Turtles all the way down

Millions of Europeans are fearful of science and still believe in lucky numbers

Posted by doctore0 on June 22, 2010

In other news, millions of Europeans are living in the dark ages….
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – In Europe, the birthplace of the Enlightenment, millions of citizens remain under the sway of superstition, with widespread beliefs in phenomena such as lucky numbers and worry that society depends too much on science and not enough on faith, anew EU survey has shown.

According to a study on public attitudes to science and technology published on Monday (21 June) of over 30,000 people from EU member states and Croatia, Iceland, Norway, Turkey and Switzerland, two out of five Europeans are superstitious, with a full 40 percent of respondents saying they believe in lucky numbers.

Only slightly more than a third, 35 percent, do not, while the rest feel somewhere in between or say they simply do not know whether certain figures have a magical effect.

Such superstitious belief is on the increase, but only slightly, up from 37 percent in 2005, the last time Brussels organised such a survey.

The strongest belief in lucky numbers tends to be found in poorer European countries in the east and south of the union, while wealthier states with more expansive social welfare systems tend to be less susceptible to myths and legends, although there is no across-the-board correlation, with, for example, 43 percent of Danes believing in the power of numbers while 39 percent of Bulgarians also feel the same way.

Women are slightly more likely (41%) to believe special numbers exist than men (37%).

The survey also shows that across the EU, almost two fifths (38%) of respondents believe that society “depends too much on science and not enough on faith.” But only just over a third (34%) feel the opposite way.

In a different vein of science-wary thinking, six out of 10 Europeans feel that science and technology can sometimes damage people’s “moral sense,” and only 15 percent disagreed with the statement. Along the same lines, one in two Europeans feels that applications of science and technology can threaten human rights.

People are also growing more sceptical of scientists who depend on money from industry, with almost three fifths (58%) agreeing with the statement: “We can no longer trust scientists to tell the truth about controversial scientific and technological issues because they depend more and more on money from industry.”
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BTW: Lame study

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