Southerners are crazy

Daily Kos asks 1200 voters:

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?

Saints be praised, 62% of the public accepts the Big Bang and a 13.7 billion year old universe. Democrats are the most positive, with 71% accepting that, while only 44% of Republicans agree (38 think it’s more recent, the rest are undecided). I’ve said it before and I stand by it: conservative Republicanism is incompatible with science.

But looking at the finer details tells us a lot. The only group – gender, race, or region – with anything like the Republicans’ rejection of basic science, is the South:

RIGHT RECENT NOT SURE
All 62 25 13
Men 60 28 12
Women 64 22 14
Dem 71 17 12
Rep 44 38 18
Ind 66 23 11
White 58 27 15
Black 75 18 7
Latino 73 21 6
Oth/Ref 78 15 7
18-29 69 18 13
30-44 66 22 12
45-59 59 28 13
60+ 56 31 13
NE 72 17 11
South 48 34 18
MW 64 24 12
West 69 21 10

The South and the Republicans are the only groups in the same neighborhood in terms of rejecting basic knowledge about the universe. Disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

Comments

  1. #1 BernardWebb
    June 1, 2010

    I truly believe that conservatism as currently practiced in the US is a form of mental illness involving a disconnect from reality and an unwillingness to accept facts, logic, or any form of science.

    This is not how normal people speak and act. This is how conservatives speak and act. America is being held hostage by its least informed, least educated citizens. I would pray for the Rapture to remove them, except that I don’t believe that there is any such thing. But they sure do!

  2. #2 Aquinas Dad
    June 1, 2010

    I say perhaps you should look for a non-voluntary study that isn’t run by a partisan website and see what happens.

  3. #3 MRW
    June 1, 2010

    Aquinas Dad –

    It’s hard to see what they could have reasonable done to make the poll less voluntary – you can’t force people you call up to answer the questions.

  4. #4 Rob knop
    June 1, 2010

    Aquinas Dad — the numbers may be different in detail, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that the general sense of the results will be different.

    I live in the South, and fully accept evolution and the Big Bang… but, of course, so do another 38% (or whatever) of the people who lives in the South. So, while the South is where the majority of the ignorant people are, we have to avoid making the mistake of assuming that “because you’re from the South, you’re ignorant.”

    (Of course, in a month or two I’m moving to Canada….)

  5. #5 hibob
    June 1, 2010

    bernardweb- I wouldn’t call it a mental illness. I’d call it a utilitarian view of truth and science. I.e., are they telling you what you want to hear to be happy? Are they telling you what you need to hear to be successful socially and financially? For most of the people most of the time, renouncing socially inconvenient information is personally advantageous, and sculpting your personal views using that same scalpel just makes the process easier.

  6. Yes, most of my fellow Southerners are that dumb and- religious!
    With my fellow new atheists, I hope to do something about that superstition hurting all of us!

  7. #7 Deepak Shetty
    June 1, 2010

    conservative Republicanism is incompatible with science.

    Oh the irony.

  8. #8 Pierce R. Butler
    June 1, 2010

    … conservative Republicanism is incompatible with science.

    Semantic quibble here: Republicans, far more than any other social factor (except possibly technology) have been responsible for most change in US society for the last generation.

    We used to abhor torturers and mercenaries, respect habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence, have a net creditor status as a nation, expect living standards to improve each generation, cheer for underdogs, encourage intelligence and integrity… all sorts of political and social attributes that were directly transformed by Reagan-Bush-Bush policies and standards.

    Whether you agree or not with these metamorphoses, all should acknowledge that any force which drives widespread social change is not by any honest definition “conservative”.

  9. #9 Jonesy
    June 7, 2010

    What, there’s no possibility the South just features a lot of Steady State Hypothesis afficianados?

    In the South’s defence, the question is basically two questions: One, do you accept the Big Bang, and Two, do you accept the current scientific evidence for the age of the universe?

    In the South’s not-defence, there’s a fair scientific consensus on both of these two concepts, to say the least. Dom-da-domm-dommm.

  10. #10 mk
    June 8, 2010

    @Deepak Shetty…

    For… the… WIN!

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