All right everybody. Here's an unsatisfying attempt (read: failure) to brilliantly cap off this week's buzz....
All the rage this week has been about how people without religion know the most about religion and about how religious folks know relatively little about religion.
Since this has quickly become part of the greater Religion and Science discourse, the natural next question that follows, at least to me, is this:
Do the people who trust science the most (some called this "faith" in science), actually know the most about it?
Or, as we saw in the religion poll this week, do people who have the least "faith" in science know the most about it?
I think we'd all be very surprised if the answer to the second question is yes, but the first question is not as simple because there are certainly people who fully support science without looking into any of it for themselves. Everyone knows someone like this. Sometimes they're completely reasonable. Other times their embrace of science is so enthusiastically wide and undiscerning, that they support pseudoscience as well. My friend who thinks aliens built the pyramids. Yours who buys the vibration-laden sugar pills at Whole Foods to treat headaches.
To my chagrin, this poll and its results published in Scientific American this week have absolutely no bearing on our questions. Out of all the topics they listed, people trust scientists about evolution above anything else. It's interesting, but be forewarned... they polled readers of Scientific American and Nature. Guess how many scientists and science-minded people are in their sample population?
Hmmm. Wonder how much a randomly sampled population of Americans actually trusts science and scientists? I'm guessing it's a little less than these results.
There is nothing in this report about whether or not the science trusters are informed or knowledgeable compared to those who don't trust science.
Anyway, I hope that if you know of any links that have answers to our question (the question in the title), you'll post them in the comments.
Or, instead, you may choose to rant about how supporting science is not a proper analogy to being religious. (My personal view.)