Poll shows people aren’t eager to accept science

A recent poll by the AP shows that people accept some science, reject other, which probably isn’t a big surprise to anyone who pays attention to such things.  The poll queried 1000 people, which the AP says is good for a margin of error of about 3% (ok, so I’m not accepting the science behind that error calculation, but let’s play along for now).  80% are ‘strongly confident’ that smoking causes cancer, yay!  Sadly, only about half believe vaccines are safe and effective (though an extra 30% were ‘somewhat confident’ of that statement); 33% accepted mankind’s role in climate change, and 31% accepted that life on Earth evolved.  Not surprisingly though, in keeping with the rejecting of science is an acceptance of hypocrisy – while 31% accept that life on Earth evolved to get to where it is now, 65% accept that antibiotic overuse led to drug-resistant bacteria (so, they accept only limited evolution?).  36% reject the idea that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

We live in a society where the media and many politicians help perpetuate scientific ignorance…and until that changes, I don’t see poll numbers like these changing.

You can view the full results in this PDF or read more over at ArsTechnica.

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