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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Feb > Feb 18

More Americans Know Basic Science

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:06:06 -0500
Fwd Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 17:06:06 -0500
Subject: More Americans Know Basic Science

Source: The Washington Times - DC, USA


February 18, 2007

More Americans Know Basic Science

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- More people in the United States know
about basic science today than 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, said Jon D. Miller, a Michigan State University
professor. He presented his findings yesterday at the annual
meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of

The improvement largely reflects the requirement that all
college students have at least some science courses, Mr. Miller
said. This way, they can better keep up with new developments
through the press.

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.

For example, for many women having a good life still depends on
whom they marry, she said.

"What does astrology speak to? Love relationships," Miss Losh
said, noting that belief in horoscopes is much higher among
women than men.

Belief in abduction by space aliens is also on the rise, she

"It's not surprising that the generation that grew up on
'Twilight Zone' and early 'Star Trek' television endorsed a link
between UFOs and alien spacecraft," she said.

Raymond Eve of the University of Texas at Arlington had mixed
news in surveys of students at an unnamed Midwestern university.

The share that thought aliens had visited Earth fell from 25
percent in 1983 to 15 percent in 2006. There was also a decline
in belief in "Bigfoot" and in whether psychics can predict the

But there also has been a drop in the number of people who think
evolution correctly explains the development of life on Earth
and an increase in those who think mankind was created about
10,000 years ago.

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