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(Slate)   Americans are morons when it comes to basic science. But they're even dumber when they're quizzed about religion   (slate.com) divider line 495
    More: Obvious, basic science, Americans  
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19421 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 May 2013 at 4:34 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-02 02:39:18 PM
12 outta 13 correct on the science

12 outta 15 on religion not bad for a 30+years atheist
 
2013-05-02 02:47:47 PM
13 out of 13 on the science and 15 out of 15 on the religion. Technically, I should say I got 14 out of 15 on the religious one since I was just guessing between the two guys who aren't Billy Graham on the final question. I'm not religious or a scientist, but I did finish middle school, so I guess that puts me in the 90th percentile of scientific knowledge in the U.S.
 
2013-05-02 02:54:04 PM
13/13 science, 13/15 religion. It'd be interesting for Congress to take these, and publish the results.
 
2013-05-02 02:55:36 PM
I got 13/13 science (took it last time it was linked) and 14 of 15 on religion.  The one I missed was about the First Great Awakening, something I am completely ignorant about and don't think I've ever heard of before.
 
2013-05-02 02:56:24 PM
13/13 science, 14/15 religion (said hinduism instead of buddhism for nirvana. should've known better, dammit)
 
2013-05-02 02:56:30 PM
I'd hate to imagine how ignorant Americans are of the second season of Babylon 5, which is just as important as religion, except no nut job has killed women and/or children in the name of the second season of Babylon 5.
 
2013-05-02 03:01:25 PM
Both of those are terrifying.

I'm a bit of a science geek, so I wasn't surprised to 13/13 on the science one, but I consider myself to be nearly completely ignorant when it comes to religion and I managed a 14/15.

Are Americans really that dumb and/or uninformed?
 
2013-05-02 03:03:28 PM
13/13 on science, last week.
14/15 on religion.  Who the fark is Charles Finney?

/Not an American.
 
2013-05-02 03:09:24 PM
12/13 on science.

Stupid nitrogen. I knew I'd get that one wrong.
 
2013-05-02 03:12:14 PM
11/15 on religion.
 
2013-05-02 03:13:36 PM
13/13 Science
15/15 Religion

/ex-Mormon
//atheist
 
2013-05-02 03:13:53 PM
13/13 science, 14/15 religion

16 years in religious schools (including 1 in an actual seminary). Maybe having parents who are well-versed in the ways of science (as well as not being in a fundamentalist school - we learned about radiocarbon dating in AP Chem, for example) helps.

// my dad's idea of a HS physics study question was to calculate (using some estimates and assuming perfect conditions) how far from Hiroshima the Enola Gay would have needed to drop the Fat Man
 
2013-05-02 03:14:53 PM
That's not "knowledge"

That was trivia.
 
2013-05-02 03:15:36 PM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: Are Americans really that dumb and/or uninformed?


Sadly yes.

Although, I think part of it might have to do with how the surveys are done.  Remember these are phone surveys and a lot depends on how they were conducted.  For example, during the last election cycle I decided to respond to a phone poll.  The first problem I ran into was the guy was reading the questions super fast making it hard to follow.  To compound that, he was working in a noisy call center, and I could hear other operators talking in the background, making it that much harder to follow the questions.  At about the half way point on the phone poll, I had lost all interest in trying to understand what he was saying and tired of asking him to repeat himself, and just started answering "The second one" or "The first one you said" with no idea what the question was or what option I was choosing.

I'd like to think something similar contributed to the poor results.
 
2013-05-02 03:32:27 PM
13/13 on Science
15/15 on Religion

Easy questions are easy.
 
2013-05-02 03:35:37 PM
13/13 science 14 /15 religion .I thought abrahams story was more about obedience to god than jobs.
I mean god commanded him to kill his son. Didn't he?
 
2013-05-02 03:37:40 PM
13/13
15/15

I is smert.
 
2013-05-02 03:39:26 PM
In Kansas the religion test *is* the science test.
 
2013-05-02 03:39:32 PM
13/13
14/15

What the hell is a "First Great Awakening"?
 
2013-05-02 03:40:32 PM
You answered 15 out of 15 questions correctly
for a score of 100%.
 
2013-05-02 03:41:11 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: 13/13 Science
15/15 Religion

/ex-Mormon
//atheist


The question about Joseph Smith was tricky.  It said "What religion was Joseph Smith?" - which could be interpreted as "what was he before he started making stuff up".
 
2013-05-02 03:41:42 PM

Dr Dreidel: my dad's idea of a HS physics study question was to calculate (using some estimates and assuming perfect conditions) how far from Hiroshima the Enola Gay would have needed to drop the Fat Man


Sounds like my HS physics teacher.  His official course outline (which was seen by parents at the start of the year) had a section called "throw up and fall down problems".
 
2013-05-02 03:42:00 PM
15/15 science
14/15 religion

damn, i overthought the obedience despite suffering one, first instinct was Job, and then I thought of Abraham sacrificing Issac and changed my mind.
 
2013-05-02 03:44:15 PM

Marcus Aurelius: 13/13
14/15

What the hell is a "First Great Awakening"?


COnsidering it's about religion, I'd say it's pure irony.
 
2013-05-02 03:46:07 PM
15/15 for Religion. I took the Science one last week and had 13/13.

The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions, 2 questions on the law and 4 questions everything else.
 
2013-05-02 03:46:27 PM
I got 100% on both. Not religious, but a student of religion.

I am a scientist though.
 
2013-05-02 03:47:39 PM

CaptSacto: COnsidering it's about religion, I'd say it's pure irony


I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that's when they started praying with their eyes closed.

Shouldn't prayer work better if your eyes are open?
 
2013-05-02 03:48:03 PM

RexTalionis: The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions,


Considering the vast majority of Americans have never been exposed to other religions than those three, it's actually not a bad survey.
 
2013-05-02 03:49:26 PM

Marcus Aurelius: 13/13
14/15

What the hell is a "First Great Awakening"?


I read Johnathon Edward's "Sinners at the Hand of an Angry God" in history class.  Not sure how common it is but I knew even without multiple choice.
 
2013-05-02 03:49:58 PM

12349876: 15/15 science
14/15 religion

damn, i overthought the obedience despite suffering one, first instinct was Job, and then I thought of Abraham sacrificing Issac and changed my mind.


15/15 science ?
 
2013-05-02 03:50:02 PM
I was doing really well on the science one until it got to the question about whether I was male or female, then I panicked and it all went downhill from there.
 
2013-05-02 03:50:22 PM

Flab: RexTalionis: The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions,

Considering the vast majority of Americans have never been exposed to other religions than those three, it's actually not a bad survey.


How can you test the boundary of one's knowledge if you load the questions with just the stuff that they're familiar with? No calculus professor would think that a fair assessment of his student's abilities would be to make an exam filled with simple multiplication tables.
 
2013-05-02 03:51:35 PM

Rev.K: 12/13 on science.

Stupid nitrogen. I knew I'd get that one wrong.


Exactly this.

15/15 on religion.
 
2013-05-02 03:51:46 PM

sithon: 12349876: 15/15 science
14/15 religion

damn, i overthought the obedience despite suffering one, first instinct was Job, and then I thought of Abraham sacrificing Issac and changed my mind.

15/15 science ?


Sorry about that.  I took the science one during last week's thread and assumed it was 15 like the religion that I just took a few minutes ago.
 
2013-05-02 03:52:42 PM
What this survey proves to me is that smart people answer the phone, get asked to do a survey and say "no".
 
2013-05-02 03:53:29 PM

RexTalionis: Flab: RexTalionis: The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions,

Considering the vast majority of Americans have never been exposed to other religions than those three, it's actually not a bad survey.

How can you test the boundary of one's knowledge if you load the questions with just the stuff that they're familiar with? No calculus professor would think that a fair assessment of his student's abilities would be to make an exam filled with simple multiplication tables.


I think the argument is that Americans aren't even well-versed in the things they claim to know well.
 
2013-05-02 03:54:42 PM
Got perfect scores on each and I don't understand how anyone doesn't.

The religion test stressed Judeo-Christianity with not one mention of Wotan.
 
2013-05-02 03:57:41 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: Got perfect scores on each and I don't understand how anyone doesn't.

The religion test stressed Judeo-Christianity with not one mention of Wotan.


Tyr was better anyway.
 
2013-05-02 03:58:47 PM
13/13
14/15 (also failed the Great Awakening question)

Ex-Mormon, took several religious studies classes and a Bible as Lit course (that one makes it a LOT of fun to argue with fundies), and also very much a geek.

/American, but certainly doesn't feel like it sometimes
 
2013-05-02 04:00:43 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: Got perfect scores on each and I don't understand how anyone doesn't.

The religion test stressed Judeo-Christianity with not one mention of Wotan.


Noone worships the norse pantheon anymore.
 
2013-05-02 04:02:09 PM

Because People in power are Stupid: Got perfect scores on each and I don't understand how anyone doesn't.

The religion test stressed Judeo-Christianity with not one mention of Wotan.


Or Sredni Vashtar for that matter.
 
2013-05-02 04:02:52 PM

sithon: Because People in power are Stupid: Got perfect scores on each and I don't understand how anyone doesn't.

The religion test stressed Judeo-Christianity with not one mention of Wotan.

Noone worships the norse pantheon anymore.



Fool.

s3-ec.buzzfed.com
 
2013-05-02 04:03:37 PM
Next step:

Please compare results to the number of times the idea is mentioned in TV and other media.

For example: The UV question, 80% of people got it right. How many times to do we see commercials about SPF X for protection from UV light?

On the other hand, how many times do we hear about carbon dioxide causing the greenhouse effect? We don't. We hear about global warming and climate change.
 
2013-05-02 04:04:27 PM

12349876: damn, i overthought the obedience despite suffering one, first instinct was Job, and then I thought of Abraham sacrificing Issac and changed my mind.


Abe was TESTED, but rewarded. He was a rich man when Ish was born, even richer when little Ike came a-callin'. Also, Ike was a man (he was 40) when Abe tried to cut on him.

Job started out rich, healthy and with a happy family and lost it all to make a philosophical point.
 
2013-05-02 04:06:44 PM

RexTalionis: Flab: RexTalionis: The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions,

Considering the vast majority of Americans have never been exposed to other religions than those three, it's actually not a bad survey.

How can you test the boundary of one's knowledge if you load the questions with just the stuff that they're familiar with? No calculus professor would think that a fair assessment of his student's abilities would be to make an exam filled with simple multiplication tables.


Bad example.  The calculus professor needs to test his students on the actual topics taught in his class.

However, this is a general population survey.  The surveyers know very well that there are almost no religious education apart from Sunday school.  (where I don't think confucianism is probably not mentioned very often)
 
2013-05-02 04:07:36 PM

Peki: On the other hand, how many times do we hear about carbon dioxide causing the greenhouse effect?


That's how I learned it in elementary school in the early 90's, before global warming and climate change were being used widely.
 
2013-05-02 04:08:39 PM

Flab: RexTalionis: Flab: RexTalionis: The religion one is something like 9 questions on Abrahamic religions,

Considering the vast majority of Americans have never been exposed to other religions than those three, it's actually not a bad survey.

How can you test the boundary of one's knowledge if you load the questions with just the stuff that they're familiar with? No calculus professor would think that a fair assessment of his student's abilities would be to make an exam filled with simple multiplication tables.

Bad example.  The calculus professor needs to test his students on the actual topics taught in his class.

However, this is a general population survey.  The surveyers know very well that there are almost no religious education apart from Sunday school.  (where I don't think confucianism is probably not mentioned very often)


If I know this much about Christianity despite coming from an officially atheist country with minimal Christian populations, then maybe Christians should be expected to make a little effort for everybody else.
 
2013-05-02 04:09:05 PM

Me: (where I don't think confucianism is probably not mentioned very often)


I fail at grammar.
 
2013-05-02 04:11:54 PM

12349876: Peki: On the other hand, how many times do we hear about carbon dioxide causing the greenhouse effect?

That's how I learned it in elementary school in the early 90's, before global warming and climate change were being used widely.


Me too. Basic astronomy when discussing Venus should cover it. Not hard to apply that understanding to this planet.

But how many people forget what they learned in school, especially when they have TV constantly drumming crap?
 
2013-05-02 04:12:10 PM

RexTalionis: then maybe Christians should be expected to make a little effort for everybody else.


It's Americans we're talking about here.  When foreigners come visit the US, they are expected to learn english.  When Americans go visit foreign countries they expect everyone to understand them in english.  Why should religion be treated dfifferently?

Besides, Christianity is the real religion.  The Bible says so.
 
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