While some skeptics are busy this week making arrangements for The Pope to be arrested upon setting foot in the United Kingdom, I’ll be bringing to your attention the news that a recent survey of 23,000 shows that 20% of those people believe that aliens are among us, disguised as humans and interacting among us.
Here is the link to the report by Reuters.
In a way, I am surprised that this is not a larger number. By comparison, look at these statistics I found on American people’s beliefs in the improbable:
78% of all Americans believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
48% of Americans believe in ESP
34% of Americans believe in ghosts
25% of Americans dismiss evolution as a fact
20% of Americans believe that the sun goes around the earth
24% of Americans believe in Astrology
21% of Americans believe in communication with the dead
21% of Americans believe in the power of witchcraft
So is it really a big surprise that a 20% of people think that aliens are masquerading as humans? It actually fits in quite nicely with my society’s willingness (or need) to belief the most fanciful notions.
At the same time, it is very sad to have to admit that my society hovers at this 20% base gullibility rate – that seems to be the minimum level of belief in anything paranormal or anti-scientific, and it only goes up from there, depending on the subject. Wherever I go, no matter what kind of random crowd I find myself in, at least one out of five of those people are lost in a maze of endless gullibility.
Carl Sagan drove home the point better than anyone ever has:
“Pseudoscience is embraced, it might be argued, in exact proportion as real science is misunderstood.”
What a shame that so many tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of my fellow citizens are missing out on the understanding and appreciation of a truly amazing reality.