Survey: 56% of Americans think Arabic numerals shouldn't be taught in schools

A Pittsburgh-based polling company is making waves after its CEO tweeted the results for a survey question that showed 56% of Americans believe Arabic numerals shouldn't be taught in schools.

Civic Science CEO John Dick tweeted a screengrab of results for a question included in the poll, which revealed that only 29%of Americans believe Arabic numerals should be taught to children.

The problem with that is that the numerals taught in schools across the nation -- 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 -- are Arabic numerals. 

Dick said the results were "the saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry we've ever seen in our data."

He said the goal of the poll was to "tease out prejudice among those who didn't understand the question," adding that when people didn't understand a question, they would default to "whatever aligns most closely with their sociopolitical tribe."

Results for the question were broken down by political affiliation, with 72% of Republican respondents voting against teaching Arabic numerals, 34% of Democrats against and 57% of independents voting against.

Dick illustrated another example of sociopolitical factors coming into play in responses, showing responses to the question of whether schools in America should "teach the creation theory of Catholic priest Georges Lemaitre," commonly known as the Big Bang theory, as part of their science curriculum. For that question, 73% of Democrat respondents voted no.

Dick said the data shows "both sides are guilty" of gravitating toward social and political factors when answering questions they don't understand.

According to Dick, the sample size was weighted according to the U.S. Census figures for gender and age for individuals 18 or older. Civic Science posted its methodology online for review.