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Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans


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#1 COKid

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 22:36

WASHINGTON (AP) — Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found.

 

Americans have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.

 

Rather than quizzing scientific knowledge, the survey asked people to rate their confidence in several statements about science and medicine.

 

On some, there's broad acceptance. Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.

 

About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory.

 

Those results depress and upset some of America's top scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners, who vouched for the science in the statements tested, calling them settled scientific facts.

 

"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.

 

Rest of article: http://news.msn.com/...?ocid=ansnews11

 

Lol! Just 51%. I'm actually surpirsed it isn't higher. Heck, I can tell you that the percentage of Americans I encounter who are just plain stupid is a lot more than 51%.

 

I'll take science over faith any day. Hubble must be turning over in his grave. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water...




#2 compl3x

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 22:44

I know why evolution and the big bang are so widely rejected. I don't need to say it, do I?



#3 Co_Co

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 23:01

jesus aint never said no nothing bout that big bang /s



#4 Dot Matrix

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 23:14

Well, being led by grumpy old white men, who can't tell their arse from a hole in the ground, I'm surprised this number isn't lower. But hey, keep telling us science is false, that's your thing, but just keep in mind, science still has 100% more evidence than the Bible does.



#5 jjkusaf

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 23:37

Well, you have to agree that the big bang theory is just that...a theory.  While it is very conceivable that the universe has not existed forever, it is also hard for our human minds to wrap around that everything came from a singularity (big bang) 15 billion years ago.  I can also see and understand how it is easier for people to believe in a deity that they believe created all.

 

In other words, as with large distances (i.e. light years) it is hard for us to fully comprehend and gauge something so massive.  I do not think we will ever pin point the exact cause of the universe's existence...but as the years go by we will better understand evolution.



#6 Dot Matrix

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 23:50

Well, you have to agree that the big bang theory is just that...a theory.  While it is very conceivable that the universe has not existed forever, it is also hard for our human minds to wrap around that everything came from a singularity (big bang) 15 billion years ago.  I can also see and understand how it is easier for people to believe in a deity that they believe created all.

 

In other words, as with large distances (i.e. light years) it is hard for us to fully comprehend and gauge something so massive.  I do not think we will ever pin point the exact cause of the universe's existence...but as the years go by we will better understand evolution.

 

Scientific Theory is a well substantiated claim based off evidence acquired by scientific means. The evidence for the Big Bang is there, and we can see it, but we still don't know what, if anything, transpired.



#7 Enron

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 00:11

Do I accept scientific theories? Sure. Does that also mean we can't question them? If we didn't question scientific theories, we wouldn't advance our understanding of anything.



#8 Fergdog

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 00:33

Whenever someone says something is just a "theory" they usually don't understand what a theory is. A lot of people get hypothesis and theory mixed up. Hypothesis is an idea, theory has actual evidence for it. Even things with humongous amounts of evidence are still a "theory" in science.



#9 T3X4S

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:03

Gravity is just a theory - so ...

The math suggests there are multiple universe(s) because of expansion (not the normal definition of expansion though).  To think that an object the size of a marble with near infinite mass grew to be all the mass in the observable universe is mind-boggling in itself.

In a time it takes a photon of light to travel across the width of a proton the universe doubled in size - think about that...  crazy

Now scientists are saying the cant see past this wall of radiation that is everywhere & about 14 billion light years away in every direction - they are claiming it is the beginning of time !  But, one has to think - if it is a wall - what is on the other side of the wall ?


(Just finished the audiobook of Our Mathematical Universe)

On topic:   My fiance says Im a sociopath, but I just think most people are too stupid to talk to, so I would rather spend my spare time on techie websites "talking shop", and occasionally talking about finding people with the same kind of nerd gene as me who like to talk about space, science, physics, boobs.... 
So I believe it when I read that 50% of Americans think early man lived in same time as dinosaurs -- that doesnt surprise me.

 



#10 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:07

I was about to say I am pretty sure that in NJ the number must not be anywhere near 51% and sure enough in the article some guy who is my exact age and who is an architect from Bridgewater, NJ, which is just 1 town over from where I live actually, is quoted as someone who says they are not sure it happened. Truly SMH



#11 Praetor

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:10

Theres' a freighting thing that missed everyone in the article:

 

More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines.

 

wth...15% have doubts? And there's people who don't vaccine their kids, no wonder some diseases still won't go extinct, even that we have the vaccines for them.



#12 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 01:11

Gravity is just a theory - so ...

Actually, gravity is both a scientific fact and a scientific theory. That's because scientific facts refer to observable behaviour, while theories relate to the principles involved. However, it's unacceptable that anyone would take the word of a religious text over that of scientific evidence. Religion just don't stand up to scrutiny.



#13 jjkusaf

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 02:48

Scientific Theory is a well substantiated claim based off evidence acquired by scientific means. The evidence for the Big Bang is there, and we can see it, but we still don't know what, if anything, transpired.

 

Well yea, I know that.  Point being that theories change as data is gathered which can tip evidence which in turn generates a brand new/modified theory.  Theories contain strong evidence (as you mentioned) but not absolute truth/fact/law.

 

In other words, just because there is a big bang theory doesn't imply that there isn't a better explanation or another "this is what happened".  There could be other reasons that the universe was created but we, as humans, haven't come up with the technology or understanding for such discovery.  There was a steady state theory but as evidence emerged for the big bang it became obsolete...who is to say that will not happen with the big bang theory?



#14 Mordkanin

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 03:17

Actually, gravity is both a scientific fact and a scientific theory. 

 

As is evolution. Doesn't stop people from blathering on about it being "just a theory".



#15 +_Alexander

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Posted 23 April 2014 - 03:35

I approve of people questioning validity of vaccines. I also approve of stupid people dying off.