Thursday, January 02, 2014

140.6 - Evolution and ignorance

Evolution and ignorance

You know I sometimes have a feature I call "And Another Thing" where I deal in something not or at least not expressly political. Usually it's some science thing or another that I found particularly cool.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

According to a poll released on December 30 done by the Religion and Public Life Project of the Pew Research Center, fully one-third of Americans reject the idea of evolution, insisting that, in the words of the poll question, "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

It actually, to my mind, gets worse. While sixty percent of Americans say that "humans and other living things have evolved over time," when you break that figure down, it's not even as good as that tepid figure sounds. Only 32% of the American public accepts the fact that human evolution is "due to natural processes such as natural selection" while 24% say that "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today."

In the Center's report on the poll, that same question was broken out by religious group. Note this: Of the six groupings they broke out, in only one case, the religiously unaffiliated (which would also include agnostics and atheists), does a majority of that group hold that evolution is a natural process not directed by some supreme being. That is the only breakdown in this whole poll where it can be clearly said that a majority - and even there not an overwhelming majority - actually accepts the science.

The harsh, blunt truth is that we as a people, as a culture, as a society, we do not believe in science. We'll use all its benefits, we'll accept all the advantages we get, pick up on all the conveniences it produces through technology, but we refuse to believe in the process. We refuse to believe what science tell us. If it makes us at all uncomfortable, we resort to flat out denialism. It is just so frustrating.

No wonder we still get so many nanny-nanny naysayers about global climate change. We are so screwed.


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