Study: Democrats more likely to think astrology is scientific, less likely to know Earth revolves around the sun

posted at 4:11 pm on February 17, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Brendan Nyhan, there’s no better way to celebrate a day of national unity like Washington’s birthday than by sneering at the ignorance of our political opponents.

Okay, fine. Relative ignorance.

astro

Why the disparity? One possibility is education. Follow the last link and scroll down to Table 7 and you’ll see, as expected, that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to see astrology as scientific. According to the very first polls taken on the tea party movement in 2010, TPers are better educated (and wealthier) than the population on average. That probably explains why “conservative Republican” is at the bottom of the list above. On the other hand, exit polls from election day 2012 show Obama winning only narrowly among voters without a college degree. Maybe the education gap between the parties isn’t so pronounced. Or maybe income is somehow a better peg for astrological belief than education is: O did win heavily among poorer voters.

Another possibility is faith. It may be that the more devoutly you believe in a religion, the less likely you are to give credence to a quasi-religious belief system (which nonetheless purports to be “scientific”) like astrology. That would help explain why Republicans, the more religious of the two parties, are more skeptical. On the Democratic side, it’s a mirror image of the same story: Liberals are more likely to be religious skeptics than other Democrats and that bleeds over into skepticism of astrology, which pushes their numbers lower than moderate or conservative Dems. But not too low — one of the striking findings here is that even lefties are more than 10 points more likely to find scientific value in astrology than righties are.

The third possibility is that this is, to some degree, a byproduct of age demographics. You ready for this?

age

You get a 10-point drop with every 20 years of age. Republican voters skew older and young voters, famously, skew Democratic. It’s the ignorance of the millennials and the comparative wisdom of the elderly that’s pushing Democrats down and Republicans up, respectively. (Although … what’s up with the 70+ crowd?) Not only that, but according to another study of Americans’ confidence in astrology released last week, most of the population — but millennials especially — have seen their credulousness about astrology increase since 2005. Nine years ago, just 40 percent or so of the 18-29 age group believed that astrology was sort of scientific; today it’s nearly 60 percent. How come?

Maybe we can figure this out. Click the last link and eyeball the two graphs there. In the first graph, the number of skeptics (people who think astrology is “not at all scientific”) starts to climb halfway through Reagan’s first term, as America recovers from recession, and stays relatively high throughout the prosperous 90s. It starts to dip around the time Clinton was impeached — and then skyrockets right after 9/11, falling gradually but consistently since then. The second graph, tracking the number of believers (people who think astrology is at least sort of scientific) falls until 2005 and then increases only modestly — until around 2008, when it soars and keeps on soaring. Put all of that together and what we’re seeing here, I think, is people’s faith in astrology waxing and waning as their faith in public institutions rises and falls. A rosy economy in the 80s and 90s made them skeptical; the big swell of national unity after 9/11 made them even more skeptical. But as the Iraq war wore on and then, especially, the financial crisis and ensuing recession hit, they’ve lost faith in the economy and the government. Obama’s term in office has done little to repair it, so they start dabbling with alternate belief systems to impose order on the world. That’s not the only explanation for what’s happening, as I’ve already noted, but it ain’t just poor schooling, I think, that explains why millennials in particular are more susceptible to this. They’re the ones getting hit hardest in recession-era America. As is the lower class, which might account for the income link I suggested earlier.

I’ll leave you with this in lieu of an exit question:

sun


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The statement I bolded ignores the reality that Bush in fact tried to rein in Fannie/Freddie, but was ignored by the Democrats who controlled the Banking Committee.

BTW, don’t forget to mention that both Raines and his partner in crime Jaime Gorelick are Democrats.

Del Dolemonte on February 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Del, I agree and thought I mentioned those same facts in my long boring post. I re-read my post, and after I woke up, I guess what I see is not what others read. I do not dispute your facts and it seems that with me being a Liberal we will never share a Turkish Bath or see a gladiator movie together!

BTW, I did read Reckless Endangerment to better understand the events. One Democrat you did not mention was J. Johnson and his part in the mess.

HonestLib on February 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM

You obviously don’t know the effect it’s having. It’s bifurcating profit making opportunities within the industry. That is a socialist effect.

blink on February 18, 2014 at 3:33 PM

So the policy itself isn’t socialistic, but the impact that it’s having on the industry is?

It’s “bifurcating profit making opportunities”? That phrase doesn’t mean anything, in the context that you’re using it.

segasagez on February 18, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Sorry, I’m new at this. Let me try again:

The economy as a whole needs some work though. I think the question we should be asking is how we can translate this high market to the regular worker-bees and not just the investors and CEOs.

segasagez on February 17, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Is there something keeping the worker bees from being investors?

Garwalf on February 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Again, there are no other choices. They either knew what they were doing or they didn’t. You hinted at it, but which do you currently believe it was?

Regardless, so your position is that the Obama administration has been impotent since passing Obamacare?

 
Are you asking me if they’ve been less effective after losing the house? Certainly. I would love Republicans to agree with most things the Democrats want to do.
 
Are you saying that Republicans should do so?
 
segasagez on February 18, 2014 at 3:32 PM

 
No, I’m asking if Obama has been unable to accomplish anything since passing Obamacare. But you knew that. What was it we were laughing about upthread? Oh, yeah
 

Yes, now he can blame the (R)s…

 
 
Oh, and if you believe what’s currently happening to retirees’ and middle class families’ budgets because of Obamacare was by design or because of incompetence.

rogerb on February 18, 2014 at 3:41 PM

or he did understand what he was doing and the bubble that will devastate the middle class and retirees is all on purpose.

There aren’t any other choices.

Sorry about that, segasagez.

rogerb on February 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Explaining how some economists are just fine with paying off old USD$ through devaluing the current USD$, or how inflation is just a tax on the middle class, or how the reason why us old folks moving out of stocks and the bond markets sooner than we want is good for the government and not so much for us old folks.

Even with me being a Liberal, he will not listen or will call me a fake Lib like some others to ignore basic economic truths.

We went from an 80% stock bond 20% cash and real estate portfolio to a 40% stock, 50% cash and real estate, 10% lead portfolio. Yea, I know the increase in real estate is a long term investment and I will be dead long before it reaps good returns, but we really bought the real estate for the kids.

HonestLib on February 18, 2014 at 3:49 PM

I really want to understand the mindset that writes this stuff.

Child Labor laws? Who needs them. Business know not to exploit children for their financial gains.

Why? Would liberal Obama supporters be enslaving children if there weren’t a law preventing it?

Fire escapes in buildings? Why force a business to shoulder that cost? A business would never just let their employees burn up.

Why? Would liberal Obama supporters be removing fire escapes if there weren’t laws forcing them to have them?

And the regulation they’re considering about storing dangerous chemicals near rivers? Why are we trying to keep business down? They would never be so negligent to let that stuff spill into the water supply that would impact the schools down stream.

Why? Would liberal Obama supporters be spilling dangerous chemicals into the water supply if there weren’t a law against it?

Blink, you live in a fantasy land.

segasagez on February 18, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Not really.

Liberals want “regulation” for one simple reason: it allows them to abuse the power of government to selectively promote those who donate to them and punish those who don’t.

No one here seriously believes, segasgez, that you or your Barack Obama believe in actually applying laws and regulations equally. Indeed, as such august examples as tax cheats Charles Rangel, Claire McCaskill, and Warren Buffett, fraudsters like Jon Corzine, and failures like Solyndra have shown, whether or not what you do is a “crime” depends solely on whether or not you worship Barack Obama as your lord and savior.

You may demonize business owners all you want. Since you won’t apply your rules equally to your Barack Obama Party donors, all that shows is that you are a hypocrite and a liar who maliciously and malevolently abuses the power of government to enrich yourself and your cronies.

Do you understand, boy? We are privy to your lies. You lose.

northdallasthirty on February 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM

The economy as a whole needs some work though. I think the question we should be asking is how we can translate this high market to the regular worker-bees and not just the investors and CEOs.

segasagez on February 17, 2014 at 10:07 PM

You could stop taxing the sh*t out of the worker bees and forcing them to pay for people like you who want to quit working and live on welfare, like your Pelosi and Reid are bragging Obamacare lets you do.

But the simple fact of the matter is that Obama bigots like you are welfare addicts. You want everyone else to pay your bills. Your filthy Pelosi and your imbecile Reid just let the cat out of the bag with their bragging that the goal of Obamacare was to allow their white liberal supporters who wanted to write poetry to quit working and live on welfare.

northdallasthirty on February 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM

HonestLib on February 18, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Interesting.

Hope you have a well-timed exit strategy for those stocks. I know the markets have been going up, but I refuse to invest in those or bonds at this point in time. If those crash, then whatever profit (you’re allowed by Washington to keep) you get will be most likely eaten by inflation due to a near-worthless Dollar.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Christianity is not a man-made religion.

davidk on February 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Prove it…BWAHAHAHAHA. Suckers…BWAHAHAHAH. You sheep kill me.

Bandit13 on February 18, 2014 at 5:28 PM

You could stop taxing the sh*t out of the worker bees and forcing them to pay for people like you who want to quit working and live on welfare, like your Pelosi and Reid are bragging Obamacare lets you do.

But the simple fact of the matter is that Obama bigots like you are welfare addicts. You want everyone else to pay your bills. Your filthy Pelosi and your imbecile Reid just let the cat out of the bag with their bragging that the goal of Obamacare was to allow their white liberal supporters who wanted to write poetry to quit working and live on welfare.

northdallasthirty on February 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM

This, on the other hand, I happen to totally agree with!

Bandit13 on February 18, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Prove it…BWAHAHAHAHA. Suckers…BWAHAHAHAH. You sheep kill me.

Bandit13 on February 18, 2014 at 5:28 PM

An unsupported assertion is a magical kind of proof

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Interesting.

Hope you have a well-timed exit strategy for those stocks. I know the markets have been going up, but I refuse to invest in those or bonds at this point in time. If those crash, then whatever profit (you’re allowed by Washington to keep) you get will be most likely eaten by inflation due to a near-worthless Dollar.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 18, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Ain’t one to give advice on investing, but our excess cash is not going into the market; thus I agree with your sentiment. We have been expanding our business, without adding folks on our payroll (temp services). Now of course the government will want their due when we sell the business or I die. But, if I had adult children I would have them set up their own company and smoothly move the business over to them…client by client. Maybe the kids would hire me as a consultant…who knows. Of course my business would worth zero when I die.

Shame I don’t have adult children who have worked in the business and have built up client relationships.

Guess I will just pay the taxes.

HonestLib on February 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

True religion (not the man-made kind) and true science (not false hypotheses) are in harmony. The problem is our perception and understanding. Everything operates according to natural / divine law. God runs the universe according to these laws. What we consider miracles are really manifestations of higher natural / divine laws that we do not yet comprehend and so we call it supernatural. For example, now that we understand the laws of aerodynamics we can fly, superseding the law of gravity. We used to only be aware of visible light, but eventually we discovered a spectrum of many other types of light that are not visible to our natural eyes — very powerful and sometimes dangerous types of light. Radio waves provide global communications. Microwaves heat our food. X-rays help us see through things. Radiation can kill. At one time, we were completely unaware of these invisible forms of light. But now we know them and can use them. Unfortunately, we are often arrogant and think we know it all or most of it all. In reality, we still know very little.

Particular Set of Skills on February 18, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Particular Set of Skills on February 18, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Welcome. Is dope smoking one of those skills?

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Welcome. Is dope smoking one of those skills?

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Speaking of Cheetos, rule number one many decades ago….after a party I would not touch orange stained underwear when cleaning up.

Thongs only with gloves.

HonestLib on February 18, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Welcome. Is dope smoking one of those skills?

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Great comeback./sarc

But, when that’s all you got, that’s all you got.

Projection, again, is it?

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 7:56 PM

And, yes, True religion (not the man-made kind) and true science (not false hypotheses) are in harmony.

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Christianity is not a man-made religion.

davidk on February 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Prove it…BWAHAHAHAHA. Suckers…BWAHAHAHAH. You sheep kill me.

Bandit13 on February 18, 2014 at 5:28 PM

C.S. Lewis, one of Christianity’s greatest apologists, wrote in his book Mere Christianity that if Jesus was not whom he claimed, then he must be a lunatic, a liar, or worse. His quote is

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Ask yourself why 12 men (the 11 disciples sans Judas plus Paul) and others such as Stephen, would sacrifice all including with the exception of John, their very lives to promote Jesus’ sovereignty. Unlike the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, the apostles did not sing — “Look at all my trials and tribulations,sinking in a gentle pool of wine. Then when we retire we can write the Gospels so they’ll all talk about us when we die.”

These men were stoned, crucified, scourged, and killed in other equally horrible ways simply because they contended that Jesus was the Christ. What did they gain, riches? Yes but only those found in heaven.

Your choice to believe or not is yours. Mine is based on faith not hubris.

Robbin Hood on February 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Love this quote:

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Robbin Hood on February 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

The scary thing about having to accept Jesus as the Son of God is that it would interfere with the current life people are living. Many prefer an abstract God — or none at all — that doesn’t have commandments and requirements. Again, a perception issue, though. Commandments are really a loving Heavenly Father trying to show His children how to find true happiness and avoid pain. We can learn this lesson the easy way or the hard way.

Particular Set of Skills on February 18, 2014 at 8:42 PM

And, yes, True religion (not the man-made kind) and true science (not false hypotheses) are in harmony.

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Doing the mild psychedelics now?

You might enjoy this then

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 8:59 PM

You’d have to be doped to the gills to think that is “beautiful.”

Murphy9 on February 18, 2014 at 9:04 PM

said tom waking up honeymoon morning

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Doing the mild psychedelics now?

You might enjoy this then

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 8:59 PM

IHeh! find that the anti-Christian folk can do little but put up mocking remarks such as yours.

*really convincing*

Yessireee, really makes me re-think my faith. **__**

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Bachelor till the rapture chuckie.

Why fail sooo much? Out of bamboo?

Murphy9 on February 18, 2014 at 9:31 PM

What I’m left with is questioning yours, CharlesWClark.

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 9:37 PM

What I’m left with is questioning yours, CharlesWClark.

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 9:37 PM

How did you find out my real name?

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 9:39 PM

Bachelor till the rapture

Murphy9 on February 18, 2014 at 9:31 PM

No doubt you’ve received the gift

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 9:42 PM

What I’m left with is questioning yours

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 9:37 PM

My what?

(Btw, please don’t use my real name. It’s a highly guarded secret for security reasons)

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM

wheel of law such and such

Murphy9 on February 19, 2014 at 12:43 AM

A God sacrificing Himself to Himself and such… a bit of a queer God

DarkCurrent on February 19, 2014 at 1:50 AM

avagreen on February 18, 2014 at 9:37 PM

 
How did you find out my real name?
 
DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 9:39 PM

 
Outing someone’s info isn’t the way to “win” a debate.
 
People choose anonymity on political/religious debate websites for a reason. Imagine the wrong info getting spread and an unhinged poster showing up at some poor sap’s workplace to confront someone who has never even heard of hotair and doesn’t know why he keeps screaming “GERRYMANDERING!”
 
Or a teaching assistant knowing it’s your kid in their college classroom.
 
Or an individual getting in trouble with the country he’s living in for visiting subversive websites.

rogerb on February 19, 2014 at 6:54 AM

A God sacrificing Himself to Himself and such… a bit of a queer God
DarkCurrent on February 19, 2014 at 1:50 AM

I guess unconditional, sacrificial love would come off as “a bit queer” to the worldly. Which is why the roots of atheism are always moral not intellectual.

tommyboy on February 19, 2014 at 7:44 AM

No matter your position on the origins of the universe, you have unscientific faith that it is so. Period.

Now, back to my lunch break!

xNavigator on February 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

*Coughs* Actually my position is “I don’t know” :P .

Robbin Hood on February 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Lots of people have honestly believed in falsehoods and reprehensible ideologies (*cough*InsertPoliticianHere*cough*), so I’m not sure that’s the best argument in favour of Christianity being founded on truth :P .

Teleros on February 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I doubt 50% even know what astrology even means but instead of admitting that their answer is based on a guess that it’s some kind of medical discipline or something.

Dollayo on February 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

DarkCurrent on February 18, 2014 at 10:05 PM

*facepalm*
“Security reasons”, huh?
then……don’t click on your name as it’s plastered all over your site.

Are you really this dense?
Atheists don’t have a good sense of humor, it seems.

avagreen on February 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM

You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. … But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Robbin Hood on February 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Lewis’ trilemma is always open to a variant of the “false dichotomy” charge, unless you emphasize that Lewis wrote this in challenge to an already applied label “great human teacher”.

Axeman on February 19, 2014 at 3:53 PM

A God sacrificing Himself to Himself and such… a bit of a queer God

DarkCurrent on February 19, 2014 at 1:50 AM

Not really. Before I became a believing Christian, I always thought that mystery cults signaled a societal change from rule by arbitrary power of unassailable superiors (gods) to a more participatory relationships and a greater accent on human experience.

After being impressed by the story itself, I began to imagine what it would be if it told a real story.

Axeman on February 19, 2014 at 4:04 PM

bamboo.

Murphy9 on February 19, 2014 at 4:35 PM

*Coughs* Actually my position is “I don’t know” :P .

Teleros on February 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Good. Then you’re not an idiot after all.

Anyone who believes the big bang theory offers actual scientific evidence of a natural cause to matter and/or refutes a potential supernatural cause to matter and the universe on the basis of the big bang, is an idiot who holds to one form of faith (in an unscientific hypothesis of a natural cause) while denigrating the faith of others (in a supernatural cause).

Pretty simple!

xNavigator on February 19, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Those people probably don’t know the difference between astrology and astronomy. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit. After all, they both begin with A. Good grief.

francesca on February 19, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Astrology is science? Next some lib is going to tell U.S. that Love still makes the world go around (rotate), not centrifugal force.

MSGTAS on February 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM

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