31 August 2005

Scientific Idiots.

Where do these idiots come from?

Overall, about half the public (48%) says that humans and other living things have evolved over time, while 42% say that living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Fully 70% of white evangelical Protestants say that life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time; fewer than half as many white mainline Protestants (32%) and white Catholics (31%) agree.

From the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Also, to be clear, the numbers above exclude Intelligent Design believers who are not Young Earth Creationists.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times:

American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.

It is hard to underestimate just how little the American people know about science. The article doesn't say, but I'm hoping that they could at least get majorities to believe that the Earth is round.


pacified said...

I didn't know you had this blog, oh-willeke. I'll add you to the soapblox colorado blog roll.

And you went to Oberlin, huh? I was born and raised in Ohio.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...


Kyle said...

My personal introduction to the scholastic aptitude of the populace was teaching the astronomy lab as an undergrad in college. It was quite common for substantial portions of the class to have difficulty with basic math. Only a tiny portion had any understanding of the most basic algebra.

And these were college students.

When I read articles like that, I think to myself "I bet it's worse than they think."