Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, October 18, 2013
So much for Democrats calling Tea Partiers unintelligent or idiots. A new study by Yale Law School professor Dan Kahan found that members of the Tea Party are more knowledgable about science than other Republicans.
In fact, the findings were so surprising that Kahan, who conducted the study and posted it on his blog earlier this week, was embarrassed by them.
“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,” Kahan wrote. “But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused Internet sites like Huffington Post and POLITICO). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly, I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”
Nonetheless, the findings of Kahan’s studies won’t change his opinion of the Tea Party any time soon – he has just decided to stop making assumptions about their intelligence.
Kahan also tested other groups for their level of science comprehension. He found that college graduates, liberals, and those who do not consider themselves to be very religious were more likely to comprehend science than their counterparts.