SANTA ROSA BEACH (CT&P) – A new Associated Press-GfK poll taken in March of this year has found that almost half of the U.S. population is either mentally deficient or highly delusional. The AP-GfK Poll was conducted March 20-24, 2014, using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,012 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.
Instead of attempting to test the public’s specific scientific knowledge, which would no doubt have led to a series of suicides in the academic community, the poll asked “the folks” to rate their confidence in several statements concerning science and medicine.
The results were depressing.
The poll found that fully forty percent of Americans were skeptical of the settled scientific facts represented in statements about climate change, evolution, the age of the earth, and the Big Bang.
“Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts,” said 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine winner Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley.
The poll found that whenever scientific fact bumped up against religious belief and blind faith, faith won the day. Alan Leshner, chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said that in the general population “most often values and beliefs trump science” when they conflict.
According to the poll, confidence in evolution, the Big Bang, and the age of the earth rapidly decline as faith in a supreme being rises. The poll also found that evangelical Christians express much greater doubt about scientific concepts they see as contradictory to their faith.
Equally alarming to many scientists was the confidence that many Americans expressed in bizarre conspiracy theories. Fully twenty percent of Americans expressed confidence that George Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, the moon landings were faked, and President Obama was in league with Satan, while discounting evolution as part of a “commie plot” to poison the minds of young schoolchildren. The poll also found that many Americans express a deep distrust of photosynthesis, the freezing point of water, and the concept of entropy. Nine percent of Americans believe that the refrigerator light stays on when you shut the door.
Interestingly, not all scientists were surprised or depressed by the poll.
Dr. Emilio Lizardo of Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems told reporters that “This poll reflects what we have found in our research at our facility over in Grover’s Mill. Careful examination of you monkey boys reveals that, despite having a huge prefrontal cortex when compared to other species on this miserable rock, on the whole you are apt to believe in imaginary beings who make things happen and punish the unrepentant.”
“It’s really quite bizarre,” said Lizardo. “Your species has experienced this great leap forward in technology over the past few centuries that has made life easier for all of mankind and greatly increased the average lifespan of humanoids. Countless discoveries have improved living conditions all over the planet. All of this progress has been made thanks to the advancement of science and reason, but you guys still insist that evolution is a plot and the world was created 7000 years ago by a dude floating up there in the ether somewhere.”
“But we Lectroids are not complaining,” continued Dr. Lizardo, “this ‘blinkered Philistine pig-ignorance’ will only aid us as we secretly produce our oscillation overthruster so we can finally get our butts off this rock!”
The scientists who analyzed the results of the poll offer little hope for progress in the near future, but some did see light at the end of the wormhole.
“Look, you don’t run into many people around the world who still worship Zeus or Jupiter,” said Dr. Frank Black. “I think that in time we can reduce the number of folks who orient their lives around fairy tales and scary bedtime stories, and it is absolutely imperative that we do if we want to continue to thrive as a species.”
Dr. Black concluded by saying, “People should remember and take heed of Victor Stenger’s famous quote: ‘Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.'”