World views differ between scientists and the public

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 30, 2015

While the news is not hard to understand, it’s strange to hear how the public and scientific community see the world differently.

Variances were noted through a series of Pew polls, including whether evolution is real, if the current global warming trend is man-made and whether pesticides and genetic modification affects food.

In the scientific community 98 percent of respondents agreed that humans evolved throughout time, while 65 percent of the public agreed. Understandably, the theory has becoming more popular with the public in the recent past. According to the results of a Pew poll in 2009, 87 percent of the scientific community and 32 percent of the public agreed that humans evolved.

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Another issue centered around the continued effort to drill for oil in connection with global warming. The scientific community feels more nuclear power plants should be built, while the public feels efforts should continue to find oil through drilling and fracking. Another issue the public’s opinion differed on concerned whether genetically modified foods were safe to eat. Most scientists didn’t see an issue with consuming GMO foods, the majority of the public thinks those foods are unsafe. The same was true concerning foods treated with pesticides. As for vaccines, the opinion gap was not large but present. Of the scientific community 86 percent found vaccines should be mandatory for children, while only 68 percent of the general public agreed. Just like in your home, there is only so much space on this planet. The same is true with Earth, leading scientists to be concerned with the growing population. However, the public is not so concerned with overpopulation. 

According to the AP article, one of the reasons for these contrasts in the worldview is due to the fact that not enough science is being taught to our nation’s children. 

This tells us that our education system should work harder towards teaching our children about the facts discovered in our world.