This is a bit sobering, most people figure the whole thing out by the time they are six or seven. Do these adults feverishly wait with their kids for Kringle to come down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Awesome.
But it got me thinking about just how stupid we humans are, one of my favorite topics of conversation and led me back to my favorite quote from Ken Kesey.
This is a quote I was lucky enough to hear first hand; never forget that in any given situation there will be more stupid people around then smart ones. Helps to repeat that often when you are driving.
And it also led me down the "just how stupid are we?" rabbit hole.
And I came up with this:
Over one in four Americans (26%) thinks the sun orbits the Earth, according to a National Science Foundation study.
In the same survey, just 39 percent answered correctly (true) that "The universe began with a huge explosion" and only 48 percent said "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals."
Just over half understood that antibiotics are not effective against viruses.
Forget the flat earthers for a moment. 34 percent of Americans reject evolution entirely and believe humans have existed in their present form for thousands or tens of thousands of years, according to a Pew Research Center Religious Landscape Study. Pew said 62 percent of U.S. adults believe humans evolved over time.
40% believe that man is less than 10,000 years old in present form.
Furthermore, you would be astounded how many people think that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.
YouGov’s latest research shows that 41% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans either ‘definitely’ (14%) or ‘probably’ (27%) once lived on the planet at the same time. 43% think that this is either ‘definitely’ (25%) or ‘probably’ (18%) not true while 16% aren’t sure. In reality the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years, while the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.
20% do not believe that climate change is occurring.
A YouGov survey showed 51 percent of Republicans still think Obama was born in Kenya, compared with just 14 percent of Democrats. Trump supporters were mostly likely to believe the false claim, with 57 percent saying it was “definitely true” or “probably true” that Obama was born in Kenya.
And then there's geography.
In the midst of the Iraq war in 2006, six in 10 young adults couldn’t find Iraq on a map of a Middle East. The Roper survey also found that 75 percent of those surveyed could not identify Iran or Israel.They’re not much better at U.S. geography. Only about half could find New York State on a map.
From the National Geographic:
About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn't even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean's location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent. ...Particularly humiliating was that all countries were better able to identify the U.S. population than many young U.S. citizens. Within the U.S., almost one-third said that population was between one billion and two billion; the answer is 289 million.
Let that sink in. Over one in ten young Americans could not find the U.S. on a map. You are sharing the road with these people, breathing the same oxygen and interacting with them every day. Be careful.
Over at Psychology Today, they tell us that we should not equate stupidity with anti intellectualism. I still think there is a surfeit of stupid. Plenty to go around.