Oct
17
2013

Yale professor finds hint of a suggestion that Tea Partiers aren’t scientific illiterates; *doesn’t* suppress it.

It is a general indictment of our current system of academia that I can’t decide which of these passages will offend said academics more. First, this observation:

Yale Law professor Dan M. Kahan was conducting an analysis of the scientific comprehension of various political groups when he ran into a shocking discovery: tea party supporters are slightly more scientifically literate than the non-tea party population.

(Um. No, it’s not actually shocking*.) Anyway, here’s Professor Kahan’s reaction:

I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.

[snip of frank admission of epistemic closure]

I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.

Professor Kahan goes on to hastily establish his bona fides as a True Believer Orthodox Liberal Tea Party-Hater, but I suspect that the damage to his reputation among his particular sect has been done.

Moe Lane

Via

PS: There be a certain amount of trollin’ on my part with this post, to be sure. After all, as the sage put it once there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. But it’s good for people to go Huh. Maybe I got that one wrong?, when appropriate.

*Generally speaking, it is not remarkably unusual to find out that a group of people notorious for having actually read the Federalist Papers might in fact be better-educated in other fields of study, too.

2 Comments

  • jbird says:

    Is “Tea Party” a stand in for “Conservative” now? Originally it was just about economic issues, not social ones or foreign policy. Seemed more libertarian in it’s bent in the beginning. Now it seems to be a catch-all phrase for anyone a lib doesn’t like (…and wants to die in a fire).

  • Catseyes says:

    It was more Libertarian in the beginning but it’s gotten bigger since then. Also in the beginning it had some Dem elements but the constant attacks by the Leftists seem to have driven that element away.

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