“About two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) say science has had a mostly positive effect on society”

"28% say it has had an equal mix of positive and negative effects and just 7% say it has had a mostly negative effect" - Pew

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I wish they had made an effort to break the numbers down by religious identity. Pew's idea of "evangelical" would be overly broad, but it would still have been interesting to see how "evangelicals" view science vs other groups or everyone else.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

I think the spread of numbers has more to do with the original title of the source article: "When Americans think about science, what do they have in mind?"

When it comes to science as gaining knowledge through hypothesis and experimentation, that idea is pretty much universally positive.  There are exceptions of course, like knowledge gained through unethical experimentation on humans, some of which is even harmful or fatal, but we tend to think of knowledge as a good thing.  Scripture makes that point as well (although wisdom is even more desirable in scripture, and wisdom helps us know what experimentation is ethical and useful, and it also helps us to know what to do with the results).

However when "the science" means a narrative rather than facts, you are going to find plenty of opposition to that, and rightly so.  Right now, pretty much every time the word "science" is used by someone on the left, my first impression is to have a negative view of it, because it's fairly obvious from the context that they are not talking about gaining knowledge, but rather pushing a pre-determined position.  When the use of that word indicates the actual meaning of science, than that is different altogether.

Dave Barnhart

dgszweda's picture

dcbii wrote:

but rather pushing a pre-determined position. 

This is both on the left, right and center.  The reason that conservatives or Christians have a concern with the left's narrative is that it is in conflict with their narrative.  It has less to do with the fact that a narrative is being pushed.  The right likes to push a narrative as well.  The challenge with science is that in practically all cases it needs a narrative.  This is sometimes in the form of a hypothesis, sometimes in the interpretation of results, sometimes it is framing the results with what is seen.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

dgszweda wrote:

This is both on the left, right and center.

I grant you that narratives come from all sides.  However, due to the prevalence of left-leaning positions amongst the corporate media, I hear much more of that, at least today.

In past years, I heard a lot of narrative from the radical anti-vaxxers, many of whom could be extremely conservative, and I distrusted their use of the word "science" as well.

To be honest, with all the slanting done in nearly all mainstream media today, my default position has become to distrust, and only trust after a lot of reading/research/corroboration.

Dave Barnhart

dgszweda's picture

dcbii wrote:

However, due to the prevalence of left-leaning positions amongst the corporate media, I hear much more of that, at least today.

I would contend that the right is now mainstream media.  The largest and most successful media organizations are predominately right leaning, including alternative sites such as podcasts and online news organizations.  Organizations such as Fox have eclipsed organizations such as CNN.