From Reason, we learn:
Specifically, Kahan contrasts the responses to versions of survey questions about the origin of human beings as asked by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the General Social Science (GSS) survey. The NSF asks: “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. True or false? 55 percent selected true.
The GSS asks: “According to the theory of evolution, human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. True or false? 81 percent selected true. Kahan observes:
By adding the introductory clause, “According to the theory of evolution,” the GSS question disentangles (“unconfounds” in psychology-speak) the “science knowledge” component and the “identity expressive” components of the item.
But aren’t we missing the main point?
What happened to us was so totally different from what happened to any other life form that … you can know a whole bunch of pseudo-explanations that don’t make any difference.
Something happened and all the approved explanations are stupid. How does THAT make sense?
The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (human evolution)
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