How Conservatives Lost Faith in Science
New research shows that people who self-identify as conservative distrust science as an institution. Is it because our culture has changed or because their brains are wired that way?
What's the Latest Development?
A new analysis of polling data taken over 36 years reveals that Americans who self-identify as conservative distrust science more now than anytime since 1974. Sociologists explain the results by saying our political and scientific culture has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Conservatives, for whatever reason, have come to define themselves against the grain of 'intellectual elitism'. At the same time, our national scientific agenda has moved from beating the Soviets to the moon to concerns over global warming and evolution, implying business and education regulations at odds with conservative ideology.
What's the Big Idea?
To what degree do we choose our political viewpoints and to what degree are they determined by our biology? The 2005 book "The Republican War on Science" claimed that conservatives demonstrate brain patterns linked with traits like 'fixity of belief' and 'a desire to have certainty'. The author was careful to point out, however, that traits given to us by nature are merely predispositions and that our surrounding environment determines the final expression of our genes. Because the conservative shift in opinion vis-a-vis science has occurred so rapidly, it suggests nurture is more to blame than nature.
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You can say 'no' to things, and you should. Do it like this.
- Give yourself permission to say "no" to things. Saying yes to everything is a fast way to burn out.
- Learn to say no in a way that keeps the door of opportunity open: No should never be a one-word answer. Say "No, but I could do this instead," or, "No, but let me connect you to someone who can help."
- If you really want to say yes but can't manage another commitment, try qualifiers like "yes, if," or "yes, after."
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
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