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posted by martyb on Friday January 23 2015, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the DNA->SNA->SLA->TLA->TBA->NBA->NBC->NEC->SEC->SEO->SCO->TCO->TMO->GMO dept.

The Washington Post contains an article on a recent survey by Oklahoma State University where over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”

The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.The most obvious explanation for the data is that most of these people don’t really understand what DNA is, and don’t realize that it is contained in almost all food. When they read that a strange substance called “DNA” might be included in their food, they might suspect that this is some dangerous chemical inserted by greedy corporations for their own nefarious purposes.

The article discusses the wider issue of scientific ignorance driving policy decisions, and there is some further comment at io9. A summary of the full survey results is available (PDF).

 
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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Friday January 23 2015, @01:33PM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @01:33PM (#137226) Journal

    It's not "80% of americans are stupid", its "80% of some backward retard state in america are stupid"
    If you are going to bash the americans for being stupid, at least get it right.

    If you live in one of the many backward retarded states in america, my condolences.

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  • (Score: 1) by g2 In The Desert on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM

    by g2 In The Desert (3773) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM (#137257)
    Yup. Boy are you right. Simple minded. But right. Only those "backward retarded states in america" (sp) do things like that! http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4534017/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/local-officials-nearly-fall-ho-hoax/#.VMJjKsZU_EI [nbcnews.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM (#137310)

      He never said that California wasn't a backward, retarded state. That is where the absurdity of silicon valley, hollywood, and the whole of L.A. are after all.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM (#137365)

      While I'll admit that poking fun at 'red' states (which I think is the original poster's intent) is not particularly accurate when it comes to general public ignorance. The ignorance really is everywhere.

      I do feel compelled to point out that according to your link the town that was fooled for a short time over the long staning H2O joke, Aliso Viejo, is a suburb of Orange County. For all practical purposes, Orange County follows basically the same neo-liberal, pro-super rich (anti everyone else, including amusingly enough, themselves), pro-ignorance culture that 'red' states are believed to follow. In other words, I think the GP's inherent point was not refuted ;)

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM (#137379) Journal

      Local officials nearly fall for H2O hoax.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM (#137395) Journal

        World plus dog fell for the DHMO hoax when it first appeared many years ago.
        New Zealand [nzherald.co.nz], Denmark [loc.gov], etc.

        Its a common tactic for these hoaxers to ambush people on the street corner with some question like

        WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.

        The big scary chemical name is as far as most people read, because 1) they don't care, 2) they don't appreciate the interruption in their business, but don't want to be rude, 3) the survey is probably done by special interest kooks, because most of these surveys are.

        If the question is read to them, rather than or in addition to it being written, they are even more likely to stop listening at the big chemical name.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Friday January 23 2015, @05:29PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @05:29PM (#137330) Homepage Journal

    "... weighted to match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence"

    It ain't just Okies. The average level of science education in the US sucks. FWIW, that's just as true of progressives as it is of conservatives. Try the Dihydrogen-Monoxide test on a few unsuspected, non-technical acquaintances, if you can do it with a straight face.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by monster on Friday January 23 2015, @06:15PM

      by monster (1260) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:15PM (#137352) Journal

      It's not a matter of sucking, it's just that most people are easily confounded when asked about non-everyday terms, specially if the question is expressed with intent to get a visceral response.

      There's a similar case from some years ago about asking people how would they react if their children told them that they were heterosexual. Few people stopped to fully understand what was the meaning of that before answering.

  • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:47AM

    by dry (223) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:47AM (#137491) Journal

    Actually going by your election results, every State is retarded. In 2000 every State voted for either Al Gore or George W. Bush. Results are similar in every election, not one State makes an intelligent choice.

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:28PM

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:28PM (#137619) Homepage Journal

    100% of the people who made the survey are either incompetent, stupid, or disingenuous. It's pretty obvious to me that when the question was asked, the respondent knew that everything living has DNA and logically assumed that the questioner wasn't being clear and thought they were talking about genetically modified food.

    I was involved with surveys in my career, my boss held a PhD in statistics. There ARE such things as stupid questions.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 1) by treeves on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:24PM

    by treeves (1536) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:24PM (#139001)

    No, you need to get it right: the actual paper (http://agecon.okstate.edu/files/Survey%20Info%20(pdf4556).pdf) says, "FooDS is a monthly on-line survey with a sample size of at least 1,000 individuals, weighted to
    match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence. " It is not a sample of people in a particular state.