Does anyone else see a contradiction here?

Apr 17 2009 Published by under Religion in Politics, Science and Politics

According to Matt Nisbet, the third ethical imperative when framing science is accuracy. Accuracy is important, he argues, because those who fail to accurately convey what's known about a subject risk losing the trust of their audience.

Also according to Matt Nisbet, a new Pew survey shows that Evangelicals are "little different from [the] rest of [the] public" when it comes to acceptance of manmade climate change. Evangelicals are 13% less likely to accept that humans are causing global warming as the population as a whole, no other group is less likely to accept manmade warming than they are, and the next lowest group is 5% more likely to accept what's happening than Evangelicals are. Evangelicals are also 10% more likely to believe that there's no warming taking place than the rest of the public, 9% more likely to believe that there's no warming than the next highest group, and there's no group where a larger percentage reject warming. Apparently, the phrase "little different" has a much broader meaning than I thought it did when it's used "accurately".

7 responses so far

  • Rev Matt says:

    To be fair, Nisbet means the third ethical imperative for *people other than him* is accuracy. He has yet to see any need to apply his own standards to himself.

  • Sam C says:

    Rev Matt:

    [Nisbet] has yet to see any need to apply his own standards to himself.

    You will be framed in hell for this blasphemy which defiles of the purity of Nisbetry!

    All words written by The Blessed Nisbet are correct... but they are not necessarily in the correct order. Yay framing!!

  • Badger3k says:

    You forget that this is all "framing". As long as he has his frame in place, it doesn't matter what actually happens. Isn't part of framing the ability, nay, the requirement, to rewrite the meanings of words so that your frame is always correct?

  • When I first read this I thought that you might be being too harsh on Nisbet here. The comparison he is using as the baseline is that there is a 50% difference between college educated Democrats and college educated Republicans. In that context these differences don't look as incredibly large.
    However, the data as a whole does support your point. An additional glaring issue is that if we compare white evangelical Protestants and general unaffiliated Americans, the difference in percentage who accept anthropogenic global warming is 24%. There's no way to not look at this data and not conclude that religion is playing a substantial role.

  • abb3w says:

    This implicitly presumes that groups are capable of accurately understanding what has been accurately conveyed.

  • OmegaMom says:

    Hear, hear. I read that, and looked at the chart he posted, and I kept trying to figure out how a 24 percentage point difference was "little different". I didn't catch that he was talking about a subset of the results shown in the chart. Which is just another aspect of framing: If you're going to discuss something in your article/post to support something you're saying, maybe it would be a good idea to illustrate it with a chart that shows the data *you* are looking at?

  • llewelly says:

    More evidence that Nisbet's sort of 'framing' is actually spin.