Balance, not Bluster: Free market ideology is anti-science

Research from the University of Western Australia sheds light on the irrationality of extremism, typified by the far right of the Republican party in the U.S.

The data is from a survey called  NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science. While the study finds support for crank magnetism (if you believe in one anti-science theory, you believe in others), it found an even greater correlation with free market ideology where believers rejected science from humans causing climate change to smoking causing lung cancer and HIV causing AIDS.

Science Blogs has excellent commentary at More data on why people reject science.

The survey unfortunately doesn’t break down free market ideology.  The free market is a proven part of modern economics.  But it’s just one cog in a strong and healthy civilization. A strict belief that elevates the free market at the expense of the other pillars of society is a fundamental part of what caused the global recession and the breakdown of the middle class in the U.S.

Of course if you are one such believer you’ll reject this piece of science as well.  Please continue on to the next blog on fairies, unicorns, little green men, the drug war, universal forces that take an interest in your personal affairs, and  the salvation (i.e. continuing destruction) of America through greed and anarchy.

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2 Responses to “Balance, not Bluster: Free market ideology is anti-science”


  1. 1 Rob Quartel September 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Just as a counterpoint, leftist extremists and others among the gullible believe everything that LOOKS like science — for example, that “organic food” is “better” for you. On that point, reference this week’s news on that topic: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/04/science/earth/study-questions-advantages-of-organic-meat-and-produce.html.

    There is an endless list of pseudo-scientific beliefs across the political spectrum.

    On “global warming,” the issue isn’t about the science, it’s about the conclusions. Is it caused or accelerated by humans, is it a blip in time (the data series aren’t really so great), etc? That’s why its advocates changed the name to “climate change,” which embodies something most people think they’re seeing.

  2. 2 Marc Freedman September 11, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Rob,

    I didn’t realize healthy eating was confined to leftist extremists.

    The organic article is a poor counter-case. To start, the research says there ARE benefits to organic food, such as certain chemicals and limited pesticides.

    Next, it’s what you do and say AFTER you know the science that counts. In the article you DON’T see people refuting the science.

    Lastly, the research claims are narrow. They’re limited to two aspects (nutrition and bacterial contamination were equivalent for organic and non-organic food.) Organic supporters say that that’s just a small part of the overall issue of how food is grown and consumed.

    99% of scientists believe humans have significantly impacted global warning.

    I reject the generality and false equivalency in your statement “There is an endless list of pseudo-scientific beliefs across the political spectrum.” Just because that’s true for one group or side doesn’t make is so for others.


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