As new study by the respected Pew Research Center shows a striking disconnect between the views of scientists and the public on basic scientific questions. In eight out of thirteen science-oriented issues, there was a 20 percentage point or more difference between the two groups on issues like genetically modified food, global warming, or evolution.
Take the question of whether it is safe to eat genetically modified foods. Some 88 percent of scientists felt that such foods are safe while only 37 percent of the public held this view. Fifty-seven percent of the public viewed genetically modified foods as unsafe.
The figures on evolution are equally amazing. Some ninety-eight (98) percent of scientists found the evidence clear that humans evolved over time. Indeed, there is yet another discovery supplying a link in that evolution this week (and again offering obvious proof that the Earth is far old than a few thousand years old). However, only 65 percent of the public believe in evolution.
Another question looked at whether those polled views foods grown with pesticides to be safe. Sixty-eight (68) percent of scientists said yes while only 28 percent of the general public agreed.
Another topical question (given the measles outbreak this month) was whether mandatory childhood shots are valid: 86 percent of the scientists favored such shots while only 68 percent of the public did.
On global warming, 87 percent of scientists said global warming is mostly due to human activity while only 50 percent of the public agreed.
It is worth noting however that the numbers appear to be shifting in favor of science on evolution, global warming and the like. It will be interesting to see how fast this gap closes in the coming years.
107 thoughts on “New Poll Shows Huge Gap Between The Views of Scientists and The Public Over Basic Questions From Evolution to Genetically Modified Food”
This is no surprise, if the average person doesn’t seem affected then they are ho-hum it isn’t real. However, when they are affected then it’s too late to really do anything about it. Things like over-population and deforestation should be clear to almost everyone. When the composition of the atmosphere changes we will all notice but it will be too late to make any tangible changes.
The Western Business propaganda is more effective than the Western Rule of Law propaganda. I’m not sure why you would expect any different.
What’s sad is that it’s not even a partisan issue with this stuff. The right is more likely to disagree on evolution (or climate change), but it’s the left that finds itself devoid of good information when it comes to food sciences. It’s rather awful to live in a country where there are idiots on all sides.
Jude – I think making everything a political issue gets in the way
Things would be so much easier if all the idiots were on one side. I think generally on economic issues there’s a heavy concentration of idiots on the left & on social issues it moves over to the right.
“We finally got rid of then soy, wheat and corn and never had another problem.”
Soy and corn are definitely GMO. Wheat is not yet GMO, but, the gluten is very damaging to the intestinal lining. We have family and friends who had “inexplicable” bellyaches, took out all three, or at least the wheat, and the GI issues went away.
While predators will eat the guts of herbivores first, the plant material in there has been partly digested. The grains, etc. they put in animal kibble has not, to my knowledge, been partially digested. I wonder how that affects carnivores’ digestion–microbes, etc.???
The gluten is not a match for the correct protein in animals or humans from what I understand therefore, they can’t digest it. It shows up as an allergy.
When we were doing all that research on soy formula regarding that child last summer and she did get here back so she got more responsible from everything that happened which is a good thing imo.
My sister who is 55 was on one of the first soy formulas and she had problems conceiving, so go figure. That stuff is gross how they make it.
Over half of the world’s 2007 soybean crop (58.6%) was genetically modified, a higher percentage than for any other crop. Each year, EU Member States import approximately 40 million tonnes of soy material, primarily destined for use as cattle, swine, and chicken feed. Soybeans are also used to produce many food additives.
Ingredients and Additives
Glucose syrup, fructose, dextrose: All made from starch
Converting starch to sugar is one of the most economically important areas of biotechnology. It is a central process in the production of countless foods. Enzymes are responsible for the breakdown of starch, the vast majority of which are produced by genetically modified microorganisms.
Vitamins, additives, and enzymes – and genetically modified microorganisms
That fact that microorganisms can produce food additives and other useful substances is nothing new. Genetic engineering, however, has opened the door to new possibilites for turning bacteria, yeast, or other fungi into economically viable producers.
I am not going to sit around a wait for a science magazine on this.
It is the norm to be shouted down, ridiculed and ignored when you are going against the wind. I know. 😉 and I don’t care.
Taubes discusses the issue of those scientists. They were shouted down, ridiculed, and ignored.
What is at issue, though, in the GMO discussion is the taking of genes from one organism and putting them in another organism, like the example I gave. People are not concerned about selective breeding. Selective breeding does not “modify” genes by splicing sections and inserting new material. No laboratory is needed to save seed from you tastiest, healthiest tomato plant.
Selective breeding and hybridization does not equal genetic engineering. Taking genes from bacteria and putting into corn is (e.g., Bt corn).
Taking genes from bacteria and putting into corn is (e.g., Bt corn).
Isn’t that nasty? My Dog seriously cannot eat dog food unless it is natural. I kept taking him to the vet as he had blood like raspberry in his stool and having to have them keep him and check it wasn’t contagious. We finally got rid of then soy, wheat and corn and never had another problem.
Common sense would dictate you do not put bacteria in corn.
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