Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sweet science

If there truly is an appreciable divide in this country on a number of scientific issues - global warming, evolution, federal funding for embryonic research, etc. - then I'm gonna have to say that: scientists > ordinary Americans.

Almost a third (of the general public) say human beings have existed in their current form since the beginning of time, a view held by only 2 percent of the scientists. Only about half agree that people are behind climate change, and 11 percent do not believe there is any warming at all.

According to the survey, about a third of Americans think there is lively scientific debate on both topics; in fact, there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution and there is little doubt that human activity is altering the chemistry of the atmosphere in ways that threaten global climate. (emphasis mine)

In the future, I'm prepared to cut-and-paste that second paragraph as much as necessary. You can review the results of the study here.

I've probably mentioned this before, but as a student I struggled in most of my science courses. As a result, I developed a deep appreciation for people who excelled at the sciences.

So if 51 percent of the American public isn't sure that earth is getting warmer because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels, and only 16 percent of scientists feel the same way, there's little doubt about which way I'm going to lean on the issue.

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