you immediately feel this is directed at you. And funny how you completely prove this article to be true. Even more funny that you don't even realise it.

Nice try Simbi, but FAIL.

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Vaccinations aren't science.

My BS is in SCIENCE.

I know what TRUE science is.

Vaccinations USE science to make a lot of money at the expense of others.

It a type of science, as is thermo nuclear combustion.

So what.

This article does nothing more than to try to claim people who do not buy their lies about vaccines, Gmos and their other poisons, aren't intelligent enough to understand.

Nice try, but FAIL.

Most of us understand science just fine, it's why we know and understand to NOT USE THEM OR BE FORCE TO TAKE THEM.

Interesting enough that seems to be the same audience you target with your medical quackery.
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Posted (edited)

To add another perspective:

Maybe it's not that people REJECT science, but rather, people are SKEPTICAL of science because of the constant disagreement among scientists and researchers. From the beginning of modern science and industry there have been some very public feuds among the participants.

Edited by simplybill
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People reject science for a couple of reasons.

First, scientists have historically done a p*** poor job of promoting understanding of their work.

Second. It's easy to cast doubt on science with just a couple of unsubstantiated claims. eg, "vaccines cause autism", "how do you get something from nothing?", "If the world's heating up, why have we just had the worst winter in x years?", etc....

To rebut each of these statements involves getting people to understand the complex data sets that lead scientists to their conclusions. Say any of the above statements and people will listen and understand it. Try to give a full response and you'll lose the majority after the first couple of sentences.

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I question the whole title of the thread. Science isn't really something you reject?

You can reject certain theories or studies I don't think that really counts as rejecting science.

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Vaccinations aren't science.

My BS is in SCIENCE.

I know what TRUE science is.

Vaccinations USE science to make a lot of money at the expense of others.

It a type of science, as is thermo nuclear combustion.

So what.

This article does nothing more than to try to claim people who do not buy their lies about vaccines, Gmos and their other poisons, aren't intelligent enough to understand.

Nice try, but FAIL.

Most of us understand science just fine, it's why we know and understand to NOT USE THEM OR BE FORCE TO TAKE THEM.

Yes, those vaccinations are ever so dastardly. They're only out to steal our money. Are you actually serious? In what branch of science did you receive your BS? Because as far as I'm aware there's no BS in just "Science." The science of what?

Those dastardly vaccinations! How dare they keep most of the Western world virtually free of old-time common killers like polio, diphtheria, measles, pertussis, and smallpox (to name but a few). All of these diseases are still prevalent in under-developed countries, which is why we're all well advised to get vaccinated before traveling there. Diseases such as cholera and tuberculosis are still commonly encountered in the Third World—and migrants from the Third World often bring diseases like tuberculosis with them when they settle in the West. So, clearly, the need to bring these vaccinations to the Third World is paramount.

Any argument attempting to state that vaccinations have had no effect or have no benefit in the world, is simply not a well-informed argument. Science can back this up.

Look at the differences in the ancient world as compared to today. Adults in ancient times usually did not live much past their middle thirties. At least thirty percent of all children died before the age of five. Approximately twenty percent of pregnancies ended in spontaneous miscarriage. Children were especially susceptible to such diseases because their underdeveloped immune systems couldn't fight them off. Today the average child in the West will live at least into his or her eighties, so I'd say the differences are patently obvious. The same benefit must be provided to children in Third World countries.

I will admit I do not understand religions in the West in which vaccinations are against doctrine and are not administered to children. I do not understand it, but as an American I understand freedom of religion and the rights that entails, however misguided the extremes might be at times. However, I cannot understand and will never accept the parents who have these benefits available to their children but refuse to take advantage of them merely because they believe in some socio-economic "conspiracy." To me this definitely borders on criminal—not only to the neglect of their children, but in the manner their infected children go on to infect other innocent children.

LOL Obviously this is an issue that gets me going.

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Vaccinations aren't science.

My BS is in SCIENCE.

I know what TRUE science is.

Oh, we all know how much BS you have.

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My personal problem with the scientific establishment in general isn't that I don't understand the scientific process, or even the subject matter, it's that I understand people. People are jacked up, greedy,petty, selfish, greedy, jealous, angry, greedy,self righteous creatures. Adding degrees to one's name doesn't change human nature.

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To add another perspective:

Maybe it's not that people REJECT science, but rather, people are SKEPTICAL of science because of the constant disagreement among scientists and researchers. From the beginning of modern science and industry there have been some very public feuds among the participants.

Again: That is because science accepts the fact that more data can change things. It is not a religion that says "it's this way until eternity".

But again: This falls in line with what Lilly mentioned about ppl not understanding what it is all about.

And again: This falls in line with what the article states:

And while science considers all available data to develop hypotheses, conspiracy theorists dismiss evidence that supports the "official" account, instead relying on small pieces of anomalous data.

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My personal problem with the scientific establishment in general isn't that I don't understand the scientific process, or even the subject matter, it's that I understand people. People are jacked up, greedy,petty, selfish, greedy, jealous, angry, greedy,self righteous creatures. Adding degrees to one's name doesn't change human nature.

That's why there is something called Peer Reviews.

And that is why you have discussions with fellow scientists about things.

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I must say, the phrase used in that article, "Climate science has been challenged by deniers and sceptics," does sound rather like the kind of thing that Science does often seem to do, to take the attitude that They are Right, and anyone who isn't completely convinced and does question their Holy Writ is a heretic. This attitude might be one of the reasons why people are sometimes suspicious of what scientists tell them, even in areas where (such as Vaccination) the benefits seem to immeasurably outweigh whatever the theoretical risks may be. I'm afraid that to some extent, they only have themselves to blame through this attitude of what seems at times to be arrogance.

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Experts in some subject tend to be right on issues pertaining to that subject far more than outsiders who don't know what the Hell it's about but persuade themselves they do.

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I must say, the phrase used in that article, "Climate science has been challenged by deniers and sceptics," does sound rather like the kind of thing that Science does often seem to do, to take the attitude that They are Right, and anyone who isn't completely convinced and does question their Holy Writ is a heretic. This attitude might be one of the reasons why people are sometimes suspicious of what scientists tell them, even in areas where (such as Vaccination) the benefits seem to immeasurably outweigh whatever the theoretical risks may be. I'm afraid that to some extent, they only have themselves to blame through this attitude of what seems at times to be arrogance.

See, that's the real issue here.

Some ppl seem to believe that their personal feelings matter when a fact is published. Like it's a personal insult or something.

It's like saying that a scientist tells you 1+1= 2 and you go "well ... that's what you want me to think isn't it? "

They don't care about what you want to think or not, it doesn't change reality.

They are not out to influence ppl to do something that has no basis. How could they ? Because they are so easily proven wrong in the scientific community then. They simply study things and publish findings and if those findings are proven consistent they are called facts. And it doesn't matter if you want to believe it or not, they are facts.

if you don't understand 1+1=2, it really does not matter because it doesn't change the fact that it is 2.

It only causes extreme annoyance...

It's good to question things sure...again that is why there is something called Peer Reviews. And that's why you have teams that work on a certain subject in science.

Methods of studying a subject aren't just made up on the spot by one person...that have stood the test of time and are not dependant on an individual.

Edited by Render
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That's why there is something called Peer Reviews.

And that is why you have discussions with fellow scientists about things.

That however would be against human nature,assuming there was data which didn't fit the intended goal of course. Unless i guess if those fellow scientists were funded by the same people funding you it'd be ok.

Not including the shady people (ALOT) you of course have the perpetual struggle with confirmation bias which albeit unintentional still must be taken into consideration when measuring the weight of a study.

Edited by Farmer77

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A scientist knows that suppression of data that runs counter to one's view is futile, and one is better off by far being the one to find it.

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A scientist knows that suppression of data that runs counter to one's view is futile, and one is better off by far being the one to find it.

Unless one's paycheck depends on one not finding it. Then the risk of exposure becomes a worry for future days, hell the media makes it seem like most scientific studies have competing or at least contradicting studies done immediately or relatively soon after the original anyways. People will convince themselves that anything is worth doing when faced with the choice between the promise of a nice career within the company or hitting unemployment.

This isn't an indictment on the scientific community as a whole but lets be honest, the people in EVERY career field that advance the farthest are the ones who are willing to bend their principles the most. Why should science be any different?

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Unless one's paycheck depends on one not finding it. Then the risk of exposure becomes a worry for future days, hell the media makes it seem like most scientific studies have competing or at least contradicting studies done immediately or relatively soon after the original anyways. People will convince themselves that anything is worth doing when faced with the choice between the promise of a nice career within the company or hitting unemployment.

This isn't an indictment on the scientific community as a whole but lets be honest, the people in EVERY career field that advance the farthest are the ones who are willing to bend their principles the most. Why should science be any different?

It doesnt change the facts and the science if there is a person trying to make a carreer for himself by basing it on false conclusions.

Those conclusions are ultimately overwritten with the truth.

Science doesn't depend on individuals, it just is or is not.

You can pay one guy to turn a blind eye to results of studies, but results coming after that and peer reviews will highlight what is wrong.

So there can be one study that says for example "copper ingestion is good for your eyes"

but then there will be 100 studies that prove it is not, and actual scientists realise this

so it would be pretty pointless to publish results full of lies for a quick buck, because after that he can kiss his career and credibility goodbye

Edited by Render
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Unless one's paycheck depends on one not finding it. Then the risk of exposure becomes a worry for future days, hell the media makes it seem like most scientific studies have competing or at least contradicting studies done immediately or relatively soon after the original anyways. People will convince themselves that anything is worth doing when faced with the choice between the promise of a nice career within the company or hitting unemployment.

This isn't an indictment on the scientific community as a whole but lets be honest, the people in EVERY career field that advance the farthest are the ones who are willing to bend their principles the most. Why should science be any different?

Anyone who has ever done contract research knows what you say is just not what happens. One does not risk one's career and future prospects and whole education and future like that.
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You should think for a bit where the scientists get their money from. And how do the scientists gain publicity in the first place. Remember the article about the I think it was chinese math guru whose thesis/theory had gone largely unnoticed for years, I think it was two decades, and then someone with connections suddenly realises there's really something to what this guy says. The guy was working on a fast food joint because he didn't have any jobs available for him in his field of career.

I probably shouldn't say this, but since I ain't telling any names... I've been offered to have my high school grades "rechecked" by certain influental individual in science community here. And the case of cocaine mummies where the science community couldn't bring itself to accept that mummies of the past were high on coke and other stuff that shouldn't had existed in our large continent europe-africa-asia, except maybe in very small region but there I think they had a different variety which didn't match. Still, the vehement rejection of the results was really something, and the results were double-checked a lot by different peers. And it's common knowledge that big corporations with agendas of their own, I'd guess just plain money-making, fund a lot of those researches. And from what I heard about people who are connected to scientific community, both people in these forums and outside, how your peers and seniors accept you is just as important as making a good thesis.

It's not easy to convince myself that the sceptics of this forum are right and the rest are ignorant or liars. Nobody, nobody can know what happens behind the scenes in all the little scientific communities, unless there's some large surveillance network which has a lot of people recording all the rumors and checking emails and phone calls and alike, and a lot of snitches... sorry, undercover people, infiltrated on all the smaller communities. You can pay people under the table and not have at least half of it show in any noticeable way that they'd gotten it from you spesifically, and rumors are just rumors, and different opinions can easily be labeled as sore jealous voices who aren't worth hearing out. It's not hard, even if you're not in Russia.

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