Tuesday, February 18, 2014

That Survey

Yesterday I did a post on a survey that revealed a regrettable failure of the American people to grasp some basic scientific facts. Recall that about 26% of respondents thought that the sun revolved around the earth and that 42% thought astrology was a science or at least somewhat scientific.

Well, Allahpundit at Hot Air has delved even further into the results and has some interesting information to share about them. I point this out not because I'm trying to discredit any age group or political party, but rather because if one listens to networks like MSNBC, which I do as a penance for my sins, one is frequently told explicitly and implicitly that young folks are better educated than old people and that Republicans (or conservatives) are generally ignorant, redneck rubes who are almost criminally anti-intellectual and anti-science. This seems to be such a well-established meme in liberal mythology that when evidence arises that explodes the myth, as it regularly does when it comes to this particular dogma, the temptation to publicize it is just too great for my feeble powers of resistance to withstand.

So, it turns out, interestingly enough, that the notion that the sun revolves around the earth is more likely to be held by people who classify themselves as Democrat or liberal than it is by people who classify themselves as Republican or conservative. Here's the data:

It also happens that younger people are more likely to believe that astrology is scientific than are their elders:

Moreover, Democrats and liberals are more likely to believe that astrology is a science than are conservatives or Republicans:

Again, I don't know that any of this really means much (although I'm sure it'd be all over MSNBC were the data reversed), but it's useful as an antidote to the drumbeat of propaganda on the left, from the President on down, which insists that the Democrats are the party of science and that their opponents, particularly Tea-Party-type conservatives, are mired in superstition and nonsense. This refrain is sung over and over despite the fact that it's been shown that TPers are actually wealthier and better educated than the average American.

Whether the topic is global warming, evolution, stem cell research, or whatever we're repeatedly reminded that the liberal view is the intelligent position and that those who may be skeptical are simply benighted. You wouldn't know that from this survey, however.

While we're on the topic, a similar misrepresentation of conservatives occurs regularly on television shows like the popular House of Cards which portrays Tea-Party-like folks as rabid protestors, viciously demonstrating against some politician who's having an abortion or an affair. The fact of the matter is that vicious protests are almost exclusively a tactic of the left. Conservatives seldom protest at all because they're too busy working and raising their families, and when they do it's usually silent, courteous, and non-confrontational. When conservatives rally they clean up their mess and the police don't even need to show up except to protect them against lefty thugs.

Contrast the peaceful rallies held by people on the right, often involving hundreds of thousands of people, with the ugliness on display in Madison, Wisconsin two years ago or at the Occupy Wall Street encampment. Maybe the writers of House of Cards get their ideas on how to portray the right by projecting what they've actually seen on the left.