Why are most Americans creationists?

We know there is a link between education, church going behavior, and the inability or unwillingness to accept that evolution is real and that humans evolved. But what exactly is the relationship? I think the following diagram includes the correct answer, but I’m not sure which one it is:


i-b02877eaf0420a909314cb2dde53de76-edumication_teh_stupid_blue_500.jpg

What am I missing?

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0 thoughts on “Why are most Americans creationists?

  1. You’re missing the Establishment. Here in the UK, we have an ‘official’ church, and religious ‘education’ is compulsory. So all the kids fight it, and the good news that it’s a load of BS travels fast, and is welcomed. It helps that religion is also associated with the monarchy and Bishops in the House of Lords, who are seen as old-fashioned, and out of touch.

    I still remember my last RE lesson at school, where the teacher finally admitted what we thought all along – he didn’t believe it either. He took a poll. Of the 25 kids in the class, there was 1 believer. He was the only one who went to church.

    Instead, you get religion taught by your parents. And you believe them. Maybe separation of church and state isn’t really such a good thing… :0)

  2. It’s circular, and the positions are interchangeable.

    But you also have to remember that fully half the population are of below average intelligence.

  3. 1) Told something.
    2) Turns out to be false.
    3a) Stop trusting authority (and what’s more authoritative than all the scientists on the planet. All those white lab coats!) or
    3b) You blank on the falseness and embrace the source of the lies. (and remember Christians are an oppressed minority. All 280 gazillion of them.)

  4. i am continually reminded of George Carlin’s observation about, what we call today, teh stoopid:

    when you think about how stupid the average person is you have to rememeber, by definition, half are even more stupid.

  5. Based on my discussions with creationists, they back themselves into an intellectual corner by insisting upon inerrancy of the Bible, and such absolutist thinking as “if any part of it is wrong, the whole thing is useless.” I asked a bunch of such students if they thought Aesops fables were useless in teaching morality even though they are obviously fictions. Hmm, of course they never had thought of that. But literal interpretation of scripture seems to be at the bottom of the whole problem.

  6. 1. Cultural context -> 2. Inability to adjust to a changing world (“I want my country back”) -> 3. Rejection of change -> 4. Anti-intellectualism -> 2. Inability to adjust to change…

    And, of course, the cultural context includes belief in creationism, in white supremacy, in American exceptionalism, and in capitalism.

  7. when you think about how stupid the average person is you have to rememeber, by definition, half are even more stupid.

    ..wait. I don’t get it.

  8. Some Underlying Thing = Desire for Happy Thoughts like “I can live forever.”, and “God is on our side.” Facts like evolution threaten the whole delusional mindset. That’s why conservatives are suspicious of any education beyond the three R’s.

  9. Rob @10: technically, the 50th percentile of ‘teh stupid’ would be the ‘mean’ not the ‘average.’ But considering how mean, stupid and average the typical person is….

    Rt

  10. Median: This would be a good time to remind the audience of the definition of “average.”

    The Average is any of the generally used measures of central tendency. Many people mistake “average” for “mean” which is the sum of the variates divided by the number of the variates. A highly skewed (non-normal) distribution would result in an “average” (mean) in which it was NOT the case that one half of the variates (IQ values, for instance) are on one side of the mean.

    If he meant when he said “averge” the median, then by definition one half of the people are on one side of the average. I assume that is what he meant.

  11. A, Roadtripper, I didn’t see your comment. See my comment. “Average” is the generic term for central tendency. You are using the word “average” for “mean”

    A common, minor goof. But, one that can be exploited usefully. Buy me a beer some day and I’ll tell you a great story of how that happened once.

  12. Creationists are just following their own bronze age sun rotates around the flat earth bible – their god kicked his kids out of paradise because they ate from the tree of knowledge – so if they aren’t going to piss off their god, they can’t eat them tree of knowledge god made little green apples

  13. I’m just tired of that jerk average taking all my glory. It was just like that growing up, too, mom always liked him best.

  14. Isn’t the mean/median thing a moot point with IQ because it is a normal distribution?

    Greg, you missed out on denialism, incredulity, and paranoia which don’t all come from churchiness or poor education.

  15. Jared: Isn’t the mean/median thing a moot point with IQ because it is a normal distribution?

    It would be yes, but even though you can say “I got here in a vehicle” when you might have arrived via bus or bike, you will want to get the terminology right when you go to buy or rent “a vehicle.”

  16. Something called “sensor1.suitsmart.com” is causing my browser to ‘load’ your site forever. it is all there as far as I can see but it is still loading for a very long time.

  17. Not that I agree with you but you’re missing geographic isolation in which particular brands of ‘crazy’ are allowed to flourish unchallenged.

  18. Greg, you missed out on denialism, incredulity, and paranoia which don’t all come from churchiness or poor education.

    I would have thought that would all be subsumed under “teh stupid”

  19. @6 – Interesting concept, shoving it down people’s throats and thus guaranteeing low rates of participation as soon as a choice is available. I wonder who thought of that?

  20. Interesting point about “average” and “mean.” I have been saying this wrong for quite some time. BTW, the Internet agrees with you (sorry, I had to check)

  21. There are also people with excellent educations, who are churchgoers, who believe in evolution and are just as baffled by the creationists as you are. As much as you might like to believe it those aren’t mutually exclusive world views for lots of people.

  22. katydid13 (and person upthread whose comment I can’t see because something is borked on Sb at the moment), there are also atheists out there with very little education who reject evolution because they ain’t gonna let nobody tell them nothin’ nohow. Mentioning correlation and speculating on the relationships is not the same thing as embracing a Venn diagram of perfectly overlapping circles.

  23. [11]I asked a bunch of such students if they thought Aesops fables were useless in teaching morality even though they are obviously fictions.

    And it may well be that some of the fables are better than others as morality object lessons.

  24. Most Americans are not creationists. They are simply afraid to admit that they either don’t know, don’t care, or don’t tow the line.

  25. Greg, thanks for the explantion about average. You explained it better than my statistic’s teacher.

    About the god stuff, I think maybe some people just can’t tolerate the idea of dying.

  26. “Parents” would appear to be one “some underlying thing”. Or, more exactly, “teh stupid crappy edumacated churchy parents”.

    Pete Rooke: Not that I agree with you but you’re missing geographic isolation in which particular brands of ‘crazy’ are allowed to flourish unchallenged.

    Yes; you have to consider information flows in space, as well as over time. So, “teh stupid crappy edumacated churchy neighbors” also.

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