Friday, September 24, 2010

Skeptical Asians

This "global survey of the scientifically literate public" finds that "a startling 35% of the Japanese and 49% of the Chinese respondents agreed that there is 'reason for doubt' about evolutionary theory's ability to explain the variety of species on Earth" — Science and society: A Pacific divide. Mind you, this was among the "scientifically literate public" of two of the least religious societies on the planet. (We learn that "the numbers for the rest of the world fluctuated around 10%.)

"Japanese and Chinese respondents were also less likely than others to say that they trust scientific explanations of the origins of the Universe," we read. "And almost one-third of scientifically literate Chinese people say that scientists should not get involved in politics, compared with around 10% of respondents in most of the rest of the world."

Why? Possible reasons mentioned are "a recognition of complexity in nature" and "a greater appreciation among east Asians for the limitations of knowledge."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.