Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Quote of the Whatever
The bottom line is that the world is round, humans evolved from an extinct species, and Elvis is dead.
- Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.
Dr. Weissmann had another pretty good one:
In an age when people have benefited so greatly from science and reason, it is ironic that some still reject the tools that have afforded them the privilege to reject them.Choices like that can leave you deader than Elvis.
I just liked the line.
Nothing is leaping out at me as particularly misleading about the questions and the intent apparently was, at least partly, to test what effect the nature of the questions have on the answers, as compared to other surveys.
The sample size seems small (but I always think that) and the conclusions drawn from the answers may not all be convincing (but I always think that too). What bothered you?
Also, to determine who is scientifically literate, two of the questions automatically exclude YECs. Not, of course, that I have any sympathy for YECs being scientifically literate, but it does have direct influence on whether one accepts evolution.
Given the DI's campaign to paint the scientific community as biased "Darwinists," the point might have been to see if the answer was still automatic, I suppose. It might also have been a "set up" question to get the subjects to think about who else they would trust. The conclusion that the high agreement means that people will really listen to scientists is one of those doubtful conclusions drawn from the results that I mentioned.
... two of the questions automatically exclude YECs
You're right there, I think, at least if the poll was trying to measure a straight correlation between scientific knowledge and acceptance of evolution. Instead, those questions wind up measuring rejection of various other branches of science based on religious beliefs with rejection of evolution based on religious beliefs.
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