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Mexicans put too much faith in magic and too little in science, according to a survey of public perception of science and technology. According to the poll, about half the country's citizens also believe scientists are "dangerous."

The study, compiled annually by the National Council on Science and Technology and the National Institute of Statistics and Geography, indicates that a large percentage of Mexicans give credence to homeopathy, acupuncture, spiritual cleansing, lucky numbers, and ESP. Approximately 38% also believe that "space vehicles from other civilizations" visit Earth.

To be sure, Mexicans are aware that their faith in otherworldly forces may be a problem. About 83.6% agreed with the statement, "We believe too much in faith and too little in science." Most think the country needs more scientists.

The results are considered worrisome. As in other Latin American nations, scientists in Mexico fret that economic development is limited by low investment in R&D. Rosaura Ruiz, director of the faculty of science at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, told El Universal newspaper that Mexicans' faith in magic "might be laughable except that it is desperately grave for national development."

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