Why Conservatives and Republicans Sometimes Question Science
By Brad Fregger (1/24/2017)

The main problem, of course, is as a progressive, the author of the Atlantic article just doesn’t understand the Conservative/Republican mindset, that there are times when a scientific hypothesis has not reached a level of scientific proof that would allow it to be used for making organizational or government policy. As long as there is reasonable opposition to the hypothesis, additional research is needed to test both the hypothesis and the opposition; if any reasonable doubt remains, policy should be put on the back burner.

In addition, Democrats/liberals/progressives all tend to march in the same parade. They don’t understand that people can identify themselves as a Republican or conservative and yet see the world from an entirely different point of view. The article also mentions AGW (human-caused catastrophic global warming) as another issue where Republicans disagree with the currently accepted “scientific” understanding. I’m going to explain why the “republican” response to both of these issues is so confusing to those on the left.

First, the Republican/conservative world is extremely broad, including those at one end of the spectrum that believe in the Bible literally and those on the other end who have no belief in any God at all. This breadth of belief is one of the main reasons that many true conservatives refuse to admit that they are conservatives, because they don’t want to associate themselves with the religious conservative (RC).

The conservative mindset is very easy to explain. We agree on three basic principles: Personal Responsibility, Limited Government, and Lower Taxes. In addition, we believe that the closer government is to the individual, the better the decisions. This, of course, is an off branch of the Limited Government principle, as is the belief that the Federal Government’s impact on our lives should be limited to those spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. After these basic principles, especially in regard to major social issues, Republicans and conservatives are all over the playing field. There are those that believe that marijuana is the devil’s weed and others who believe that adults should be able to partake of anything they desire as long as they aren’t forcing it on others; likewise, those that believe that abortion is murder and those that believe that it’s the woman’s choice; etc. Trying to dump us all into one boiling pot of water, just doesn’t work.

So … how does this relate to a belief in evolution or catastrophic global warming (AGW)? To understand this you need to understand that conservatives, especially the modern conservative (MC) is fiercely independent and won’t accept what’s told them just because the teller happens to have certain academic degrees or a boatload of experience. The MC wants proof and wants it from true scientists who follow the proper processes, freely admit when they are wrong, and are honestly excited when a new discovery turns the consensus upside down.

Both the RC and MC have developed a suspicion of science and scientists, but for very different reasons. The RC doesn’t really understand that science is ever evolving, sometimes catastrophically. That today’s truth is inevitably tomorrow’s joke. This is the process of science, to prove that what used to be believed is now wrong and, therefore, our understanding of how the universe works has been enhanced. Since this is not well understood by the RC, they begin to wonder if science will ever get it right. Of course, the answer to this question is that science will never get it right, because that’s the whole idea.

The MC understands this clearly, but has grown suspicious of science and scientists because they suspect that many of today’s scientists have also forgotten that the objective of science is to discover the truth, which means that scientists must challenge the consensus. If it becomes a scientific sin to challenge the consensus, that makes science and scientists no better than the priests of old, the priests of the inquisition, or the priests of the Incas, sacrificing virgins to appeal to the Gods so that rains may fall and crops my grow.

Getting back to evolution and AGW it should become obvious why both the RC and MC would tend to have doubts about either. The RC believes that God is in charge and that man does not have the power or capability to destroy the planet, either on purpose or by accident. There is no doubt in their minds that God is in charge of climate change, not humanity. In the same way, God is also in charge of creation, including the creation of species, and the most conservative of the RCs believe that the universe was created 8,000 years ago and that human beings were created then and we have not changed since.

However, while the MC is not convinced that AGW is a significant factor in climate change or that the Theory of Evolution explains how new species are created. Our concern is with the science not the religion. We have observed how “climate scientists” have often ignored the scientific process; have changed data and ways of measuring data; have changed the rules in order to justify the errors apparent in their hypotheses. We have seen how much we have learned about how the human body works in just the past few decades while the human body has been observed and researched by millions of scientists over hundreds of years and yet new discoveries that turn our understanding 180 degrees continue to happen. Regardless, many “climate scientists” insist that they understand fully how climate works and that only fools refuse to accept their expertise and advice.

The Theory of Evolution is even more solidly entrenched, yet many MCs don’t accept that it explains the origin of new species. Darwin himself made it very clear that all his theory explained was how species adapt to changing environments. From reading his papers it seems obvious that he hoped that someday the role evolution played in the creation of new species would be shown; but he knew that he had not shown that to be true.

However, science became enamored with his theory and initially tried to use it to explain the way the entire universe worked. This included the physical universe and it wasn’t until the 1980s and 90s that it became clear that catastrophe change was a much bigger factor in regard to the physical universe. This left the theory of evolution to the life sciences and they grabbed ahold of it like an octopus grabs a crayfish and refuses to let go. The vast majority of scientists refused to let go of the Theory of Evolution as the process of the creation of new species, even though they have not been able to discover, in over 150 years, a single instance where evolution played a role in this process.

The MC knows that a process is involved, but is not convinced that evolution is the process that drives creation. We believe that the truth about the creation of new species has yet to be discovered and we are unwilling to go with the “scientific consensus” in regard to this matter. In fact, we strongly believe that it hampers scientific discovery to make this assumption and, even worse, to malign those that are honestly searching for the truth; regardless whether that involves a search for a Universal Consciousness (God) driven process or a “natural” process. The objective must be to explore all alternatives; that is the true scientific process.

This is my understanding of why so many Republicans and conservatives doubt that AGW is a significant force for climate change and that evolution is the process that drives the creation of new species.

If the questions asked in these surveys were more clearly stated, these differences might have a chance of being discovered. However, I’m not sure any pollster is really interested in discovering the truth; it is very possible that their specific agenda is much more important, that Republicans and conservatives are anti-science and need to be silenced.


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