Friday, January 10, 2020

Which racial groups think science does more harm than good?

While I am not a science worshipper, I do think it offers answers to many of our problems, at least eventually. Unfortunately, science doesn't happen magically. It requires very talented people and a society with the means and culture to support scientific work. 

Americans vary a great deal in their attitudes toward science. The General Social Survey (GSS) asked participants the following: "How much do you agree or disagree that, overall, modern science does more harm than good?" Answers ranged from "strongly agree" (1) to "strongly disagree" (5), so higher scores indicate greater belief in science. Here are the means by ethnic group (sample size = 6,226; I included religious affiliation as well):


Mean belief that science is good

Finnish  4.16
Jewish  4.08
Russian  3.99
Japanese  3.95
Lithuanian  3.87
Hungarian  3.86  
Buddhist  3.84
Austrian  3.83
Greek  3.83
English/Welsh  3.82
Danish  3.81
Scottish  3.81
Swedish  3.80
Norwegian  3.78
No religion 3.78
Italian  3.76
Irish  3.72
French  3.71
Hindu  3.67
Orthodox Christian  3.65
German  3.64
Swiss  3.64
Asian Indian  3.61
Dutch  3.61
Spanish  3.61

Total Sample  3.60

Muslim  3.60
Catholic  3.59
Chinese  3.53
Arab  3.50
Immigrants  3.37
Mexican  3.26
Black  3.20
American Indian  3.00
West Indian  2.82

The pattern is clear: whites groups have much more faith in science than non-whites. Japanese Americans, a smart, successful group, are an exception.  Among whites, Finns and Eastern/Central Europeans tend to be the most positive about science. Among religions, Jews come out on top. The gap between Finns at number one and West Indians on the bottom is well over one standard deviation--a very large difference. 

I included immigrants as a group: they are toward the bottom of the list. If we want to have a country fully in support of science, our immigration trends are counterproductive. 

It looks like some of the explanation for the pattern we see is IQ, but I wouldn't be surprised if non-whites have a tendency to see science as an evil white thing. Think Tuskegee. It's BS, but this might help explain negative attitudes. 

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Hi Ron,
    Great post
    I was wondering if you did a followup on Hispanic IQs via the Wordsum. Since it has been 8 years since Ron Unz did his Race and IQ paper, I wondered if anything changed in the interim.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's my latest: https://inductivist.blogspot.com/2019/01/data-negative-flynn-effect-among.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous1:31 PM

    Thanks Ron,
    I wonder why the Mesoamerican Hispanic crime rate in the US is far lower than would be indicated with an IQ in the low 90s.
    Perhaps Hispanics have a genetic predisposition toward passivity that overcomes a somewhat lower IQ.
    Anyways, thank you and hope you keep on blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think the reality of Mesoamerican crime is higher than some of the stats suggest. First, look at crime in Mexico and Central America. It's very high. Most crime is intra-ethnic, and Mex-Ams, esp immigrants, are reluctant to report crimes to the police. They are as likely as black to form street gangs, and
    Richard Lynn found in Race Differences in Psychopathic Personality that Hispanics fall between whites and blacks. American Indians scored high, so mestizos being somewhat higher than whites makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
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