# Based on Opinions About Astronomy, White People Are Stupid…

…or maybe they’re just really unlucky. By way of ScienceBlogling Josh, we come across this Research 2000 poll of attitudes about astronomy. People were asked:

Most astronomers believe the universe formed about 13.7 billion years ago in a massive event called the Big Bang. Do you think that’s about right or do think the universe was created much more recently?

As you might guess, Republicans outdid themselves in their stupidity (and in other news, dog bites man…). But these were the numbers that I found interesting:

Yes, white people did much, much worse than blacks or Latinos. If one divides the sample into those who got the right answer versus “don’t know” or the wrong answer, blacks did significantly better than whites (G = 15.79, df = 1, p = 0.00007). What those funny numbers in parentheses mean is that the difference between whites and blacks has a probability of being due to random chance of 0.007% (7/100,000). Likewise, Latinos (no doubt, wise ones) did better than whites (G = 8.64, df = 1, p = 0.0033): the difference between whites and Latinos has a probability of being due to random chance of 0.33% (~1/300). The probability that both of these statements are simply statistical flukes is 0.0000231%, but maybe white people aren’t more likely to be pig ignorant, they’re just really unlucky.

I wonder where the Steve Sailer types are when you need them–after all, this suggests to me that white people are cognitively impaired. Perhaps it’s not general cognitive disfunction, but simply that white people are genetically predisposed to being willfully ignorant.

I’m kidding. But it’s odd how, whenever there’s a behavioral observation that reflects poorly on minorities or women, ‘genetic conservatives‘ assume a genetic basis, whereas when white people behave like fucking morons, genetics isn’t even broached.

Oh well, maybe I’ll just go play bingo

1. #1 anon
June 8, 2010

It would be interesting to see this broken out by religion (or lack thereof) and some measure of level of observance…

2. #2 6EQUJ5
June 8, 2010

Tsk, tsk. The age is 432 Ps. It’s SI, dude.

June 8, 2010

Republicans are probably opposed because they suspect Obama supports it.

4. #4 Rob Jase
June 8, 2010

Ah, but the question must be asked – are Rethugricans people?

5. #5 JL
June 8, 2010

How many blacks and Latinos were interviewed for the poll?

6. #6 G.D.
June 8, 2010

JL #5: “How many blacks and Latinos were interviewed for the poll?”

Well, follow the link and you shall discover (144/98, respectively). Do note, however, that you shouldn’t immediately take the numbers to reflect the population at large. The chances of biased samples are relatively high in these kinds of surveys, even given the best methods for stratified randomization. The low p-values don’t reflect that.

7. #7 ew3e
August 19, 2011

I think white are smarter than black,
but white people are not smart at all.
That`s why they were defeated by huns and mongols.
and white people are repeating their stupid mistakes.

I really do not care about them.