Connie Servatif wakes up to her phone alarm, a sound created by a compact and intricate set of circuitry running precisely modulated electrical currents through a magnet to cause vibrations. It is powered by an electrical cell to produce a specifically crafted jingle that Connie used the phone’s touch screen interface to select. It is her day off.
Connie sits up, reaches over to her night stand, and grabs a water bottle and pill box which are both made of plastic that came from a meticulous petroleum refinement process to create reliable, practical containers. She takes the pills, which were created through very precise chemistry to address her medical issues that were detected using centuries of knowledge and modern medical equipment.
She puts on a robe and goes down stairs to make coffee. The coffee machine runs a precise electrical current through a heating element which, thanks to the laws of resistance, will reliably heat the water as a small electric pump forces the hot water to rain down on the coffee grounds where it will absorb properties of those grounds, pass through a filter that is designed to allow water but no grounds to escape, and into her “Trump 2024” coffee mug.
She texts her friends she will be meeting with today on that same phone which takes her English text message, translates it into a digital code that is transmitted on a specific frequency to a cell tower that uses a complex system to relay that signal, using a complicated array of electronics, through a network that follows a precise cypher to deliver that message to her friend’s exact phone.
She gets her things together, gets in her car, and turns a key in the ignition which closes a circuit to send just the right amplitude of electricity to the starter motor that turns the engine as a mathematically correct fuel to air mixture is sprayed into a cylinder and ignited at just the right timing by a spark plug to create a series of small, controlled explosions that then sustain the operation of the engine so that she can drive to a particular location.
Upon arrival, she gets her gear out of the car then uses the key fob to send a precisely coded signal to the car which then electronically locks itself, securing her personal effects inside.
She gets to the curb where her friends and others are protesting vaccines and holds up her sign that says, “I Have Faithe in God, NOT Sience!“.
At no point in time does the irony of that sign occur to her because she does not realize that she has already placed her ‘faith’ in science a dozen times, at least, before the clock strikes noon.
If you’re a non-conservative, this is all too familiar. By now you’ve probably heard many conservatives refer to science the same way they talk about religion. A few examples that might ring a bell:
“You believe in the religion of Al Gore!”
“If Fauci told you to wear a butt-plug all day, you would!”
“Your blind faith in vaccines…”
“You believe what you’re told without question.”
“You’re acolytes of Al Gore!”
Pretty ‘on the nose’, aren’t they? That’s for a reason. It’s already obvious that the vast majority of conservatives can’t tell the difference between faith in religion and faith in science. The ‘why’ has a pretty solid explanation. ‘Faith’ is about believing in something even if you cannot see, hear, feel, or understand it. Science requires no ‘faith’ at all. It simply is. Science is the meticulous study of reality. It is about the pursuit of understanding reality, but conservatives simply can’t grasp that. The very plain reason for this is revealed by many studies that have consistently found that conservatives are “Low Effort Thinkers“.
One applicable quote that I’ve been saying for decades is, “We expect of others what we expect of ourselves”. Most conservatives cannot understand science, so they can only presume that no one else really does either. At that point, they see others’ belief in science as the same adherence to authority that they perceive in religion. Looking at some of the above quotes, you may notice that they look at belief in science as adherence to authority. That ‘low-effort thought’ thing? That is part of why conservatives seem so much more tribal than non-conservatives; it’s simpler and easier to just ‘line up’ behind a tribal leader and believe all the same things your tribe believes than it is to put in the intellectual rigor of actually learning how things work. Of course this isn’t ALL conservatives, but they are overwhelmingly anti-science as they can only perceive science as another ‘ineffable faith’ that is in competition with their own. This is all because ‘science’ is just as mysterious to them as religion is.
I’ve explained how this works before. Basically, modern conservatives are, by and large, evolutionary throw-backs from a time when fear and the constant assumption of threat was a very important survival trait. Back then, it wasn’t as important to know what stars were made of as it was to know when to run or fight. Curiosity was a liability, and contemplation of complex things didn’t put ‘food on the family’. For millions of years it was FAR more important to be able to instantly recognize (or assume) threats, identify ‘friends or foes’, and simply ‘do what had to be done’. Overthinking anything was just plain dangerous much of the time because hesitation could be deadly. The problem with this is that people with that type of neural architecture cannot handle complexity. They can only perceive the world in exclusive dichotomies. Everything is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. People are either ‘with us’ or ‘against us’. Because of this, it is almost impossible for most conservatives to understand that science and religion are not as mutually opposed as Donald Trump and monogamy have always been.
fMRI Scans have demonstrated that conservatives tend to have low-functioning anterior cingulate cortices and high-functioning lower right amygdalae. The ACC is responsible for reconciling complexity. The amygdala is about dealing with fear, the fight or flight response, and literally ‘shutting out’ extraneous or ‘uncomfortable’ information. It plays a strong role in the way conservatives see the world in black and white. So because science does not support all of their beliefs and narratives, it must therefore be inimical to their beliefs and to their very sense of identity. Science is their ‘enemy’ because their beliefs are based on a tribal narrative rather than objective reality. When we put this all together, we find that they have a simple inability to understand how science works, and because science conflicts with their ‘faith’, it must therefore be ‘just another type of faith’. In their busted logic; to believe in something implies ‘faith’, so because people ‘believe in’ science, it must therefore be another ‘faith’.
Whenever I hear someone say, “I have faith in God, not science!” I like to tell them, “I’ll believe that when you jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet with a Bible instead of a parachute.”