Phillip Cohen is on target about the simultaneous impact of political and religious values and commitments on support for science, and my main point in my previous post was to emphasize that Republican political identification is not related to support for science—largely because Republicans used to be the ones who loved “science” for giving us nuclear weapons, star wars defense shields, AWACs, nuclear power, and environmental degradation. But, after the cold war, science became the enemy—we don’t need much science to militarily dominate third world countries, and those damned scientists got all uppity with their ravings about environmental contamination, climate change, and, of course, most of them are atheists who believe in evolution!
Above you can maybe see a graphic showing this using the book counts in Google NGRAM—I cannot for the life of me figure out how to save this as a real image graph. As you can see, science and military were a dominate theme in the cold war, and that escalated with Raygun’s star wars program. Then, BOOOM! The Soviet empire collapsed and nobody much cared about science and the military….but instead science and evolution took over as a dominate theme. By 2002 more books were on Science and Evolution than science and military. Science and environment never crosses above science and military (yet), but it comes close and follows the same pattern.
Science and climate is not nearly as hot, but again we see science linked to things like climate change—-an uncomfortable scientific truth for conservatives.