AP-GfK Survey: Americans Doubt Many Scientific Concepts

AP-GfK Survey: Americans Doubt Many Scientific Concepts

About 4% Americans doubt that smoking causes cancer with 6% raising question on whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain, according to recent AP-GfK survey conducted between March 20 and 24.

Also, 8% Americans are not sure that there is a genetic code inside our cells with 15% doubting the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.

Most surprising fact is that 40% of Americans are more skeptical on the issues of global warming and the age of the Earth and evolution. About 51% doubt on the Big Bang theory regarding creation of universe 13.8 billion years ago.

The findings upset some of America's top scientists including several Nobel Prize winners who have long been raising their voice on issues of global warming. Randy Schekman from the University of California, Berkeley and also winner of 2013 Nobel Prize, said: “Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts”.

Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, said the survey highlights ‘the iron triangle of science, religion and politics’. Alan Leshner, chief executive of the world's largest scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, claimed that most often beliefs and values trump science to the public.

Robert Lefkowitz, of Duke University and also 2012 Nobel Prize winning biochemistry Professor, said facts cannot argue against faith, when you put up facts against faith.

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