We learned about this from an article at the website of the National Center for Science Education. Their headline is A new poll on dinosaur/human coexistence, and they say:
Prompted by the release of the movie Jurassic World, a new poll from YouGov indicates that Americans are about evenly split on the question of whether dinosaurs and humans lived on the planet at the same time.
Is this a great country or what? Here’s the story at the YouGov site: Over 40% of Americans believe humans and dinosaurs shared the planet. We’ll give you some excerpts from what they say, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
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 case you’re among those who aren’t sure, they add:
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.
And of course there’s a religious angle to this:
While most Americans who describe themselves as ‘born again’ (56%) believe that humans and dinosaurs once shared the planet, most Americans who do not describe themselves as born again (51%) think that they did not. Only 22% of born again Americans think that dinosaurs and humans did not coexist.
There’s also an angle on the effect of movies:
When asked about the science that provides the fictional basis for the Jurassic Park movies, most Americans (54%) say that it is not currently possible to create dinosaur clones from DNA found in fossils while 28% believe that it is currently possible.
YouGov has this link to five pages of tables about the poll results. It’s mostly about the movie, but on the last page they give a breakdown regarding the question of whether humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. Of the 14% who answered “Definitely,” 12% of those were Democrats and 17% were Republicans. For the 25% who said “Definitely not,” 28 were Democrats and 20% were Republican. For the 16% who answered “Not sure,” they were evenly split between the two parties. They also break the results down by gender, race, age, and region of the country.
It’s things like this that give your Curmudgeon faith in the future.
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