From Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff, Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics at PNAS:
Prior research has found that political and religious polarization over science and technology issues in the United States can be greater among individuals with more education and science knowledge. We examine that potential pattern in responses to two waves of the nationally representative GSS (31), with respect to six issues: stem cell research, the Big Bang, human evolution, climate change, nanotechnology, and genetically modified foods. Overall, we found that where religious or political polarization existed, it was greater among individuals with more general education and among individuals with greater scientific knowledge, as measured by both whether they had taken science courses and how they scored on a test of science literacy. There were, however, no interactions between education and political or religious identity on two issues, nanotechnology and genetically modified foods, that have generated controversy but have not become part of these larger social conflicts in America. On all six issues, individuals with greater overall trust in the scientific community were also more likely to hold beliefs consistent with the scientific consensus. However, that trust did not interact with education or
identity in predicting those beliefs.More.
The authors do not address the current widespread public knowledge of shoddy science in areas like nutrition or social sciences, where, in many cases, serious belief should be taken as possible evidence of naivete, emotional need, or slow processing.
See also: Study: More education leads to more doubt of science “consensus”
People who do not attend church more likely to believe in ghosts, UFOs
Tales of the Tone Deaf, featuring dim profs writing in dozy journals about why people doubt Science and how to fix them.