A Yale professor, Dan Kahan, tested 2,000 people and made a surprise discovery, which he said embarrassed him. People who identify themselves as members of the Tea Party do better at science than non Tea party members. Kahan admitted that he didn't know anyone from the Tea party and got all of his information on them from liberal cable shows and the New York Times, The Huffington Post and Politico.
Kahan claims that liberals are more science savvy than conservatives. But surprisingly, he found that Tea party members were the most savvy of them all. Moreover the findings surpassed the threshold of statistically significance.
Kahan wrote that not only did the results surprise him, they embarrassed him.
“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.”
“But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the tea party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the ‘paper’ (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused Internet sites like Huffington Post and POLITICO). I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly, I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”
Kahan cautioned about taking this to mean they know more about global warming and other political topics, and it doesn't change his intense dislike of the Tea party, he says he will no longer make assumptions about the level of his opponents knowledge and expertise.