Joined: Feb. 2008
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:
|... 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!:
|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.
|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 ?
|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.
|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. |