Close to 25% of the general public said that there was no strong evidence that global temperatures were rising
There is a huge gap between the opinions of general public and scientists when it comes to evolution, climate change, and genetically modified foods. A new study conducted by Pew Research Center shows that most Americans reject the Darwinian theory of evolution, consider genetically modified foods unsafe, and don’t believe that human activity was responsible for global warming.
Only 65% Americans believe in Darwinian evolution
Pew Research conducted the survey in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The research firm interviewed 2,002 U.S. adults across the country, and compared their responses with those of the 3,748 AAAS scientists. The survey found that 31% of the general public believe that humans have existed in their current form right from the beginning.
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About 65% of the general public said that humans have evolved over time. By comparison, a huge 98% scientists believed that evolution had happened through natural processes. A lot of Americans are afraid that accepting the science of evolution would make life meaningless, and morality would collapse, reports Chris Mooney of The Washington Post.
Americans have embraced genetically modified foods. GM foods are cultivated on 170.4 million acres of land in the United States. But a significant portion of the American society still considers GM foods unsafe. The survey found that only 37% of the general public believe that genetically modified foods are safe to eat. In contrast, an overwhelming 88% scientists had no concerns consuming GM foods.
Big difference in opinion over climate change
Climate change is another topic where the opinions of two groups differ dramatically. The survey found that only 50% of the broader public believed that climate change was mostly caused by human activity, compared to 87% of scientists. Close to 25% of the general public said that there was no strong evidence that global temperatures were rising.
However, there were a few things on which the two groups had a pretty similar opinion. For instance, 64% of the broader public and 68% of scientists agreed that the International Space Station (ISS) has been a good investment for the United States.