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Does anybody trust science any more?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Apr 16, 2012

According to a study done at the University of North Carolina, trust in science—or at least in scientists—among American conservatives is waning fast. In 1978, 48 percent of conservatives said they had “a great deal of trust” in the scientific community. But two years ago, only 35 percent of conservatives expressed such a high degree of trust.

Side Notes: Trust in the scientific community is lowest among well-educated conservatives. In addition, the number of people who self-identify as conservatives has grown steadily over the last four years, from 37 to 41 percent. Oh, and trust in the scientific community is also apparently inversely proportional to the frequency of church attendance.

The bigger story, I think, is that trust in the scientific community among liberals remained steady at about 47 percent. From which we learn two things: First, a majority of Americans do not have “a great deal of trust” in the scientific community. Second, as we have long suspected, liberals never really change. Perhaps this is because, statistically-speaking and in comparison with conservatives, they so seldom go to church.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Apr. 16, 2012 11:23 PM ET USA

    This really isn't about trusting Science; more about trusting opinions of scientific interpretation of reality. The difficulty is most of us are not properly trained in all of the different disciplines to recognize where good theory stops and interpretation begins. The sad part is the use of something good to promote their own agenda. Space is too short here for specific examples. No, the problem is not science but rather the hearts of too many practicing the scientific method.