Public Opinion About the Future of Science: A Glimmer of Hope
By Bryan Caplan
A fun survey, with funny results:
[R]espondents were asked in a 1998 Newsweek poll: “In the next century, which one of the following current scientific beliefs do you think is most likely to be proved wrong, the theory of evolution, that high-fat food is bad for you, that the human life span cannot be extended much beyond one hundred years, or that the Earth’s resources are in danger of running out?” Among the choices, 17% answered the theory of evolution, compared to 28% questioning the danger to Earth’s resources, 26% doubting limits on life extension, and 16% choosing to believe that high fat food is not that bad after all.
I’m amazed – the modal answer is correct. Of course, I’d say the “current scientific belief” that “the Earth’s resources are in danger of running out” was overturned decades again, but who’s counting?