If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(NPR)   One in four Americans think the sun goes around the Earth. No word how many think the Earth is actually flat and located atop four elephants which themselves are balanced upon a giant turtle   (npr.org) divider line 98
    More: Fail, Americans, turtles  
•       •       •

6971 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Feb 2014 at 5:45 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2014-02-14 11:53:34 PM  
9 votes:
I farking wish. We could use a Vetinari in charge.
2014-02-14 11:58:09 PM  
7 votes:
The average IQ in the US is 98.  With a low score of 55 and a high score of 145, that puts the lowest 25% ranging between 55 and 78 which means that one in four Americans are either idiots or are channeling the spirits of 17th century Inquisitors.  That should adequately answer the question.
2014-02-15 06:57:53 AM  
5 votes:

SirEattonHogg: Ill-informed?  I mean yes, people obviously should be aware of evolution, the fact that this planet goes around the sun and other scientific basics.  But unless your friend is a scientist why does it matter to you that he/she doesn't really know how the sun operates?

I think I'd rather have my member of Congress more familiar with the details of the national budget than what powers the sun.


and when they work on the national budget and slash science education funding because "no one really needs to know things like what powers the sun" remember what you said here.
2014-02-15 02:30:23 AM  
5 votes:
In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion"

Uh, but that's wrong. The most accurate model of the universe's early life starts out with the universe being physically small, and then rapidly expanding. There is no explosion involved, it's more as though you had a very high pressure gas contained inside a room, and then that room suddenly grew 1000 times in size. The gas would undergo significant cooling, and the volume that the gas occupies is much larger than previously, but there was no magic explosion of gas that brought the gas into being... the gas was already there to begin with. Likewise, all the matter and energy in the universe was there at the start, but it rapidly cooled and expanded in response to the expansion of the early universe.
2014-02-15 01:29:00 AM  
5 votes:
We could get those numbers up if we'd just attack teachers and cut funding for public education
2014-02-15 10:15:16 AM  
4 votes:
To all those who defend the ignorant by claiming that not knowing that the Earth rotates around the sun comes from being distracted on that one day when it was taught in class, I say BS.

IMO, it actually comes out of a complete lack of intellectual curiosity. It comes from not reading.  It comes from never watching documentaries. It comes from hanging around with people who are just as intellectually deprived as they are. It comes, in short, from being willfully ignorant about the world.

And IMO there is no valid excuse for this.
2014-02-15 07:55:58 AM  
4 votes:

Mr. Right: I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  You are assuming that someone who believes the earth is stationary while the sun rotates around it is making a conscious decision, rather than simply being totally uninformed through inattention.  If you had never thought about it before, wouldn't it make sense that the earth is standing still (I can't feel it moving) and the sun is moving?  After all, it comes up on that side and it goes down on the other side. That mountain isn't moving but the sun goes down behind it.

I would bet that if you delved into the political inclinations of respondents who believe the sun rotates around the earth, you would find as many Obama voters as Romney voters.


And that right there is the very ignorance and idiocy being discussed here. What faction defines itself by having a host of people who reject evolution? Or climate science? Or ANY science? Whatever their issues, you don't find really any democrats, ever, forcing kids to take tests in school encouraging them to praise a god for reality, or palling with conservative Christians to insist that evolution is impossible sans reasoning. To think that all factions are equally ignorant about these concepts is ignorance. It means you're not thinking or paying attention, at all. Just like the poor morons who think the Sun orbits the Earth. Exactly the same level of ignorance.
2014-02-15 07:23:37 AM  
4 votes:
Teach the Controversy

img.fark.net
2014-02-15 06:30:50 AM  
4 votes:

kidgenius: Theeng: I can believe that 25% of Americans were either ignorant or simply didn't care enough to properly answer a question.  Surveys should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially when it's a sample size of just 2,200 people.

Honestly, I find it more baffling that people equate intelligence with political affiliation.

It's not so much that there is a correlation between intelligence and political affiliation, but that people with certain political leanings appear to be actively hostile toward education in general, not to mention science.

 
Well, there is, in a sense. People who score high on fear/disgust reaction tests and low on empathy tests are many, many more times likely to be on the right of the spectrum. It's the best indicator for political affiliation there is outside of asking specifically political questions.High fear/disgust and low empathy also correlates with: preference for the familiar over the new, lack of intellectual curiosity, lack of humour, higher religiosity, higher tribalism (dislike of different races/religions/income demographics).
2014-02-15 06:17:30 AM  
4 votes:

Theeng: I can believe that 25% of Americans were either ignorant or simply didn't care enough to properly answer a question.  Surveys should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially when it's a sample size of just 2,200 people.

Honestly, I find it more baffling that people equate intelligence with political affiliation.


It's not so much that there is a correlation between intelligence and political affiliation, but that people with certain political leanings appear to be actively hostile toward education in general, not to mention science.
2014-02-14 11:54:46 PM  
4 votes:
Turtles all the way down, baby!
2014-02-15 04:46:34 PM  
3 votes:

Mr. Right: gad: A racist and ignorant Tea Party is something that you can see without anyone from a rabid left or racist right pointing out to you.

Once again, you are making claims that have been shouted by the rabid leftists.  The left has never been able to demonstrate racism within the Tea Party.  Conservatives have been able to demonstrate that there is no institutional racism anywhere in the tea party.  But none of that will matter to you because you are obviously not interested in facts.  Facts would only make your irrational hate-speech hard to justify.


From the endless monkey and kenya signs about Obama to their rabid assaults on women's health to their insistence that businesses should be able to refuse service based on skin color to adopting pushing anti-homosexual laws as a major plank in their platform, it is glaringly obvious that the tea party is overwhelmed with bigots of every stripe. I'd like to claim that not grasping this us the sort if ignorance referenced in this article, but there's really no way your claim could have been honest.
2014-02-15 08:25:34 AM  
3 votes:

a particular individual: kidgenius: a particular individual:
"Liberals led an assault against evolutionary psychology for saying human thought and behavior are partially the result of evolution."

Somehow I doubt that liberals would be the only ones against the idea that thought and behavior are the tied to evolution. In general, most of the public probably doesn't like that idea because, we're humans. We're "special" and therefore we are more than just some chemicals in our brains.

It's similar to the idea that criminals aren't criminals because they choose to be, but instead due in a not insignificant part to their brain's chemistry/biology, over which they have no control.

It's an interesting field, but it definitely makes people from all spectrums quite uncomfortable.

Also, liberals are far more likely to embrace the notion that teh ghey is biological. The Scientific American article isn't an article--it's an editorial grinding an axe.


Bear in mind that I'm not at my office and don't have my copy of The Blank Slate in front of me, so I'm shooting from the hip here.

Things about Pinker's book: First, while you might think that the SA author is a conservative axe-grinder, Pinker most certainly is NOT. Second, most of what Pinker talks about are not general descriptions of all left-leaning people everywhere, but specifically about 20th-Century leftist academics. Given this context, Pinker is not speculating about the secret motivations of his enemies, he is stating historical fact. For the past century, one of the dominant strands running through liberal thought has been to give primacy to environmental explanations, and this is a conscious choice made explicit in these academics' own writings. In history, it has been the left that has downplayed the "Great Man Theory" of history (that history is caused by the character and decisions of individuals) in favor of theories that describe individuals as pushed by historical forces. In psychology (my field, and Pinker's), when Watson launched behaviorism (which describes behavior as the result of conditioning due to environmental factors) as a major movement in the field, he wrote that there was definitely no genetic influence on ability. To suggest otherwise was to fall into a conservative error, a holdover from the aristocratic notion of natural superiors. When Skinner took Watson's place as the voice of behaviorism, he explicitly wedded it to progressivism, arguing that any notion of innateness or internal causation (or even of personal moral responsibility) was a reactionary throwback to religious moralizing and the notion of a soul.

Part of this harmonized with the optimism of progressive politics. If there is no innateness, then all humanity's problems are due to harmful social conditions. If we have the power to engineer new social conditions, then there is no limit to our ability to perfect the human condition. When researchers began exploring genetic or evolutionary explanations for behavior, it was not right-wingers, but left-wingers, who organized protests on campuses, chanting about how the universities must throw out the "fascist nazi pigs" who threatened progress toward a better world.
2014-02-15 06:49:13 AM  
3 votes:

Copper Spork: Joak: Can you tell us what an evolution or climate change extremist looks like? I am worred I may be one and not even know it.

The climate change extremists are pretty easy to identify. They're the ones opposed to using nuclear power to solve the problem, because their goal is to make people "use less energy" and "change their lifestyles". They are also often found showing pictures of supposedly drowning polar bears, using the snow on Mount Fuji as an example of climate change, claiming that when the Arctic ice melts, sea levels will rise, and talking about "Gaia".


I like the Gaia bit and the attempt to seem reasonable, but you should have thrown out something about moving back to a pre industrial society and killing millions in the process.

I'll give you a 7/10 on this one in isolation, but I have to bump you down to a 3/10 overall because of those crappy other attempts at trolling the thread.
2014-02-15 06:00:41 AM  
3 votes:
I can believe that 25% of Americans were either ignorant or simply didn't care enough to properly answer a question.  Surveys should always be taken with a grain of salt, especially when it's a sample size of just 2,200 people.

Honestly, I find it more baffling that people equate intelligence with political affiliation.
2014-02-15 05:59:50 AM  
3 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: seventypercent: we already did this thread

Over, and over, and over again

/until we actually lower someone over the side this argument will never be settled


I'm pretty sure the turtle is female, that was resolved when we didn't crash into that star
2014-02-15 03:28:13 AM  
3 votes:

Prey4reign: The average IQ in the US is 98.  With a low score of 55 and a high score of 145, that puts the lowest 25% ranging between 55 and 78 which means that one in four Americans are either idiots or are channeling the spirits of 17th century Inquisitors.  That should adequately answer the question.


It's been a long time since Statistics class, but I'm pretty sure your math is wrong. Bell curves, how to they work??

However, that's not to say I disagree with your point.
2014-02-15 02:53:26 PM  
2 votes:

Mr. Right: Lenny_da_Hog: Peck-peck-peck, defend-defend-defend, anti-intellectual swipe, blah, blah, blah.

I already talked about left-wing crazies above.

None of which lends any credence to what you wrote about the Tea Party.  Understand, I don't belong to the Tea Party, nor do I belong to any political party.  But you blather on about them being racist.  That is a charge coming from the more radical Democrats.  But none of those making that charge has been able to point to more than a few very isolated incidents of what may be considered racism and there is no evidence of any widespread racism.

You go on about how the Tea Party is controlled by the GOP.  Nothing could be further from the truth - the establishment Republicans intensely dislike the Tea Party and everything they stand for.  Establishment GOPers do more to undermine the candidacy of Tea Party candidates than Democrats.  Of course, the Democrats are more than wiling to stand  by and hold the coat of the person attacking their opponent.

The fact that you don't know even a few facts but still hew to the party line informs me that you are only parroting.


Yes. And the fact that every "Tea Party" candidate has run on the GOP ticket has escaped you.

The Tea Party was a marketing ploy, and it worked. They had to get that same church-village demographic to continue to vote for the GOP even after the GOP had screwed them over on so many levels at the end of the Bush administration. It was a way to get people who hated Bush to continue to be Republicans, without actually having to say they were Republicans.

Any "infighting" you see is just the GOP corralling those same sheep back into the main fold for the next election cycle. The Tea Party is going to go the same way as the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, and the Contract with America. New Coke.
2014-02-15 10:38:58 AM  
2 votes:

Bad_Seed: Son of Thunder: So I fully agree with much of what you said, with the exception of "they were right to do so". The best response to science that contradicts my politics is more science, not organizing hordes of chanting liberal-arts undergrads.

Now, I'm no anti-Truth post-modernist, or anything, but I think that position is naive. Science is done by real people in a certain cultural context and you can never fully escape that. You're exceedingly unlikely to change underlying assumptions by doing "more science", as "normal science" (in the Kuhnian sense) doesn't like to question those. It wasn't science that banished ugly theories from pre-war social science, but a political and moral reaction. You might not like "liberal-arts undergrads" on the doorstep of your department, but in cases like this the stakes are too high to simply wait until you and your colleagues come up with some internal critique which allows everyone to go back to ignoring difficult political questions.


Holy poop. An accurate reference to Kuhn. This is starting to resemble an intelligent conversation. Makes it hard to snark at you. :(

The removal of scientific racism and eugenics was a good thing (I find it disheartening that some farkers have been advocating a return to old-school eugenics in some threads), but that does not mean that we should silence scientists who propose theories that clash with our politics. If we find, for example, that there are such things as certain biologically-based psychological gender differences, this does not justify excluding people from careers (women tend to outperform men on verbal tasks, therefore men shouldn't be writers), but on the other hand I will not throw all that research away just because a Gender Studies major yelled "patriarchy" in my face. If someone wants me to deny climate change, show me data, don't just tell me that the theory of anthropogenic climate change is "anti-capitalism".

Your position also assumes that truth is on the side of the chanting horde. In some cases, maybe, but history shows us far too many chanting hordes on the wrong sides of issues to support that assumption.
2014-02-15 10:25:49 AM  
2 votes:

GrizzlyPouch: gameshowhost: Well, how many people voted for a Tea Party candidate?  Say that represents ~20% of the number who believe in the elephant thing.  Then add in Kansas.  About 60% of the South... 

Jesus Christ, something like 60m Americans believe that.

When I think too dumb to know the earth revolves around the sun I generally think hipster guy with tats and gauges and dumb girl that's like totally not worried about like that smart people stuff (and I associate those people with being liberal voters), and honey boo boo's mom (definitely conservative voting but that's cause Jesus told me too). I definitely don't associate the honey boo boo mouth breather type with being interested in concepts like taxation being an inhibitor to job growth

Where does this perception come from that Tea Partiers are these cold calculating evil people who think the poors should be more bootstrappy and the government redistributes too much of our money, yet at the same time they can't understand basic concepts like gravity?

When have you ever come across that person in real life?

Or were you just being snarky because you don't like them? (Not very progressive of you by the way. Do you think they should be more bootstrappy about their ignorance?)


I live in a rural area of Oregon, less than an hour away from Portland. I see both types regularly.

Out here in the sticks, there are the Tea Party rubes. The problem with them is they will fight and fight to keep other people from learning. They want enemies. Enemies make them powerful. They will refuse to admit they're wrong about anything and will just threaten you and call you stupid. As long as they have a friend to back them up, that is. They depend on denial and anger to maintain their beliefs.

The dumber hipster types you describe more or less believe in extra-reality -- they know extra things about the universe, like auras and fluoride and TM and contrails and urban farming being able to provide for everyone. If they get a petty fact like the earth's rotation and orbit wrong, they're not going to fight with you about it. They'll deflect -- "But dude!" They'll get mad and call you names if you deny their extra-real theories, but they'll either cave, deflect, or rationalize, rather than outright deny, well-explained concepts.
2014-02-15 09:28:35 AM  
2 votes:

Bad_Seed: Son of Thunder: Part of this harmonized with the optimism of progressive politics. If there is no innateness, then all humanity's problems are due to harmful social conditions. If we have the power to engineer new social conditions, then there is no limit to our ability to perfect the human condition. When researchers began exploring genetic or evolutionary explanations for behavior, it was not right-wingers, but left-wingers, who organized protests on campuses, chanting about how the universities must throw out the "fascist nazi pigs" who threatened progress toward a better world.


And they were right to do so. Although the left these days are firmly on the "nurture" side of the debate, that wasn't the case in the past. Before the war, biological determinism, scientific racism and eugenics were perfectly acceptable progressive positions. Then a chap named Hitler came along and made them all deeply unpopular. The post-war reaction against biological determinism in human and social sciences is due almost entirely to the actual Nazis. A lot of determinists today try to hide behind a claim of scientific neutrality and deny that there is a political aspect to their work, but they are at best fooling themselves. There is always a political aspect to studying people (and often animals) and good scientists ought to be aware of it, (O.E. Wilson claimed ignorance, Pinker is smarter and is trying to recast his position in a positive, almost progressive light). The other problem is that a lot of this evolutionary psychology is actually quite dubious science to begin with, that's been harshly criticised by scientists both for its assumptions and the paucity of useful results; it's great fodder for a certain sub-species of Neanderthal who want to justify backwards ideas about gender and sometimes even race and class by cloaking them in a supposedly neutral "scientific truth".

If you haven't already, I suggest you check out Stephen Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man". He mainly talks about IQ testing, but he's brilliant unpicking the fallacies and assumptions that always seem to accompany biological determinism.


I have read The Mismeasure of Man and I am aware of the dangerous past that the "nature" side of this debate has. My take on issues like this is (if any of my students were here, they'd know what words are coming next) "it's complicated". My position as a psychologist is that "nature" and "nurture" interact in complex ways to influence behavior, and that our current agenda should be to try and understand the complexity instead of arguing for one side or the other as the whole truth. So I fully agree with much of what you said, with the exception of "they were right to do so". The best response to science that contradicts my politics is more science, not organizing hordes of chanting liberal-arts undergrads.
2014-02-15 08:24:43 AM  
2 votes:

Fark_Guy_Rob: a particular individual: Fark_Guy_Rob: For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun.  So I memorized it.  It has proved to be completely useless information for me.  Never once was I like, 'No wait!  The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'.  Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.

You personally don't apply that knowledge, but you benefit from it every day. Knowledge of how the solar system works is essential for making GPS systems, which tell you "Turn left."

Sure, sure.  I'm not saying knowledge isn't good for mankind.  I'm saying most knowledge doesn't help any individual man (or woman).  Because of that, I don't feel smug or superior to someone who doesn't know that the Earth goes around the Sun.

I don't expect anyone buying a Garmin GPS to know the physics required to make it work.  Or the electrical engineering, or the project management, or the businessy crap that went into it, or the esoteric tax laws that govern the company that made it, or the shipping company, or the computer science behind the pathing algorithms used.

I expect a physicist to know stuff about physics.
I expect an electrical engineer to know stuff about electronics.
Etc, etc....

Most of what students are taught in school is just a bullet point to be memorized, and later repeated.  Most people who know the Earth goes around the Sun just remember being told that.  They haven't verified it or even really thought about it.  They don't have any better understanding of how their GPS works because of it, nor are they better equipped to use their turn-by-turn navigator.  Them having that knowledge doesn't benefit them at all.  They benefit some other smart people having a LOT more information.

It's akin to having 8th graders memorize that 'The travelling salesman problem is NP-complete'.  Well - so what.  It's just a random factoid unless you have a pile of other information about what it means and, unl ...


How the fark do you reach adulthood not learning that basic fact? Whether or not it reflects on intelligence, it would reflect heavily on background. It is a severe eccentricity, and not a flattering one. It's the trivia version of having gingivitis. It is, to be frank, an unforgivable level of ignorance and whether the problem lies with the individual or the culture that brought them up, there's a problem there we should care about, if we care about our society at all.
2014-02-15 07:42:32 AM  
2 votes:

VendorXeno: stuhayes2010: Well. It does since motion is relative to the observer.

Curvilinear motion is not subject to general relativity. You can't switch an orbit just by changing your viewpoint, like you can with a vector. There's no math that describes the Earth orbiting the Moon, by which I mean that there was once math that described that, by which I mean it described the Sun orbiting the Earth, and it was horrible and wrong. Which is why everyone scrapped it.


You can do the maths with the Moon taken as the origin, or any other point. It's just much more complicated, and has no benefits.
2014-02-15 07:28:06 AM  
2 votes:

Fark_Guy_Rob: For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun.  So I memorized it.  It has proved to be completely useless information for me.  Never once was I like, 'No wait!  The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'.  Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.


You personally don't apply that knowledge, but you benefit from it every day. Knowledge of how the solar system works is essential for making GPS systems, which tell you "Turn left."
2014-02-15 06:53:43 AM  
2 votes:

Copper Spork: kidgenius: It's not so much that there is a correlation between intelligence and political affiliation, but that people with certain political leanings appear to be actively hostile toward education in general, not to mention science.

Right. Try telling lefties that some groups of people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than others, and wait for the witch hunt.


I have no problem with that, but when you try to shape public policy around it, and start treating individuals as members of a group, then I get uneasy. The real controversy about The Bell Curve wasn't the raw data, but the authors' argument that we shouldn't waste money helping the inferiors since their genes doom them to failure. I'm paraphrasing, of course.

/DNRTFB
2014-02-15 06:44:20 AM  
2 votes:

Copper Spork: Notabunny: We could get those numbers up if we'd just attack teachers and cut funding for public education

Because as the article shows, public education is doing a great job.


So, uh, cut funding more?
2014-02-15 06:22:29 AM  
2 votes:

enderthexenocide: honestly, if someone asked me to do a survey and asked me that question, i would absolutely answer that the sun revolves around the earth just to screw with their results.  its such a dumb question it's just begging for people to give sarcastic answers.  nobody takes stupid surveys like that seriously anyway.


People like you fall within the margin of error.  Still, Americans are farking stupid, and getting stupider.
2014-02-15 06:08:40 AM  
2 votes:
That's what happens when you teach science from the bible.
2014-02-15 12:57:54 AM  
2 votes:
I predict a mix of Fox News anti-intellectual Conservative Patriot white trash and morons from the ghetto (of any race in theory) who think learning is for sellouts. Everyone loses.
2014-02-16 01:04:59 AM  
1 votes:
Easy to see why...idiots are easier to control.
2014-02-15 11:26:44 PM  
1 votes:

Frederick: I maintain my position


Well, then; what particular question do you have regarding the methods and motivations? Or are you simply impugning the experimenters and experiment because you find the experimental results loathesome?
2014-02-15 11:03:20 PM  
1 votes:

RottenEggs: Entitled blue staters?


Non-right answers tended to come from older folk, low education (EG: only HS diploma or less), pure "moderate" political identification (to a lesser degree from conservatism), those who regard the Bible as Inerrant, and blacks -- though the last effect weakens a lot if you factor in the others, but doesn't go away. There's not much correlation on Census region, though there might be less of the problem in New England and more of a problem in the Derp South; again, most of that seems to be from other demographic differences.

Frederick: I am dubious of the survey. I question the surveyors methods and motivation.


See previous attempt to be informative.
2014-02-15 11:02:40 PM  
1 votes:

abb3w: socodog: Not a single mention of how and where the sample group was chosen. Junk science meets yellow journalism.
Ker_Thwap: Agreed, it's not even just the sample that's the concern. It could have been poor phrasing of the question.
Lenny_da_Hog: Well, except for the fact that they linked directly to the detailed National Science Foundation report itself right there in the article.
Ker_Thwap: Do you see a copy of the survey questions in that link? I don't. Do you see the actual phrasing of the question? I don't.

The NSF report indicates the science knowledge questions were from the NORC GSS, which is about as well known in sociology as use of water as a solvent in chemistry; but if you'd like to read up on the details of the methodology, you can try here, particularly Appendix A of the codebook. There's also a handy on-line interface to the data at Berkeley's SDA website, including a searchable code book listing exact wording for the EARTHSUN question.

HTH, HAND.


Your Googling skills far exceed mine.

"1044. Now, I would like to ask you a few short questions like those you might see on a television game show. For each statement that I read, please tell me if it is true or false. If you don't know or aren't sure, just tell me so, and we will skip to the next question. Remember true, false, or don't know. j. Now, does the Earth go around the Sun, or does the Sun go around the Earth?"

So, phone interview.  They explain the proper responses will be true, false, or aren't sure.  Then give true, false, or don't know as options.  Then they ask a question over the phone that requires a specific answer other than true or false.  So the proper response would be true and false?  Yeah, this is a poorly constructed question.

There was also no other question that attempted to duplicate the question, to prevent this kind of misunderstanding.

Were the people taking the poll given consistent instructions on how to interpret a true or false answer to this question?

This question tells me more that some people are more easily confused than others, have poor hearing.  I am not impressed by their survey techniques.  Remember, true or false, or was that false or true?
2014-02-15 10:54:00 PM  
1 votes:

abb3w: socodog: Not a single mention of how and where the sample group was chosen. Junk science meets yellow journalism.
Ker_Thwap: Agreed, it's not even just the sample that's the concern. It could have been poor phrasing of the question.
Lenny_da_Hog: Well, except for the fact that they linked directly to the detailed National Science Foundation report itself right there in the article.
Ker_Thwap: Do you see a copy of the survey questions in that link? I don't. Do you see the actual phrasing of the question? I don't.

The NSF report indicates the science knowledge questions were from the NORC GSS, which is about as well known in sociology as use of water as a solvent in chemistry; but if you'd like to read up on the details of the methodology, you can try here, particularly Appendix A of the codebook. There's also a handy on-line interface to the data at Berkeley's SDA website, including a searchable code book listing exact wording for the EARTHSUN question.

HTH, HAND.


Just anecdotaly- Do you know anyone who thinks the sun revolves around the earth?
2014-02-15 10:29:39 PM  
1 votes:

You Cant Explain That: I would argue that this "goofy" fraction, make more sense than any of the Christians who don't believe in creationism.

If you don't buy into all of it, how do you buy into any of it?


Well, that's just religion in general.  Some people think the old books are parables, just meant to instruct.  Some think they're the word of god.  Every religion is fragmented into a bazillion sects, give or take a zillion.  I doubt you can find any two people that agree on every single aspect of their religion's teachings.  I suppose debating it all gives them a hobby.

I suppose specific to this thread, the "goofy ones" aren't the one's who believe in creationism in a general spiritual sense that a divine creator set everything in motion.  Hell, practically every culture/religion has an interesting creation myth, that's just basic history where people long ago got introspective and attempted to explain the unexplainable.  The goofy ones are those who would force "their" version to be taught at public schools.
2014-02-15 10:26:54 PM  
1 votes:

socodog: Not a single mention of how and where the sample group was chosen. Junk science meets yellow journalism.

Ker_Thwap: Agreed, it's not even just the sample that's the concern. It could have been poor phrasing of the question.

Lenny_da_Hog: Well, except for the fact that they linked directly to the detailed National Science Foundation report itself right there in the article.

Ker_Thwap: Do you see a copy of the survey questions in that link? I don't. Do you see the actual phrasing of the question? I don't.


The NSF report indicates the science knowledge questions were from the NORC GSS, which is about as well known in sociology as use of water as a solvent in chemistry; but if you'd like to read up on the details of the methodology, you can try here, particularly Appendix A of the codebook. There's also a handy on-line interface to the data at Berkeley's SDA website, including a searchable code book listing exact wording for the EARTHSUN question.

HTH, HAND.
2014-02-15 09:52:19 PM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: VendorXeno: Michelle Bachmann, a prominent Tea Party member, has championed anti-homosexual policy both in the GOP and in the Tea Party, both places where it is popular. Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul for whom the Tea Party initially formed around, and also a prominent Tea Party congressperson, is on record as saying he believes private business should be allowed to discriminate based on race. You are flat out wrong. You are also profoundly ignorant and blatantly dishonest and no longer worth conversing with.

ciberido: Let's not worry so much about what the Left says. Let's try asking racists how much they agree with the Tea Party. Or, hey, ask Glenn Beck. You can hardly accuse him of being a rabid leftist.

We now arrive at the crux of the problem.  You think you get to define what racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination is.


profile.ak.fbcdn.net

Rovian projection indeed.  You're a farking mirror.
2014-02-15 08:30:41 PM  
1 votes:
I am dubious of the survey.  I question the surveyors methods and motivation.
2014-02-15 08:13:40 PM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: We now arrive at the crux of the problem. You think you get to define what racism, sexism, homophobia, and discrimination is. It's a trick as old as Lenin and his usurpation of the term Bolshevik at the 2nd Party Congress way back about a dozen years before the 1917 revolution. Give or take - it's been a long time since I studied the exact sequence of events prior to the creation of the Soviet Union.


Oh, FFS. Plonk.
2014-02-15 07:26:14 PM  
1 votes:
Nothing a few more corporate tax cuts can't fix. Oh, also bust up the teacher's union just to be sure.
2014-02-15 06:55:14 PM  
1 votes:

Ker_Thwap: VendorXeno: When over half of a faction holds a view, like anti-climate science, to the point that it is part of their immediate platform, that's not fuzzy. You do come off as the classic moderate though, pissing off both sides by never listening to either while still constantly trying to describe them all. I myself am a transcendent. I pay attention to, and think about, what people say, what they do and what appears to have merit. The current US right wing is predominantly anti-science. Your repeated claims that this is just a fringe group without serious influence is flat out wrong, a claim without substance or support.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/four-americans-believe-strict-crea ti onism.aspx

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 10-12, 2010, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

So basically more Republicans than Democrats believe in the Easter Bunny.  But the percentages aren't really that far off.  I like to treat people as individuals rather than pigeonholing them into neat little categories to demonize them.  I do all my demonizing on an individual basis. Don't make assumptions about me, I listen to everyone, don't be insulting.

Again, you're generalizing.  Anti science on on the single issue of evolution is not anti science on every issue.  As for global warming, a lot of people are simply anti reactionary based on politicizing the subject for their own personal gain.  They can believe in the science science and disagree with the political science on the best way to address the concerns.


Again, I am not generalizing in the fashion you're insisting. Repeating it won't make it magically true. The anti-science trend only makes it onto the platform of one faction. As for your idea that people just hate the politicization of global warming, utter bullshiat. For one thing, it isn't a polarized political issue. It's one faction vs. science itself. This can in large part be demonstrated by the lack of the same argument in so many other political cultures. When NASA scientists post data showing a global warming trend and right wing pundits call it bullshiat, right wing politicians lie about it a majority of right wing voters state they don't believe it, that's science denial. That is not your myth of just hating the politics. Your whole description is fictional. As for insulting you, you brought up the generalization of pissing off both sides, not me.
2014-02-15 04:59:33 PM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: Lenny_da_Hog: Yes. And the fact that every "Tea Party" candidate has run on the GOP ticket has escaped you.

Tea Partiers tend to run on Republican tickets because Republicans are a close to a conservative party as we have in this country.  Maybe you've noticed, however, how often Tea Party candidates primary established Republicans?  The Tea Party is aware that a 3rd party will gain nothing so they have attached themselves to Republicans. There isn't much love lost between them and the old, established order.


And they joined the appropriate GOP caucus when elected, and the GOP has voted in unison in both the house and senate. Nothing changed. A couple of off-year races getting challenged didn't do much harm to the GOP, but now they're ready to rein it back in for the next big election cycle. It didn't really matter if Joe Miller or Lisa Murkowski would have won the Alaska Senate seat, because they both would have joined the Senate minority caucus and would have voted in lock-step.

It's been just enough rope to hang themselves. The extremists are being marginalized by their own over-exposure, and it will make it easier for the GOP to rebrand them under some other logo in a couple of years.

There is no Tea Party. It doesn't exist. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary and marketing brand of the GOP. Every previous incarnation of that same anger/judgment demographic, all the way back to Jerry Falwell's original mailing lists, has served the same purpose -- Attract rural working class voters who live in a small-town mentality, and use that mentality to get them to vote away their own interests in exchange for a few crumbs of anger.

If you want to be angry and judgmental for any reason at all, vote to cut taxes for the rich and the GOP will pay lip service to all the anti-everyone-else-but-me anger. Doesn't matter whether it's Christian fundamentalism, racism, or hating that slut Mrs. Johnson who wears her dresses way to high.
2014-02-15 04:41:20 PM  
1 votes:

Ker_Thwap: VendorXeno: Meanwhile, no, my "rant" isn't hard to follow. Anti-science comes aggressively from only one quarter. There's only one faction pushing creationism and insisting evolution is invalid. It's not equally distributed among the various social straights. That's simply ignorance or dishonesty.

You're trying too hard.  Creationists are a tiny goofy fraction, of a small fraction of a certain religion.  There's a lot of press because it's fun to mock them.  But they're hardly prevalent.  From what I've seen, they don't even hate science, they only hate evolution science, which is even weirder.

There are social conservatives, there are fiscal conservatives.  It's admittedly fun to demonize an entire political party based on the actions of the few extremists, but it's not wise to do so, for many reasons.

/Atheist here.


But they are prevalent. Among the US right wing over a third reject evolution. Over half reject climate science. And yes, reject. They don't fight science with science, they reject the science. And their fiscal side stems from the same thinking. See Romney's black people just want free stuff comments. The same bad thinking drives both their social and fiscal platforms and it isn't a silly little side show the big smart fiscal conservatives put up with, it is endemic to the political mind frame.
2014-02-15 04:16:44 PM  
1 votes:

MyRandomName: Solid State Vittles: Book lurning is for librals. I wasn't evolutioned from some farking munkey you idiots.

And yet democrats received the largest amount of votes from those without a high school education. Liberals always conveniently ignore this point.


Did they?  Citation?

I'm a liberal and I wasn't conveniently ignoring the point as I was totally unaware of it.
2014-02-15 02:25:35 PM  
1 votes:

TOSViolation: The Sun actually DOES go around the Earth, if the Earth is your point of reference. The mathematics are just simpler when you use the Sun as the point of reference.


Both revolve around a common center of mass, which is inside the diameter of the sun.
2014-02-15 01:54:35 PM  
1 votes:
i58.tinypic.com
i62.tinypic.com
2014-02-15 01:05:36 PM  
1 votes:

GrizzlyPouch: But my point was the Tea Party (as the name implies ...it is a reference to the Boston Tea party after all) is disillusioned with big government and taxes...they arent the racist people you're describing. Racism getting associated with actual people who have Tea Party ideals is a misconception.


Bullshiat. Not a peep from these ignorant hillbillies when Bush was spending money like a drunken sailor on the Iraq war, Medicare D, the bank bailout etc., then suddenly they're out in force with their imbecilic misspelled protest signs within a week of Obama's inauguration. There's obviously a Dark motive here; Kenya see what I'm getting at?
2014-02-15 12:57:38 PM  
1 votes:

Son of Thunder: If we find, for example, that there are such things as certain biologically-based psychological gender differences, this does not justify excluding people from careers (women tend to outperform men on verbal tasks, therefore men shouldn't be writers), but on the other hand I will not throw all that research away just because a Gender Studies major yelled "patriarchy" in my face. If someone wants me to deny climate change, show me data, don't just tell me that the theory of anthropogenic climate change is "anti-capitalism".

Your position also assumes that truth is on the side of the chanting horde. In some cases, maybe, but history shows us far too many chanting hordes on the wrong sides of issues to support that assumption.


Data, on its own does not provide theories. Sure, women are better on verbal tasks, but why? The evolutionary psychologist will call it an adaptation ("the cave-women stayed in the cave and gossiped, the cave-men went out hunting and had to STFU so as to not spook the prey"), the gender theorist will call it socialisation. If she shouts at you, it's probably because the recognises that the former view is going to be used argue for limits on what half of humanity should do, whether or not that was the original intent of the researchers.

Of course, we're indulging in a caricature of political criticisms of science, I assume we both have in mind the story that Wilson related (with considerable pride) about being that target of protesters in the 1970s, after the release of Sociobiology, but that's actually a pretty rare occurrence. The chanting horde is actually sitting down and writing papers like every other respectable boring academic. Their opposition is not knee-jerk or irrational (most of the time), but it comes from an understanding of intellectual history and a more nuanced understanding of the interaction between science and society than most scientists seem to possess. And I mostly agree with that (though I used to be a whole lot more positivist). So, take social/environmental factors to always be the default explanation, and I great with extreme scepticism, even more than usual, any claims of biological determinism. I don't think that pointing out the "excesses" of the far left is applicable in this case because I'm not supporting any positive vision on what future society should look like, which you kind of need to justify extreme illiberal measures.

And you know, climate change is anti-capitalist, at least in the sense that averting catastrophic climate change is probably incompatible with an economic system that requires exponential growth. Those conservatives aren't all stupid, quite often they can see the issue a lot more clearly than many middle-of-the-road liberals. The political question is then, what do you prefer? The end of capitalism or... well nobody knows what the consequences of massive global warming will be.
2014-02-15 12:44:10 PM  
1 votes:

Fark_Guy_Rob: As it happened, I've *never* taken any class covered anatomy. Yes, I'm glad my doctor has and I'm glad my surgeon has....but beyond the song 'Head, shoulder, knees and toes' I don't know much of anything. So what? Enough knowledge to answer some very basic questions wouldn't help me in any practical situation. But that doesn't mean doctors shouldn't learn it. It means we shouldn't care that everyone doesn't know it. Even if everyone did know basic anatomy, we wouldn't be any better off. Basic knowledge of anatomy is a building block to useful stuff, same as basic physics. The 'Earth goes around the Sun' tidbit has no intrinsic value without an awfully large amount of other information. Even if you took someone who knows the Earth goes around the Sun now, and sent them back to a time/culture where they thought it was the other way around, they couldn't do anything or provide any real evidence beyond 'No trust me, Mrs Jones told me so). Unless you happen to get someone who has a true passion for astronomy or physics.


I think knowing the Earth goes around the Sun is on the same level as knowing that the heart is the organ that pumps blood through your body or that lungs are what lets you breathe... A very, very simplistic and basic fact that you would almost have to go out of your way to avoid having learned long, long ago... It's not so much that they need to know it, but just that I don't see how the hell they could not! How can you live on this planet and take part in society without having learned such a simple and obvious thing just by hearing others talk about it? And, it's not like they answered the question, "I don't know", which would be somewhat more excusable; instead, they answered completely incorrectly... So, it's not that they simply lacked knowledge, but they actually believed something that was completely and totally wrong... To use your anatomy example, it would be like you claiming to believe that the liver is responsibile for pumping blood, and you breathe via your kidneys...
2014-02-15 12:38:40 PM  
1 votes:

Theeng: Honestly, I find it more baffling that people equate intelligence with political affiliation.


You never hear a Democratic congressperson refer to the Earth being 8,000 years old.
2014-02-15 12:23:03 PM  
1 votes:
i.chzbgr.com

Intelligence is a myth, competence is real.
2014-02-15 12:22:22 PM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: I know you think you're educated and you probably fervently believe everything you write about the Tea Party.  But everything you've written about them is exactly what the Democrat Party and other rabidly leftist partisans have published.  You may or may not have noticed, but liberal Democrats, and especially the more rabid amongst them, have only the most tenuous of relationships with the truth, most apparent when talking abut their political opponents.  Being a parrot/shill/useful idiot is neither a noble career path nor indicative of any native intelligence or intellectual honesty.


Peck-peck-peck, defend-defend-defend, anti-intellectual swipe, blah, blah, blah.

I already talked about left-wing crazies above.
2014-02-15 11:49:09 AM  
1 votes:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move
2014-02-15 11:41:44 AM  
1 votes:

GrizzlyPouch: Yes I do, and that's a shame. But my point was the Tea Party (as the name implies ...it is a reference to the Boston Tea party after all) is disillusioned with big government and taxes...they arent the racist people you're describing. Racism getting associated with actual people who have Tea Party ideals is a misconception.


Tea Party ideals are what the GOP has told the Tea Party to hold as ideals.

The Tea Party isn't for anything. They're just against things. That's why racists are more than welcome. As long as you're going to be an enemy of the Democrats, you can be a Teabagger.

Does it really make sense to sacrifice national subsidies to your own child's education based on a "principle" that Peter might get a dollar less subsidy than Paul? Hell, let's just throw the entire Department of Education away -- that's the Tea Party way!

Astoundingly, that also corresponds with what corporate overlords want for us to do. They want us to be ignorant and indebted to them in order to keep us all from getting uppity, but that's just a coincidence -- just as big of a coincidence as the Teabaggers magically appearing after the GOP screwed up so bad that nobody could stand upright and call themselves "Republicans" for a couple of years.

In the South, your values are held together by little community and church hierarchies. There's constant peck-peck-pecking to put everyone into a social order. "Tea Party Values" is just an extension of that same hierarchy.

"GOP said it, I believe it, that settles it."
2014-02-15 11:35:38 AM  
1 votes:

Ker_Thwap: socodog: Not a single mention of how and where the sample group was chosen. Junk science meets yellow journalism.

Trying to attach the survey answers to any one demographic or political group is just assinine. This is Fark, though.

Agreed, it's not even just the sample that's the concern.  It could have been poor phrasing of the question.


Well, except for the fact that they linked directly to the detailed National Science Foundation report itself right there in the article. (PDF)
2014-02-15 11:33:08 AM  
1 votes:

Lenny_da_Hog: GrizzlyPouch: I live in South Mississippi (see more of the Honey Boo Boos than the extra reality types understandably). The people that associate themselves with the tea party here are your typical middle class average joe. They go to church, have jobs and still know the moon isn't held up with a bungee cord. And they're as annoyed by the mouth breathing, Jeebus loving, living on disability at thirty people as they are by the thirty yr old with five kids by five different dads. They aren't racist (like I see claimed on FARK a lot) and they don't have a fark you get more bootstrappy attitude like I also see claimed on fark. But they do work hard and they don't like seeing the benefits of their labor given to people too lazy or ignorant to help themselves with no questions asked. I don't think that's a crazy attitude, you probably feel the same way yourself.

For some reason FARK has a misperception of the average Southerner (probly because we ran the crazies off and sent them y'all's way. Sorry. We get some of your crazies to)

As I said, they rely on denial and anger.

The Tea Party welcomes racists. It's filled with dog whistling. Our local group used to openly and loudly use racial epithets to describe the president until it became too much for the diner to explain to its other customers. They toned it down by referring to all blacks as "J-B" -- "That J-B Obama is just catering to all those J-B muslims and their J-B supremacy white-hating asses..."

You can figure out what J-B stands for.

The anger is stupid traditionalism from the Southern church-village mentality. I've spent a *lot* of time throughout the South, including several passes through Mississippi, and yes, Mississippi harbors a great deal of racism and anti-intellectualism within its borders. That "average Joe" you speak of is too uninformed to realize he's handing his entire life away to people that want to diminish his quality of life, simply because someone told him that someone out there might not be working as hard as he is for the same money and has told him he should be angry about it.

That's not a calculated economic position. It's anger and just-world fallacy.

You realize Mississippi has the worst education system in the US, right? That's quantifiable data, not some stereotype.


Yes I do, and that's a shame. But my point was the Tea Party (as the name implies ...it is a reference to the Boston Tea party after all) is disillusioned with big government and taxes...they arent the racist people you're describing. Racism getting associated with actual people who have Tea Party ideals is a misconception.
2014-02-15 11:11:34 AM  
1 votes:

GrizzlyPouch: I live in South Mississippi (see more of the Honey Boo Boos than the extra reality types understandably). The people that associate themselves with the tea party here are your typical middle class average joe. They go to church, have jobs and still know the moon isn't held up with a bungee cord. And they're as annoyed by the mouth breathing, Jeebus loving, living on disability at thirty people as they are by the thirty yr old with five kids by five different dads. They aren't racist (like I see claimed on FARK a lot) and they don't have a fark you get more bootstrappy attitude like I also see claimed on fark. But they do work hard and they don't like seeing the benefits of their labor given to people too lazy or ignorant to help themselves with no questions asked. I don't think that's a crazy attitude, you probably feel the same way yourself.

For some reason FARK has a misperception of the average Southerner (probly because we ran the crazies off and sent them y'all's way. Sorry. We get some of your crazies to)


As I said, they rely on denial and anger.

The Tea Party welcomes racists. It's filled with dog whistling. Our local group used to openly and loudly use racial epithets to describe the president until it became too much for the diner to explain to its other customers. They toned it down by referring to all blacks as "J-B" -- "That J-B Obama is just catering to all those J-B muslims and their J-B supremacy white-hating asses..."

You can figure out what J-B stands for.

The anger is stupid traditionalism from the Southern church-village mentality. I've spent a *lot* of time throughout the South, including several passes through Mississippi, and yes, Mississippi harbors a great deal of racism and anti-intellectualism within its borders. That "average Joe" you speak of is too uninformed to realize he's handing his entire life away to people that want to diminish his quality of life, simply because someone told him that someone out there might not be working as hard as he is for the same money and has told him he should be angry about it.

That's not a calculated economic position. It's anger and just-world fallacy.

You realize Mississippi has the worst education system in the US, right? That's quantifiable data, not some stereotype.
2014-02-15 11:04:57 AM  
1 votes:

memebot_of_doom: Mr. Right: One book that stands out in my mind to this day was a book titled Time.  Don't remember the author or publisher but it was a relatively small book with a fair number of pictures aimed at elementary readers.

Out of curiosity I did a quick search, but there are a lot of juvenile books called Time.

[img.fark.net image 400x430]


I have no doubt.  And the one I had would have been published right around or prior to 1960 - you know, back in the day when sundials and hourglasses were still used.  I'd bet that it has long since been rotated out of the library.  But back in the day, it certainly made an impression on me.

One of the things that has struck me in the intervening years, is the number of youngsters I know - and most of them are above average intelligence and go to the "better" public schools - who have no idea why the polar circles are drawn on the globe where they are, or, for that matter, why the Tropics are placed at the latitude they are.  They claim that is not taught anymore.  I don't know if that's true or they just didn't pay attention or read that chapter.  It's probably not a big deal in terms of world knowledge or the advancement of science and industry around the globe but I find it curious nonetheless.
2014-02-15 11:00:39 AM  
1 votes:

offmymeds: A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

WE'RE NUMBER 1!!! WE'RE NUMBER 1!!! USA!!! USA111!!!

[i.chzbgr.com image 500x301]


FSU's No. 1!
Moran
2014-02-15 10:57:58 AM  
1 votes:

Lenny_da_Hog: GrizzlyPouch: gameshowhost: Well, how many people voted for a Tea Party candidate?  Say that represents ~20% of the number who believe in the elephant thing.  Then add in Kansas.  About 60% of the South... 

Jesus Christ, something like 60m Americans believe that.

When I think too dumb to know the earth revolves around the sun I generally think hipster guy with tats and gauges and dumb girl that's like totally not worried about like that smart people stuff (and I associate those people with being liberal voters), and honey boo boo's mom (definitely conservative voting but that's cause Jesus told me too). I definitely don't associate the honey boo boo mouth breather type with being interested in concepts like taxation being an inhibitor to job growth

Where does this perception come from that Tea Partiers are these cold calculating evil people who think the poors should be more bootstrappy and the government redistributes too much of our money, yet at the same time they can't understand basic concepts like gravity?

When have you ever come across that person in real life?

Or were you just being snarky because you don't like them? (Not very progressive of you by the way. Do you think they should be more bootstrappy about their ignorance?)

I live in a rural area of Oregon, less than an hour away from Portland. I see both types regularly.

Out here in the sticks, there are the Tea Party rubes. The problem with them is they will fight and fight to keep other people from learning. They want enemies. Enemies make them powerful. They will refuse to admit they're wrong about anything and will just threaten you and call you stupid. As long as they have a friend to back them up, that is. They depend on denial and anger to maintain their beliefs.

The dumber hipster types you describe more or less believe in extra-reality -- they know extra things about the universe, like auras and fluoride and TM and contrails and urban farming being able to provide for everyone. If they get a petty fact like the earth's rotation and orbit wrong, they're not going to fight with you about it. They'll deflect -- "But dude!" They'll get mad and call you names if you deny their extra-real theories, but they'll either cave, deflect, or rationalize, rather than outright deny, well-explained concepts.


I live in South Mississippi (see more of the Honey Boo Boos than the extra reality types understandably). The people that associate themselves with the tea party here are your typical middle class average joe. They go to church, have jobs and still know the moon isn't held up with a bungee cord. And they're as annoyed by the mouth breathing, Jeebus loving, living on disability at thirty people as they are by the thirty yr old with five kids by five different dads. They aren't racist (like I see claimed on FARK a lot) and they don't have a fark you get more bootstrappy attitude like I also see claimed on fark. But they do work hard and they don't like seeing the benefits of their labor given to people too lazy or ignorant to help themselves with no questions asked. I don't think that's a crazy attitude, you probably feel the same way yourself.

For some reason FARK has a misperception of the average Southerner (probly because we ran the crazies off and sent them y'all's way. Sorry. We get some of your crazies to)
2014-02-15 10:50:40 AM  
1 votes:

HindiDiscoMonster: Fubini: In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion"

Uh, but that's wrong. The most accurate model of the universe's early life starts out with the universe being physically small, and then rapidly expanding. There is no explosion involved, it's more as though you had a very high pressure gas contained inside a room, and then that room suddenly grew 1000 times in size. The gas would undergo significant cooling, and the volume that the gas occupies is much larger than previously, but there was no magic explosion of gas that brought the gas into being... the gas was already there to begin with. Likewise, all the matter and energy in the universe was there at the start, but it rapidly cooled and expanded in response to the expansion of the early universe.

so, what you are trying to say is someone farted...


Ah, the Divine Flatulance theory...

capt.hollister: To all those who defend the ignorant by claiming that not knowing that the Earth rotates around the sun comes from being distracted on that one day when it was taught in class, I say BS.

IMO, it actually comes out of a complete lack of intellectual curiosity. It comes from not reading.  It comes from never watching documentaries. It comes from hanging around with people who are just as intellectually deprived as they are. It comes, in short, from being willfully ignorant about the world.

And IMO there is no valid excuse for this.


I agree completely... I can't understand the "useless trivia" quips... We're not talking about highly technical esoterica here, but basic information about how the universe works... I can understand someone not knowing the finer details of special relativity or quantum mechanics or whatever, but not knowing the Earth goes around the Sun? I can't even fathom how it's possible to not know that... Maybe if you were raised by wolves or something...
2014-02-15 10:48:56 AM  
1 votes:

GrizzlyPouch: gameshowhost: Well, how many people voted for a Tea Party candidate?  Say that represents ~20% of the number who believe in the elephant thing.  Then add in Kansas.  About 60% of the South... 

Jesus Christ, something like 60m Americans believe that.

When I think too dumb to know the earth revolves around the sun I generally think hipster guy with tats and gauges and dumb girl that's like totally not worried about like that smart people stuff (and I associate those people with being liberal voters), and honey boo boo's mom (definitely conservative voting but that's cause Jesus told me too). I definitely don't associate the honey boo boo mouth breather type with being interested in concepts like taxation being an inhibitor to job growth

Where does this perception come from that Tea Partiers are these cold calculating evil people who think the poors should be more bootstrappy and the government redistributes too much of our money, yet at the same time they can't understand basic concepts like gravity?

When have you ever come across that person in real life?

Or were you just being snarky because you don't like them? (Not very progressive of you by the way. Do you think they should be more bootstrappy about their ignorance?)


Living in the south, I see them everywhere and interact with them on a regular basis.

The Tea Party folks are still holding meetings around here (I see the dated signs advertising meetings).
2014-02-15 10:20:51 AM  
1 votes:

Prey4reign: The average IQ in the US is 98.  With a low score of 55 and a high score of 145, that puts the lowest 25% ranging between 55 and 78 which means that one in four Americans are either idiots or are channeling the spirits of 17th century Inquisitors.  That should adequately answer the question.


2.bp.blogspot.com
2014-02-15 10:14:02 AM  
1 votes:

Copper Spork: kidgenius: It's not so much that there is a correlation between intelligence and political affiliation, but that people with certain political leanings appear to be actively hostile toward education in general, not to mention science.

Right. Try telling lefties that some groups of people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than others, and wait for the witch hunt.


Oh, you should be at the table when I suggest that certain population segments are really on the same curve as whites, but we so broke their cultural arraingments that the brightest over there starts with a ten point gap due to being exposed to a different memetic load in childhood.

Basically, if you start them reading at age 3-4 and give them a load of NatGeo kids books they'll test like a white suburban kid by fifth grade.
2014-02-15 10:09:02 AM  
1 votes:

MyRandomName: Solid State Vittles: Book lurning is for librals. I wasn't evolutioned from some farking munkey you idiots.

And yet democrats received the largest amount of votes from those without a high school education. Liberals always conveniently ignore this point.


SSSSHHHH!  Don't mention that.  Just remember, "they're all above average, every last one of them", and you won't have any trouble around here.  Anyway, since they don't like the result, that survey is highly flawed and should be disregarded out of hand, otherwise, you are fascist, racist, homophobe, sexist,....
2014-02-15 09:58:59 AM  
1 votes:

zimbomba63: a particular individual: Fark_Guy_Rob: For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun.  So I memorized it.  It has proved to be completely useless information for me.  Never once was I like, 'No wait!  The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'.  Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.

You personally don't apply that knowledge, but you benefit from it every day. Knowledge of how the solar system works is essential for making GPS systems, which tell you "Turn left."

Your losing me here.  What does a system of satellites orbiting the earth have to do with the solar system..


They obey the same laws of physics that describe planets orbiting the sun.
2014-02-15 09:48:02 AM  
1 votes:

Solid State Vittles: Book lurning is for librals. I wasn't evolutioned from some farking munkey you idiots.


And yet democrats received the largest amount of votes from those without a high school education. Liberals always conveniently ignore this point.
2014-02-15 09:18:01 AM  
1 votes:

VendorXeno: Meanwhile, no, my "rant" isn't hard to follow. Anti-science comes aggressively from only one quarter. There's only one faction pushing creationism and insisting evolution is invalid. It's not equally distributed among the various social straights. That's simply ignorance or dishonesty.


You're trying too hard.  Creationists are a tiny goofy fraction, of a small fraction of a certain religion.  There's a lot of press because it's fun to mock them.  But they're hardly prevalent.  From what I've seen, they don't even hate science, they only hate evolution science, which is even weirder.

There are social conservatives, there are fiscal conservatives.  It's admittedly fun to demonize an entire political party based on the actions of the few extremists, but it's not wise to do so, for many reasons.

/Atheist here.
2014-02-15 09:06:37 AM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: Which do you suppose is more destructive to society?


The war on reality people. Got any harder ones?
2014-02-15 09:00:48 AM  
1 votes:

Fark_Guy_Rob: // For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun. So I memorized it. It has proved to be completely useless information for me. Never once was I like, 'No wait! The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'. Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.


Fortunately there have been people throughout history that didn't have such a pragmatic outlook, which is why you're posting this on the Internet instead of scratching in the dirt with a stick for some grubs.
2014-02-15 08:46:38 AM  
1 votes:

Copper Spork: Joak: Can you tell us what an evolution or climate change extremist looks like? I am worred I may be one and not even know it.

The climate change extremists are pretty easy to identify. They're the ones opposed to using nuclear power to solve the problem, because their goal is to make people "use less energy" and "change their lifestyles". They are also often found showing pictures of supposedly drowning polar bears, using the snow on Mount Fuji as an example of climate change, claiming that when the Arctic ice melts, sea levels will rise, and talking about "Gaia".


You're not a smart one, are ya?  You can admit it, it's okay.  We're all friends here.
2014-02-15 08:43:30 AM  
1 votes:
Mr. Right: "Your rant is pretty hard to follow but my argument is that a goodly number of people in this country and others are simply uninformed and uneducated.  There is no political or religious agenda behind it, there is not malice toward any idea or not, simply ignorance."

"I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  "


See how you contradict yourself? At once you're claiming it's political, then not political. Those are both your quotes. 

Meanwhile, no, my "rant" isn't hard to follow. Anti-science comes aggressively from only one quarter. There's only one faction pushing creationism and insisting evolution is invalid. It's not equally distributed among the various social straights. That's simply ignorance or dishonesty.
2014-02-15 08:21:31 AM  
1 votes:

a particular individual: Fark_Guy_Rob: For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun.  So I memorized it.  It has proved to be completely useless information for me.  Never once was I like, 'No wait!  The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'.  Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.

You personally don't apply that knowledge, but you benefit from it every day. Knowledge of how the solar system works is essential for making GPS systems, which tell you "Turn left."


Sure, sure.  I'm not saying knowledge isn't good for mankind.  I'm saying most knowledge doesn't help any individual man (or woman).  Because of that, I don't feel smug or superior to someone who doesn't know that the Earth goes around the Sun.

I don't expect anyone buying a Garmin GPS to know the physics required to make it work.  Or the electrical engineering, or the project management, or the businessy crap that went into it, or the esoteric tax laws that govern the company that made it, or the shipping company, or the computer science behind the pathing algorithms used.

I expect a physicist to know stuff about physics.
I expect an electrical engineer to know stuff about electronics.
Etc, etc....

Most of what students are taught in school is just a bullet point to be memorized, and later repeated.  Most people who know the Earth goes around the Sun just remember being told that.  They haven't verified it or even really thought about it.  They don't have any better understanding of how their GPS works because of it, nor are they better equipped to use their turn-by-turn navigator.  Them having that knowledge doesn't benefit them at all.  They benefit some other smart people having a LOT more information.

It's akin to having 8th graders memorize that 'The travelling salesman problem is NP-complete'.  Well - so what.  It's just a random factoid unless you have a pile of other information about what it means and, unless you are doing pretty specialized work, it doesn't matter to you.
2014-02-15 08:12:50 AM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  You are assuming that someone who believes the earth is stationary while the sun rotates around it is making a conscious decision, rather than simply being totally uninformed through inattention.  If you had never thought about it before, wouldn't it make sense that the earth is standing still (I can't feel it moving) and the sun is moving?  After all, it comes up on that side and it goes down on the other side. That mountain isn't moving but the sun goes down behind it.

I would bet that if you delved into the political inclinations of respondents who believe the sun rotates around the earth, you would find as many Obama voters as Romney voters.


This is a common whine from the idiot front. It has nothing to do with politics. My knowledge of evolution doesn't come from my political party. It comes from reading, thinking, being educated. It has no political anchor. Same with my climate knowledge. What I know about carbon, greenhouse gases, the upper atmosphere, etc., these all come from learning, education, experimentation, etc. 

To you, all of this can be buried under political dualism because you're ignorant, but to the educated and intelligent, there is no dualism. There are thousands of factions, worldwide, easily able to recognize, employ and apply science, and then there's a small handful of blind idiots rejecting all of it for lunacy like creationism. These people don't represent political dualism, they represent a war on reality.
2014-02-15 08:09:38 AM  
1 votes:

jaybeezey: Mr. Right: I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  You are assuming that someone who believes the earth is stationary while the sun rotates around it is making a conscious decision, rather than simply being totally uninformed through inattention.  If you had never thought about it before, wouldn't it make sense that the earth is standing still (I can't feel it moving) and the sun is moving?  After all, it comes up on that side and it goes down on the other side. That mountain isn't moving but the sun goes down behind it.

I would bet that if you delved into the political inclinations of respondents who believe the sun rotates around the earth, you would find as many Obama voters as Romney voters.

No, only red neck tea party people are ignorant. Ghetto dwellers are super smart, as evidenced on their predisposition to vote for Obama based completely on his economic policies and NOT on half of his racial makeup.


So refreshing to see Republicans going ahead and being honest about their hatred for non-whites. Get it on out there in the open, boy!
2014-02-15 08:06:20 AM  
1 votes:
I was discussing (trolling) the age of the Earth with a fundie woman who believed it was only 6000 years old. I got her so flustered, she semi-yelled, "are you saying I don't really believe this?!?" I replied, "Oh no, I truly believe that you truly believe the Earth is only 6000 years old ....... I'm just saying you're an idiot for believing it." And many chuckles around the room were heard.
2014-02-15 07:58:53 AM  
1 votes:
Ook?
2014-02-15 07:49:21 AM  
1 votes:

jaybeezey: No, only red neck tea party people are ignorant. Ghetto dwellers are super smart, as evidenced on their predisposition to vote for Obama based completely on his economic policies and NOT on half of his racial makeup.


exactly. that's why in the years before Obama ran for president, black people never ever voted for a democrat. ever.
2014-02-15 07:45:07 AM  
1 votes:

hasty ambush: The Liberals' War on Science How politics distorts science on both ends of the spectrum

Surveys show that moderate liberals and conservatives embrace science roughly equally (varying across domains), which is why scientists like E. O. Wilson and organizations like the National Center for Science Education are reaching out to moderates in both parties to rein in the extremists on evolution and climate change.


That article was incredibly unconvincing. It was essentially saying, "sure, conservatives are retards, but liberals have a smaller percentage of people who are wrong on the same issues and sometimes they take their factual and accurate objections to potentially harmful technologies a bit too far."

Hardly a "war" on science from the left.
2014-02-15 07:34:29 AM  
1 votes:
Well. It does since motion is relative to the observer.
2014-02-15 07:33:34 AM  
1 votes:
Can anyone honestly claim, what with crap like, "you can't explain the tides," O'reilly, that Fox News has contributed directly to this?
2014-02-15 07:09:22 AM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  You are assuming that someone who believes the earth is stationary while the sun rotates around it is making a conscious decision, rather than simply being totally uninformed through inattention.  If you had never thought about it before, wouldn't it make sense that the earth is standing still (I can't feel it moving) and the sun is moving?  After all, it comes up on that side and it goes down on the other side. That mountain isn't moving but the sun goes down behind it.

I would bet that if you delved into the political inclinations of respondents who believe the sun rotates around the earth, you would find as many Obama voters as Romney voters.


Agreed - 100%

Even among those who did answer correctly, only a tiny subset of them could explain how they could prove it or what implications it has.  The vast majority were told 'X is true' and will repeat 'X is true' while looking down at people who don't know 'X is true'.

// For the record, I'm one of those who was told the Earth goes around the Sun.  So I memorized it.  It has proved to be completely useless information for me.  Never once was I like, 'No wait!  The Earth goes around the Sun, so I need to turn Left here and not Right'.  Outside of some specific career paths, it's just useless trivia.
2014-02-15 07:00:25 AM  
1 votes:

Mr. Right: I know that it makes a lot of people feel better about themselves to believe that the opposite of their political spectrum houses all the idiots and that their party is filled with wisdom but would it occur to any of you to look back in your High School class and recognize that a good many of those kids simply never paid enough attention to learn any of what you may consider basic knowledge?  You are assuming that someone who believes the earth is stationary while the sun rotates around it is making a conscious decision, rather than simply being totally uninformed through inattention.  If you had never thought about it before, wouldn't it make sense that the earth is standing still (I can't feel it moving) and the sun is moving?  After all, it comes up on that side and it goes down on the other side. That mountain isn't moving but the sun goes down behind it.

I would bet that if you delved into the political inclinations of respondents who believe the sun rotates around the earth, you would find as many Obama voters as Romney voters.


I would agree that's the astronomy one in particular is not due to rejection of science, but just ignorance. The evolution question would be more about rejection of science instead of ignorance. We can fix the ignorance stuff through better education and providing our schools proper funding. The evolution type stuff is a bit more difficult, as it challenges people to change their beliefs. Better education can help, as well as fighting the fight to keep I.D out of schools. Due to our nation's history and it's general religious identification, it's a much longer road on those types of topics.
2014-02-15 06:59:42 AM  
1 votes:

The One True TheDavid: Copper Spork: that some groups of people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than others,

Only in the sense of breeding for it as the Jews did. Sort of the way that giraffes' long necks was a freak mutation in a few individuals that caught on and took off because long-necked giraffes got more to eat and produced more offspring, had the Jews not fetishized intellectuality they'd most likely have died out long ago.

Otherwise it's that some individuals in some groups somehow wound up more intelligent than others and some of them managed to reproduce their genes and pass on their love of learning (or at least of being Mr Smartypants) before the idiots ground them down. At least in Europe large numbers of those who kept selecting for smartness for generation after generation managed to survive by helping the rulers get rich and by paying the rulers to protect them, which accounts for the Jews' survival. It's not natural genetics, it's cultural eugenics. We could breed a generation of brilliant hillbillies if we paid more attention.

How sad that in "the West" assimilation has wrecked the Jews' breeding program and undermined its cultural supports and benefits just when Israel needs smart American Jews to send money and rally support for the more moderate political groups who can use their ingrained pragmatism to reach an understanding with the Palestinians and out-compete the Israeli version of the Tea Party mindset.

Even "purebred" Jews are becoming as stupid as the average American by giving up those cultural programs that made being smart mean something: what the good of being brilliant when your concerns don't extend beyond pop culture? Does the world really benefit from several thousand Star Trek geeks?


So they're the master race that's being diluted by the subhumans? Interesting viewpoint, Adolph.

/ the circle of life indeed
2014-02-15 06:59:30 AM  
1 votes:
It's not that there are people who believe things that aren't true, it's that so many other people choose that first person as their elected representative based on how fervently and publicly that first person espouses those beliefs.
2014-02-15 06:59:23 AM  
1 votes:
Given that the question didn't give "the solar-system's barycentric coordinates, chained to the Milky Way's barycentric coordinates, chained to the barycentric coordinates of the universe" as an option, THEY CAN ALL GO SUCK MY MANFLUTE.
2014-02-15 06:55:13 AM  
1 votes:

a particular individual:
"Liberals led an assault against evolutionary psychology for saying human thought and behavior are partially the result of evolution."


Somehow I doubt that liberals would be the only ones against the idea that thought and behavior are the tied to evolution. In general, most of the public probably doesn't like that idea because, we're humans. We're "special" and therefore we are more than just some chemicals in our brains.

It's similar to the idea that criminals aren't criminals because they choose to be, but instead due in a not insignificant part to their brain's chemistry/biology, over which they have no control.

It's an interesting field, but it definitely makes people from all spectrums quite uncomfortable.
2014-02-15 06:50:40 AM  
1 votes:
How long before this NSF study is revealed to also be flawed?
2014-02-15 06:48:22 AM  
1 votes:

hasty ambush: The Liberals' War on Science How politics distorts science on both ends of the spectrum

Surveys show that moderate liberals and conservatives embrace science roughly equally (varying across domains), which is why scientists like E. O. Wilson and organizations like the National Center for Science Education are reaching out to moderates in both parties to rein in the extremists on evolution and climate change.


Good article, but I farking hate sentences like this:

"As Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker documents in his 2002 book  The Blank Slate(Viking), belief in the mind as a tabula rasa shaped almost entirely by culture has been mostly the mantra of liberal intellectuals, who in the 1980s and 1990s led an all-out assault against evolutionary psychology via such Orwellian-named far-left groups as Science for the People, for proffering the now uncontroversial idea that human thought and behavior are at least partially the result of our evolutionary past."

Dammit, I'm too sleepy to deal with that. I had to paste it into Wordpad and edit down to this to be sure I knew WTF the author meant:

"Liberals led an assault against evolutionary psychology for saying human thought and behavior are partially the result of evolution."
2014-02-15 06:42:52 AM  
1 votes:

Copper Spork: that some groups of people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than others,


Only in the sense of breeding for it as the Jews did. Sort of the way that giraffes' long necks was a freak mutation in a few individuals that caught on and took off because long-necked giraffes got more to eat and produced more offspring, had the Jews not fetishized intellectuality they'd most likely have died out long ago.

Otherwise it's that some individuals in some groups somehow wound up more intelligent than others and some of them managed to reproduce their genes and pass on their love of learning (or at least of being Mr Smartypants) before the idiots ground them down. At least in Europe large numbers of those who kept selecting for smartness for generation after generation managed to survive by helping the rulers get rich and by paying the rulers to protect them, which accounts for the Jews' survival. It's not natural genetics, it's cultural eugenics. We could breed a generation of brilliant hillbillies if we paid more attention.

How sad that in "the West" assimilation has wrecked the Jews' breeding program and undermined its cultural supports and benefits just when Israel needs smart American Jews to send money and rally support for the more moderate political groups who can use their ingrained pragmatism to reach an understanding with the Palestinians and out-compete the Israeli version of the Tea Party mindset.

Even "purebred" Jews are becoming as stupid as the average American by giving up those cultural programs that made being smart mean something: what the good of being brilliant when your concerns don't extend beyond pop culture? Does the world really benefit from several thousand Star Trek geeks?
2014-02-15 06:37:55 AM  
1 votes:

Lukeonia1: Prey4reign: The average IQ in the US is 98.  With a low score of 55 and a high score of 145, that puts the lowest 25% ranging between 55 and 78 which means that one in four Americans are either idiots or are channeling the spirits of 17th century Inquisitors.  That should adequately answer the question.

It's been a long time since Statistics class, but I'm pretty sure your math is wrong. Bell curves, how to they work??

However, that's not to say I disagree with your point.


Most IQ tests set the mean at 100, with a standard deviation of 15 points. 100 is the baseline. The mean will always be 100, no matter how smart or stupid the general population is.
2014-02-15 06:37:39 AM  
1 votes:
I actually sat in a class where someone expressed disbelief that the sun didn't revolve around the Earth. You could almost hear the record scratch. The professor recovered nicely and didn't make a whole lot of it, but boy were there a lot of looks exchanged by the other students.
2014-02-15 06:28:35 AM  
1 votes:

Joak: Can you tell us what an evolution or climate change extremist looks like? I am worred I may be one and not even know it.


The climate change extremists are pretty easy to identify. They're the ones opposed to using nuclear power to solve the problem, because their goal is to make people "use less energy" and "change their lifestyles". They are also often found showing pictures of supposedly drowning polar bears, using the snow on Mount Fuji as an example of climate change, claiming that when the Arctic ice melts, sea levels will rise, and talking about "Gaia".
2014-02-15 06:19:47 AM  
1 votes:

kidgenius: It's not so much that there is a correlation between intelligence and political affiliation, but that people with certain political leanings appear to be actively hostile toward education in general, not to mention science.


Right. Try telling lefties that some groups of people are genetically predisposed to be more intelligent than others, and wait for the witch hunt.
2014-02-15 05:52:20 AM  
1 votes:

Notabunny: We could get those numbers up if we'd just attack teachers and cut funding for public education


Because as the article shows, public education is doing a great job.
2014-02-15 05:00:37 AM  
1 votes:
Well, how many people voted for a Tea Party candidate?  Say that represents ~20% of the number who believe in the elephant thing.  Then add in Kansas.  About 60% of the South... 

Jesus Christ, something like 60m Americans believe that.
2014-02-15 04:01:45 AM  
1 votes:

seventypercent: we already did this thread


Over, and over, and over again

/until we actually lower someone over the side this argument will never be settled
2014-02-15 12:45:26 AM  
1 votes:
Book lurning is for librals. I wasn't evolutioned from some farking munkey you idiots.
 
Displayed 98 of 98 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report