Science attitudes affected by age, race, gender

This is no surprise, however, the attitudes of people about science do make a big political difference.

I suggest it is no age race gender, but attitude about risk and level of knowledge about how things work.

Ignorance breeds fear–no surprise–regardless of age, gender, sex, an informed and knowledgable person is less likely to be anxious/fearful.

In modern life political and media informational factors lean to emphasizing risk in order to achieve control or influence. People who are easily scared (the first rule of practical politics) swayed, gullible, are often just plain ignorant.

The result is a group of people whose profile and attitudes make them desirous of state protection and dependency, leery of anything that creates an uncertainty, danger, or risk.

When you look this over, note that the Nat Geo writer said nothing of the underlying basis for many of these differences, risk aversiveness and attraction to the precautionary principle.

That’ to go hand in hand with perceptions of risk based on differences in anxiety/fear thresholds, and life experiences with risk.

Ignorance is the most important factor in determining gender/race/age attitudes about political/scientific/social issues and factors.

For example the persistent attraction of young females to socialism/statism and the tendency of older males to be less anxious about risk and less likely to approve of statist dependency policies are not going to go away.

All that aside, I don’t trust Pew polling–they are pregnant with socialist attitudes. Polling questions and methods are used too often to prove a case and the internals and methods are often evidence of confirmation bias and tunnel vision.


3 responses to “Science attitudes affected by age, race, gender

  1. If this had actually been a study about how people feel about science, I would be more impressed. This was a study about how people feel about some socio-political issues that sound vaguely scientific.

    However, as an aside, I find it interesting that almost nothing that I learned in science classes as I was growing up, actually turned out to be correct. It was only the hard science of chemistry that stood the test of time. I think it would be more useful to teach the scientific method, all the way up through high school, with a smattering of natural philosophy (such as the soft sciences of astrophysics or historical geology). Perhaps, then, people would at least start understanding the difference between science and public opinion.

  2. Janice:

    Great point: ‘..I find it interesting that almost nothing that I learned in science classes as I was growing up, actually turned out to be correct.”

    That’s another reason why it is idiotic when the global warming people, the White house, the media et al lecture us that the “science is settled”. Science is supposed to be alive and constantly learning.

    So even if their “science” appeared to be right today (which it isn’t), new discoveries can and will change their “science” in the near future.

  3. IMHO I think that the huge difference that is now manifesting itself is that in my day (70 years ago) we were encouraged to have common sense in respect of all things (not just science). This is an aspect that is just so noticeably missing in todays society – ask a kid how the latest cell phone works – no problem – ask that same kid anything about the world at large and ‘Duh’

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