The US is losing the war on ignorance
April 15, 2018
A recent poll in the US (opens new window) showed an alarming amount of disbelief about whether our world is round. The survey of 8,000 Americans showed that whereas the vast majority of over 55s are happy accepting that we live on a round planet, like all the other planets we see, only two thirds of eighteen to twenty four year olds are sure. The others either don't know either way, are not totally sure or believe in a flat earth.
Unsurprisingly, there's a definite correlation between being religious and believing in a flat earth in the US. More than half of the responders who positively believed in a flat earth considered themselves to be very religious, compared to 20% of all Americans.
A podcast I listen to consists of two people who do odd things and report on them. A recent trip of theirs was to a flat earth conference, where despite the organisers stating that there was no connection between their religion and their flat earth theories, the audience was repeatedly told that you can't be a flat earther if you're not religious.
It's an interesting correlation, and a worrying one. It seems that religious groups are willing to push their adherents further and further into believing in claims that for the rest of us are laughable.