From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul> Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 16:59:13 -0500 Fwd Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 16:59:13 -0500 Subject: Americans Sending Mixed Signals On Science Source: MSNBC.Com - Redmond, Washington, USA http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17206139/ Feb 17, 2007 Americans Sending Mixed Signals On Science Knowledge of core subjects increasing, but so is belief in pseudoscience SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - People in the U.S. know more about basic science today than they did two decades ago, good news that researchers say is tempered by an unsettling growth in the belief in pseudoscience such as astrology and visits by extraterrestrial aliens. In 1988 only about 10 percent knew enough about science to understand reports in major newspapers, a figure that grew to 28 percent by 2005, according to Jon D. Miller, a Michigan State University professor. He presented his findings Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The improvement largely reflects the requirement that all college students have at least some science courses, Miller said. This way, they can better keep up with new developments through the media. A panel of researchers expressed concern that people are giving increasing credence to pseudoscience such as the visits of space aliens, lucky numbers and horoscopes. In addition, these researchers noted an increase in college students who report they are “unsure” about creationism as compared with evolution. More recent generations know more factual material about science, said Carol Susan Losh, an associate professor at Florida State University. But, she said, when it comes to pseudoscience, “the news is not good.” One problem, she said, is that pseudoscience can speak to the meaning of life in ways that science does not.
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