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February 18, 2014

Survey: More Democrats Think Astrology is "Scientific," Fewer Understand The Earth Revolves Around the Sun

Aebly digested by Maet last night, a new survey suggests that The Party of Science may not be quite as firm on the concept of science as advertised.

I think this whole argument -- who's "smarter," as an enormous group -- is stupid. And I don't lay that at AllahPundit's feet nor at Maet's; it is the left which endlessly propagates their, um, propaganda that "We're smarter and we love science." Surveys such as this one are discussed on the right not to establish the contrary proposition ("no, we're smarter, and we love science") but to undermine the left's original claim.

It's a stupid argument made by stupid people. I look down on people who attempt to elevate themselves by associating themselves with a larger group which they claim to be "superior" or "elite." I laugh at Ku Klux Klanners who talk up, for example, the accomplishments of the White Race. Absolutely, I'd agree, members of the White race have achieved a great many good and important things, but what the hell has that to do with you, Grand Cyclops, drinking yourself into oblivion as you mutter darkly about how "The Blacks" are keeping you from opening that business you've been talking about for ten years?

The argument of Achievement by Association is always made by the least-achieved members -- and the lowest-ranking members -- of any particular group. It is a low-level MSNBC line producer who will say something along the lines of "Liberals (implicitly: "such as myself") are much more creative and talented, as proven by all the great liberal directors, such as Steven Spielberg."

You will never hear Steven Spielberg say "Liberals are much more creative and talented, as proven by this low-level MSNBC line producer I never heard of and doubt I ever will."

The entire argument is made from a position of, essentially, admitted failure, or at least of admitted non-achievement.

I cannot tell you how many times I've heard someone on the left say something along the lines of members of the left being superior, because there are so many funny comedians who are left-leaning.

This argument is nearly always made by someone who is resolutely unfunny, born with a congenital immunity to humorousness of any kind.

Many members of this sad clade believe that appending an exclamation point or three to any sarcastic sentence -- "Conservatives sure love kids before they're born!!!" -- transmutes it not only into a joke, but a joke that is strong enough to be written in a permanent medium and endure, if not forever, at least until we abandon the internet in favor of BrainGrams or whatever.

And here now the news that more liberals/Democrats seem to think that astrology just might have something to it, and maybe this Nicolaus Copernicus feller was all wet.

What accounts for this? Is it just that they don't understand the important difference a few letters make in the words "astrology" and "astronomy"? Even if that's the case, that's hideously embarrassing.

And what could possibly account for the failure to have heard, at this late, that the earth revolves around the sun, rather than the reverse?

The differences on these questions, by political ideology, are not great. The more important takeaway, I think, is this: "Holy Long Discredited Superstition, a large number of Americans believe in astrology."

One difference, I think, is this: I have known a fair number of very intelligent women who believe, sort of, in either astrology or some other nonsense magic or pseudoscience. It is my experience that men buy into this less, and women more.

And, as I say, smart women buy into this. Women I would never ever call "dumb" or anything like that. But there does seem to be (at least in my experience) and openness to Dumb Stuff like astrology among women, even women who are otherwise keenly intelligent and well-informed.

I imagine there is a large psychological factor here, rivaling other factors such as natural intelligence and education. And for whatever reason, women seem more psychologically primed to be willing to believe in New Agey type things.

That, I think, accounts for at least some of the difference, by ideology, given that women skew liberal.

So while I would not join the sad, unaccomplished left in plumping for "The Right's superior understanding of science," I will indulge myself in a Nelson Muntz "Ha, ha!" at the finding that the Party of Science What Loves Science and Sciencey Things is more likely than the general public to believe that astrology is a scientific science, and less likely than the general public to have gotten late word that Copernicus was right.

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posted by Ace at 11:18 AM

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