Re: No AI for Nano/No Nano for copyloads

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Jul 17 2000 - 08:16:54 MDT

Jeff Davis wrote:
>Curt Adams commented:
> >>People can and do deny the obvious. Something like 40% of Americans
> believe
> >>the world was created in a big "poof" 6000 years ago.
>Robin Hanson responds, effectively supporting the original comment, with:
> >Since I have the stat handy, in 1999 Gallup found that 47% in US believe God
> >created humans in basically their present form in the last 10,000 years or
>This feels to me like the way bad information gets proliferated. Robin
>refers to his factoid as "the" stat, giving the unwarranted impression that
>Curt's "poof" creationism is on "solidly corroborated" ground. But Robin's
>description of the Gallup information is only somewhat similar to Curt's
>"big poof" formulation, and the details of the questioning by Gallup which
>resulted in the "47% believe" factoid--those details are unavailable.
>Considering the general disrepute of polling statistcs, all we're offered
>here is mental pollution.

Here is my source:

>The Gallup stats may simply reflect that people have heard of Neanderthals
>and Cromagnons--pre-modern humans who lived, what?, 20, 50, 100,000 years
>ago, that they generally believe that modern civilization and with it
>modern man, began about 10,000 years ago, and that the question "Where did
>it all came from?" is answered conventionally with god.

The claim agreed to by 47% of US in 1999 is: "God created human beings pretty
much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so'

>... I bet if I put together a clever questionnaire, and used the proper
>polling technique, I could prove statistically that people are endowed
>with Socratic wisdom.

Go ahead, let's see you do it.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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