Stranger Fruit

Razib presents some interesting data on donations to the two main political parties by scientists. What struck me is that if you rank the professions from most Republican to most Democrat, you get the following:

  • Civil Engineering [0.75]
  • Chemical Engineering [0.79]
  • Geology [0.92]
  • Mechanical Engineering [0.96]
  • Electrical Engineering [1.17]
  • Chemistry [2.31]
  • Biochemistry [5.09]
  • Mathematics [5.44]
  • Physics [6.19]
  • Biology [10.3]

Now what I find interesting here is that if we use the Discovery Institute’s 2007 list of 700 Dissenters against Darwinism, we see that the top five groups represented are (in order): engineers, chemists, physicists, MDs, and mathematicians. Biomedical and molecular and cellular biology folks trail significantly and organismal biologists (who actually may have some professional background in studying evolution) barely exist on the list.

The similarity between the two sets of rankings is – to me at least – interesting.


  1. #1 razib
    June 11, 2008

    old earth creations also have the same trend. creationists are in the “applied sciences” or quasi-sciences (mathematics).

  2. #2 Jillian
    June 11, 2008

    Do you have a theory regarding the reason for this?

  3. #3 Kim
    June 11, 2008

    The Republican/ID correlation seems strongest for engineers. Out of Razib’s list, the only groups of scientist that aren’t represented on the Discovery Institute’s list are geologists, biochemists, and biologists – and paleontology is often part of the geology curriculum. (And although ID and young-Earth creationism aren’t exactly the same thing, geologists are very unlikely to be YECs. And the petroleum geologists, who are still the largest group of employed geologists, deal with things older than 6000 years all the time.)

  4. #4 Onias
    June 13, 2008

    American politics is so depressing. I said this to an American I was chatting with and he replied “Didn’t two of your political parties have their own military wings?”. It turns out he studies international politics 🙁

    Enda Kenny of Fine Gael said something like this to the Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald on Questions and Answers. She was talking about the Treaty being a treat to Irish neutrality when he said “That’s pretty rich when you consider that Sinn Féin has its own private army” to boos and hisses. That was exciting, it’s a shame the vote is over

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