And 7% of survey takers pick wrong answers on purpose…

I’m just making that stat up, but I hope that’s the reason a recent survey in E&T Magazine reports that eleven people of 1009 surveyed thought the first guy on the moon was Buzz Lightyear. Eight more thought Louis Armstrong did that.

Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong. Yeah, I can see why they’d pick the wrong names, funny as the result is.

The main concern of the article winds up being something else:

The survey, undertaken on behalf of E&T magazine, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, also revealed that over a quarter of all people do not believe the astronauts actually landed on the moon.

This level of scepticism is far higher than a decade ago, when The Gallup polling organisation, found just 6 per cent of Americans did not think the landings were genuine.

Is it fair to say “a quarter of all people” when it’s really a quarter of 1009 people surveyed who selected this answer on the survey? How did they select who’d fill in the survey? Was it a well rounded group of citizens that would accurately reflect the populous at large, or just a bunch of people who happened to stumble onto it and they just took what they could get?

I tried to find the survey information in the magazine but only came across the magazine’s rebuttal to the myths. Another blog has better coverage of the survey results.

The poll surveyed 1009 people from all over the UK aged between 16 and 64, using a series of multiple choice questions and was conducted between 02/06/09 and 04/06/2009. Copies of the questions and results are available on request.

In the exclusive E&T interview, when questioned about returning to the moon Buzz Aldrin said: ‘That doesn’t impress me too much. Going back to the moon 50 years after we went there in the last century, without a clear development plan for what we were going to do, doesn’t make much sense’.

However, Buzz was more enthusiastic about man reaching Mars commenting: ‘My schedule says, if we economise on certain areas and develop what we really need to develop, we can get to Mars by 2031. But we really need to get to a moon of Mars by 2025 first. And that I think we can do, but we can’t do that and go to our moon as well’.

I don’t know if we can do any of that, if support for space exploration doesn’t improve. Adjusting for inflation, the moon landing cost upwards of a trillion dollars, which is a number I can’t even fathom.

Better to put money into space than war, though, I think. Selling it to a public that thinks it’s all going on a Hollywood stage is a challenge for someone other than me, thank the maker of cordless vacs (one of the many handy inventions to come out of space programs, although turns out Velcro wasn’t one of them).

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Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
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