Conservatives are often ridiculed for being anti-academic science deniers by their liberal detractors, but a new study from Yale may force the American left to remove accusations of scientific illiteracy from their list of smears against conservatives.
After analyzing the responses of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for a study, which indicated that people who leaned liberal are more likely to be science literate than those who leaned conservative, Yale law professor Dan Kahan found that Tea Party members are the exception.
To the professor’s surprise, he discovered that people who identified as part of the Tea Party movement were better versed in science than liberals as well as conservatives as a whole.
Kahan said that the results surprised and amazed him.
“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension,” Kahan wrote.
“But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party,” he continued. “All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused Internet sites like Huffington Post and POLITICO). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly, I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”
See Kahan’s full analysis here.