Monday, January 15, 2007

PZ Myers and Science Understanding

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Categories : Science, The Critics

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published: lundi 15 janvier 2007 2:02:28

PZ Myers has a blog entitled, “American political conservatism impedes the understanding of science .” It seems like you can always count on someone in the “pro-Science” crowd to look for ways to further politicize science, but Dr. Myers has a strange way of detecting an “understanding of science.” The sole metric used to gauge the “understanding of science” is a survey question about whether people “believe in human evolution.” You really measure an understanding of science by polling about a belief? Is there any evidence that this question gives us a good feel for the “understanding of science?”

If you’ll remember, Dr. Myers and many others participated in massive hand-wringing because Europeans scored much higher on belief in evolution than Americans. Yet overlooked in all that sorrow was that it appears the scientific literacy rate in America is as high, if not higher, than in other countries.

One has to wonder what the data would look like if the same conservative and liberal subjects were all given a 100-question science literacy exam which, of course, would be a better metric of science understanding.

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