Saturday, February 17, 2007

Good and Bad News on Science Literacy

Michigan State University professor Jon Miller reported some good news to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1988, according to his research, only about 10 percent knew enough about science to understand media reports. By 2005, the figure had grown to 28 percent.
The good news was offset by a rise in the number of people who believe in pseudoscience such as astrology and things that, at the very least, cannot be proved, such as extraterrestrial visitors.
COMMENT: Prof. Miller lumped "belief in Bigfoot" with fortune-telling, etc., and I must object cryptozoology does not belong there. Cryptozoology deals in falsifiable hypotheses (e.g., there either is or is not a large unclassified North American primate) and thus is a legitimate branch of zoology, even if overenthusiastic holders of particular ideas are often unscientific in their approach.

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