Some Mildly Distressing Statistics

The January/February 2016 issue of Skeptical Inquirer has an article about Trends in Scientific Knowledge, Education, and Religion, by Charles S. Reichardt. The article in turn references Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 from the National Science Foundation. Here are some of the more distressing findings from the US regarding knowledge of basic scientific facts:

These people can vote.

Couple this with the simulation at, where a shift of non-college-educated white voters voting Republican from 62% to 69% (with the same rate of turnout) flips the election.

(Edit: I am not saying that these people should not be allowed to vote. I am just saying that they do vote. The fact that there are large numbers of people with very limited knowledge of the U.S. system of government who vote is also distressing. Your mileage and level of distress may vary.)

Edit at 2:21 p.m. Here are the results of a civics survey from 2014.