I missed this Reuters/Ipsos poll concerning belief in extraterrestrial intelligence. It came out a couple of months ago. The poll surveyed 23 thousand people in 22 countries. They found that about one in five people believe in extraterrestrial intelligence. It would be cool to see such a poll as a benchmark, repeated in about 10 years to see how public perception changes. Hollywood is spewing out extraterrestrial fodder nearly monthly now and there is a steady stream of silly news about the subject. Is all of this moving human openness to the idea forward? Or is it simply heading the conversation further into the land of the bizarre?
On that note, the number of people who believe that aliens are already hanging out here on Earth might surprise. Forty percent of those polled in India and China believed that aliens are currently walking around among us. The more practical Dutch came in at only eight percent for that question. Of course there is a general lack of specifics about how this poll was conducted. And as usual the published reports don’t point to the many, many interesting questions that could have been asked. I’m not an Ipsos subscriber so I can’t get at the original report. They certainly are a reputable company, known for political polling. It’s time someone put up a little money and did an extensive world-wide scientific survey that asked the interesting questions that go beyond the initial funny factor.