What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 13, 2012

Conservative Ignorance Down South

Along with the expected political poll data (which seems to change even quicker than usual in the GOP primary race these days) PPP produced some troubling numbers about our conservative friends down south.

On Evolution.  Yes, EVOLUTION.  Scientific ignorance is a serious problem down south.

Let's look at Alabama first.

Baseline for Alabama on the question of do you believe in evolution or not?

26% believed in evolution
60% did not believe in evolution
13% not sure.

The numbers did not skew according gender (60% of men and 60% of women didn't believe in evolution) or age (62% of those 18 to 45, 59% of those 46 to 65, and 60% of those older than 65 didn't believe in evolution).  Unsurprisingly, they DID skew according to ideology with only 16% of those calling themselves "very liberal" believing in evolution while a whopping 76% of those calling themselves "very conservative" denying evolution.

Now onto Mississippi.

Baseline for Mississippi on the question do you believe in evolution or not?

22% believed in evolution
66% did not believe in evolution
11% not sure.

There, women were slightly more skeptical of evolution than men (70% to 64%) and the numbers were steady across the age demographics (67% or 66% skeptical).  While the same number those calling themselves "very conservative" in Mississippi agreed with their conservative brethren in Alabama on the question of evolution (76% didn't believe in evolution), 47% of those calling themselves "very liberal" were evolution-skeptical.

What does this all mean?

Ignorance is a serious problem down south - at least among conservatives.

We're not talking a difference of opinion here.  All the scientific data points in one direction: evolution is true.  Believing it not to be so (whether motivated by religious faith or not) is not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of willful ignorance of fundamental scientific truth.

I've said it before, if we are a nation in decline, this has to be one of the reasons.


Ol' Froth said...

Their views on interracial marriage are pretty horrible as well.

999,999th Moderate said...

Come'On? Really? Ya'll act like this is new news. We here in the south have known this about Alabama and Mississippi for years.

Paul Ricci said...

One must be careful about generalizing these results to the whole state since only likely voters were sampled. 12.7% of AL and 9.7% of MS voted in primary.

SamStone said...

It is downright scary and it is we why need to embrace education in the way that JFK did in the 60's. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines are in a serious state of decline in US, as compared with other countries.

We can start with the fact that evolution is not being taught in public schools in the Bible Belt as the primary stumbling block for developing scientific reasoning skills.

Reporting_From_ATL said...

If it wasn't for Atlanta, Georgia would be Alabama. Fortunately, I'm a college student in Atlanta and only experience the South's "worst kept secret" (ignorance) on weekends when I return to the 'burbs. I concur with SamStone on all positions, but the reality here is that teaching anything resembling facts in public schools is a rarity. I'll leave the generalizations of the South to the outsiders, but the evidence supporting the view of the South as "backwards" and ignorant is overwhelming. In addition to the author's statistics, look at how low high school graduation rates are and those infamous headlines of school boards requiring intelligent design modules as well as the more recent "slave math problem" incident.

I'm glad that I found this site. I'll be sure to continue reading this blog in spite of my indifference to Pittsburgh (merely a sports rivalry). Keep up the good work everyone!

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