The American Sociological Association is Off its Rocker

Neil Snyder
On March 29th, the American Sociological Association (ASA) issued a press release titled "Study: Conservatives' Trust in Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s: Trust in Science Has Also Declined Among People Who Frequently Attend Church."  It captured a lot of attention, and on April 2nd, it was 5th on Diggs list of the most popular news items from the previous day in the "Top News in Politics" category. 

People who read and shared it think that conservatives and people of faith are Neanderthals. They also tend to be strong Obama supporters.  I refer to them in various ways: sometimes I call them Obamanistas; other times I refer to them as useful idiots or idiots for short; and sometimes I just say that they are intellectually challenged.  Actually, they may be all of those things, but that's another story. 

The problem with their thinking, or their lack of thinking to be more precise, is that conservatives and people of faith have no problem with science. However, they do object to junk science.  That's what hack scientists gin up and attempt to pass off as real science when they are trying to sell a point of view to the world that isn't supported by facts.  Global warming is the most telling current example of this, and as you would expect, the American Sociological Association's press release dealt with it:

"You can see this distrust in science among conservatives reflected in the current Republican primary campaign," said Gauchat, whose study appears in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. "When people want to define themselves as conservatives relative to moderates and liberals, you often hear them raising questions about the validity of global warming and evolution and talking about how 'intellectual elites' and scientists don't necessarily have the whole truth."

As you can see, the ASA links Republicans with conservatives and people of faith as though they were one and the same.  That's not true, but that's beside the point.  The issue here is that a highly regarded and often quoted "scientific association" feels the need to go public with a press release that distorts the facts about Republicans, people of faith, and science during a heated presidential campaign.  The leaders at the ASA must be desperate if they would stoop so low as to utilize transparent smear tactics in hopes of influencing the election.  Having said that, I spent my professional career as a university professor, and I realize that it's difficult to imagine how low people who think they are smart will go when their worldview is challenged by facts.

I used the word "smear" reluctantly, because Republicans and people of faith aren't ashamed of their beliefs.  Indeed, they know that their beliefs set them apart, and they are proud to stand up for what is right at a time when deception is the order of the day.  Even so, Obamanistas, useful idiots, and people of limited intellectual ability will delight in knowing that the ASA thinks that people who rely on facts instead of opinions are anti-science. 

With regard to global warming, the facts tell us that man-made CO2 emissions are not driving global warming.  In fact, they tell us that the globe isn't warming and that it hasn't been warming for more than a decade.  It's not a closely guarded secret.  Business Insider even ran an article telling its readers that "The Globe Is Cooling -- Here's How To Profit From It."  Someone should point these things out to the people at the ASA so they can avoid looking like a bunch of brain-dead, anti-science Neanderthals. 

I might excuse their ignorance if it were not for the fact that mountains of data prove how boneheaded their perspective is, and the facts just keep pouring in.  For example, in the last week alone, these articles were published:

Either the people at ASA don't read and are totally ignorant, or they read selectively and reject facts that don't support their cherished beliefs.  I suspect that it's some of both.  Whatever the case may be, people who know the truth shouldn't be ashamed to stand up for what they believe.  Their reluctance to take stands in the past has led to the problems that we face today in a host of areas.

More than anything else, the 2012 presidential election is about right vs. wrong, truth vs. lies, and science vs. pseudoscience.  We know where the ASA stands.  Do you know where you stand?


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.



On March 29th, the American Sociological Association (ASA) issued a press release titled "Study: Conservatives' Trust in Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s: Trust in Science Has Also Declined Among People Who Frequently Attend Church."  It captured a lot of attention, and on April 2nd, it was 5th on Diggs list of the most popular news items from the previous day in the "Top News in Politics" category. 

People who read and shared it think that conservatives and people of faith are Neanderthals. They also tend to be strong Obama supporters.  I refer to them in various ways: sometimes I call them Obamanistas; other times I refer to them as useful idiots or idiots for short; and sometimes I just say that they are intellectually challenged.  Actually, they may be all of those things, but that's another story. 

The problem with their thinking, or their lack of thinking to be more precise, is that conservatives and people of faith have no problem with science. However, they do object to junk science.  That's what hack scientists gin up and attempt to pass off as real science when they are trying to sell a point of view to the world that isn't supported by facts.  Global warming is the most telling current example of this, and as you would expect, the American Sociological Association's press release dealt with it:

"You can see this distrust in science among conservatives reflected in the current Republican primary campaign," said Gauchat, whose study appears in the April issue of the American Sociological Review. "When people want to define themselves as conservatives relative to moderates and liberals, you often hear them raising questions about the validity of global warming and evolution and talking about how 'intellectual elites' and scientists don't necessarily have the whole truth."

As you can see, the ASA links Republicans with conservatives and people of faith as though they were one and the same.  That's not true, but that's beside the point.  The issue here is that a highly regarded and often quoted "scientific association" feels the need to go public with a press release that distorts the facts about Republicans, people of faith, and science during a heated presidential campaign.  The leaders at the ASA must be desperate if they would stoop so low as to utilize transparent smear tactics in hopes of influencing the election.  Having said that, I spent my professional career as a university professor, and I realize that it's difficult to imagine how low people who think they are smart will go when their worldview is challenged by facts.

I used the word "smear" reluctantly, because Republicans and people of faith aren't ashamed of their beliefs.  Indeed, they know that their beliefs set them apart, and they are proud to stand up for what is right at a time when deception is the order of the day.  Even so, Obamanistas, useful idiots, and people of limited intellectual ability will delight in knowing that the ASA thinks that people who rely on facts instead of opinions are anti-science. 

With regard to global warming, the facts tell us that man-made CO2 emissions are not driving global warming.  In fact, they tell us that the globe isn't warming and that it hasn't been warming for more than a decade.  It's not a closely guarded secret.  Business Insider even ran an article telling its readers that "The Globe Is Cooling -- Here's How To Profit From It."  Someone should point these things out to the people at the ASA so they can avoid looking like a bunch of brain-dead, anti-science Neanderthals. 

I might excuse their ignorance if it were not for the fact that mountains of data prove how boneheaded their perspective is, and the facts just keep pouring in.  For example, in the last week alone, these articles were published:

Either the people at ASA don't read and are totally ignorant, or they read selectively and reject facts that don't support their cherished beliefs.  I suspect that it's some of both.  Whatever the case may be, people who know the truth shouldn't be ashamed to stand up for what they believe.  Their reluctance to take stands in the past has led to the problems that we face today in a host of areas.

More than anything else, the 2012 presidential election is about right vs. wrong, truth vs. lies, and science vs. pseudoscience.  We know where the ASA stands.  Do you know where you stand?


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.