Thursday, February 18, 2010

Birthers are just the tip of the know-nothing iceberg

There are days where my belief in rationality is really put to the test.

My very sensible brother-in-law, who has adopted Texas as his home state, sent the following along.
Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

...Most of the Texans in the survey — 51 percent — disagree with the statement, "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." Thirty-five percent agreed with that statement, and 15 percent said they don't know.

Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs? Three in ten Texas voters agree with that statement; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don't know.
This would be just an interesting cultural note were it not for the influence that Texans have in the national textbook market.

One wonders how many of these folks were in the audience yippin' and yawin' at Tom Tancredo's recent plea for higher voting standards.


eric said...

Sadly, I suspect that Texas isn't so much of an outlier in this respect. Still, their hegemony over the national textbook market is a serious concern.

David Wharton said...

Some groups of people also believe more in astrology, fortune tellers, mediums, ghosts, and "spiritual energy" in inanimate objects than others do.

Dave Ribar said...


It's interesting that the same survey describes 62 percent of white evangelical Protestants as holding no supernatural beliefs or experiences.

Unlike the Texas survey, there isn't an indication of whether these supernatural beliefs crowd out or co-exist with people's understanding of the physical world.