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  Topic: Science and public Pew/AAAS survey, insights into antiscience< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reed



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Joined: Feb. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: July 09 2009,21:48   

HT to John Hawks who blogged this briefly.

Pew's summary of the survey conclusions

Some interesting tidbits.
The consensus among scientists on evolution and global warming is almost equal:
           
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... 87% of scientists say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection. Just 32% of the public accepts this as true.
...
84% of scientists say the earth is getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, just 49% of the public agrees.


Manufactuversy, it works!:
     
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Despite the overwhelming agreement among scientists about evolution and climate change, substantial minorities of Americans think there is no scientific consensus on these issues. While a 60% majority of the public says that scientists generally agree that humans have evolved over time, nearly three-in-ten (28%) say that scientists do not generally agree.

A comparable majority (56%) says that scientists generally agree that the earth is warming because of human activity. However, more than a third (35%) says that scientists do not generally agree.

In both cases, people’s perceptions of a scientific consensus are strongly correlated with their own views on the issue. Fully 79% of those who say life has evolved due to natural selection say there is a scientific consensus on this issue. Fewer than half (43%) of those who say life was created in its current form see such a consensus.

This pattern is even more pronounced when it comes to views about whether there is a scientific consensus over climate change. About three-quarters of people (76%) who say human activity is driving global warming think that most scientists agree on this point. Fewer than half (41%) of those who say warming is mostly due to atmospheric changes think there is a scientific consensus on the issue. Among the small share of the public (11%) that says there is no solid evidence of global warming, just 22% say there is scientific agreement that human activity is causing global warming, while 68% think there is no agreement among scientists on the issue.


Possibly related:
     
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About three-quarters (76%) of scientists say it is a major problem for science that news reports do not effectively distinguish between well-founded scientific findings and those that are less well-founded.


Science: liberal/jew/atheist conspiracy ?
         
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Slightly more than half of scientists (52%) describe their own political views as liberal, including 14% who describe themselves as very liberal. Among the general public, 20% describe themselves as liberal, with just 5% calling themselves very liberal.

Most scientists identify as Democrats (55%), while 32% identify as independents and just 6% say they are Republicans. When the leanings of independents are considered, fully 81% identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, compared with 12% who either identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP.
...
The ratio of Protestant to Catholic identification is similar among scientists, though far fewer scientists are affiliated with either (20% Protestant, 10% Catholic). Nearly one-in-ten scientists (8%) are Jewish. By comparison, only about 2% of the U.S. population is Jewish. Among the large group of religiously unaffiliated scientists, about equal numbers describe themselves as “nothing in particular” (20% of all scientists) and as atheists (17%); 11% say they are agnostic.

Possibly related:
   
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About three-quarters of scientists (77%) believe the claims about the Bush administration [that they did not allow government scientists to report findings that contradicted administration policy] are true, while just 6% say they are false. And virtually all of the scientists who say these claims are true – 71% of scientists overall – believe that these practices occurred more often during the Bush administration than during previous administrations.

  
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