We as a society are constantly fed myths due to conflicts of interest. I have suspected there might be a new myth campaign in regard to the news media and the Democratic Party pushing the narrative that Republicans are more anti-science and scientifically ignorant than Democrats.
To find out the truth considered doing polling with non-loaded proven science questions such as does the Earth go around the Sun or the other way around? With some research found that multiple studies have already been done and they all agree with each other and they even had the same Earth/Sun question in them.
The results? Yes indeed we are being lied to and fed another myth. The most anti-science and scientifically ignorant group in America is … Independents, closely followed by Democrats for ignorance and the most scientifically literate group is Republicans and by a wide margin. We are being told the opposite of the truth on this matter.
The below test given to all three groups shows that for example 36.6% of Democrats believe Lasers are made by condensing sound waves, whereas a much smaller 24.9% of Republicans believe that. Both numbers are troubling in terms of a grade card for our educational system.
In terms of being self admittedly anti-science, the question was asked “The benefits of science exceed the harms?” Only 12% of Republicans said science made things worse, yet more than twice as many Democrats, 26.8%, said science is generally is a bad thing. Wow!
|General Social Survey (GSS) Science Test||Green Highlight = Most Literate||Proven Science That Can Be|
|Item||Democrat||Independent||Republican||Republican + or – Advantage|
|Astrology is not scientific||64.30%||55.70%||75.10%|
|The benefits of science exceed the harms||73.30%||66.20%||78.00%|
|Understands the need for control groups in testing||79.80%||81.40%||82.10%||2.30%|
|The earth’s core is very hot||94.20%||92.60%||94.60%||0.40%|
|Demonstrates a basic understanding of probability||87.90%||90.00%||91.80%||3.90%|
|Not all radioactivity is man-made||79.20%||78.50%||85.90%||6.70%|
|Father, not mother, determines a child’s sex||72.00%||74.70%||77.30%||5.30%|
|Lasers are not made by condensing sound waves||63.40%||70.90%||75.10%||11.70%|
|Electrons are smaller than atoms||71.40%||71.30%||72.80%||1.40%|
|Antibiotics do not kill viruses||55.70%||55.40%||65.80%||10.10%|
|Continental drift has and continues to occur||90.10%||90.60%||87.90%|
|Humans evolved from other animals||57.60%||50.70%||41.50%|
|The earth revolves around the sun||79.20%||73.90%||81.50%||2.30%|
|It takes the earth one year to rotate around the sun||75.80%||78.80%||78.90%||3.10%|
|Respondent will eat genetically modified foods||66.10%||69.40%||73.10%|
|The north pole is on a sheet of ice||67.00%||59.70%||63.40%||-3.60%|
|Not all man-made chemicals cause cancer when eaten||46.60%||46.40%||52.60%||6.00%|
|Exposure to radioactivity doesn’t necessarily lead to death||67.50%||67.10%||77.00%||9.50%|
|Exposure to pesticides doesn’t necessarily cause cancer||55.50%||57.90%||66.80%||11.30%|
|Cumulative Advantage in Scientific Literacy for Republicans||70.40%|
|Average Advantage in Scientific Literacy for Republicans||5.03%|
|Source of test scores: http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2011/03/republicans-are-more-scientifically.html|
The lead image for this article is a National Geographic Magazine cover claiming “The War On Science”. That cover is very anti-science and manipulative. I subscribed to the magazine for 25 years because my Grandmother gave it as a gift. It lost credibility with me as over and over it proved to be wrong with its alarmists articles such as “the Crown of Thorns starfish will wipe out all the coral reefs in the world” 40 years ago and on and on. In retrospect NatGeo was wrong about 90% of the time. It is a propaganda tool to a large degree.
Everything that NatGeo put on that cover are politicized things that are not really about science. Science is whether the Earth goes around the Sun or not, whether antibiotics kill viruses or not, whether lasers are sound waves or not., whether all radioactivity comes from humans or not and Democrats do worse on all those questions than Republicans do.
Their lead question implies that someone is anti-science unless they believe that man made global warming is a danger, yet the scientific consensus was overwhelmingly that the Earth had rapidly cooled for 40 years and likley to go into an Ice Age so recently that “Mr. Science”, Spock himself did a documentary about that, which you can view here:
Back to real science. Republicans are the most scientifically literate group on almost all science questions. There were four questions that related to religious views, such as astrology being scientific. Since Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to be atheists and non-Christians, one would expect them to believe in Astrology more and they do by an 11% margin. Another example of the religious divide only about 12% of Satanists identify with the Republican Party, yet 31% with both the Democratic Party and as Independent when surveyed.
On the non loaded questions Republicans have more science knowledge than Democrats on every question except whether the North Pole is on an ice sheet, which Democrats did 3.6% better on.
Republicans are less likely to believe in humans evolving accidently from lower life forms that Democrats, but that is something that has never been proven, the creation of new animal species from existing ones has never been observed. That is even though we are in a super accelerated environment to make new species happen. The chicken is an example, there are countless billions being raised in unnatural settings, being crossbred, given hormones, given antibiotics, being fed fish meal from Chile, being keep up with artificial lights, being exposed to atomic bomb blasts, etc., yet nothing but chickens come out of chickens. That suggests the theory is still unproven.
The bottom line on this is very clear, Republicans are the most pro science group in America, and the most scientifically literate group. Another myth busted, please pass this along.
For full disclosure the author of this article is a scientist.