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Living Amongst Extra-Terrestrials

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.

3 comments to Living Amongst Extra-Terrestrials

  • vrulg

    I wonder if anyone has ever done a really big survey, with all of these questions on it and more. It would be interesting to see how co-incident these groups of people are, and how many didn’t believe in any of it.

  • Cobey

    Here’s what I always wonder when I hear stats like these. How many of these people have ever really sat and THOUGHT about it? I mean really think for themselves, not just page through all of the information stored in their head from TV. It is really hard for me to make a judgement about this because I live in America and actually have access to all the information I choose to seek out instead of living in somewhere where information is either not available or repressed (for whatever reason).

    78% of people believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Ok, not a big surprise where I’m from (Alabama) but when you stop and think about it…REALLY? I mean, people are resurrected so often, why not? (damn you George Romero, you’re messing up our stats)

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