26 thoughts on “Half of Americans think evolution did not happen

  1. Yeah, and a significant portion of Kindergartners believe in Santa Claus, also. I suppose we should teach the controversy there, as well.

  2. 50% is a fucking scary statistic, but isn’t non-belief one of the fastest growing world-views among young Americans?

    The freedom/speed of idea transmission and the extreme ease of cross-referencing sources that the internet offers pretty much ensures that the world our children socialize in is much larger than in previous generations. Religion worked well when a child’s largest regular gathering of friends and family was at church or school, accompanied by hymns and pompous glad-hands, schoolyard intrigue and the instinctual need to play along and fit in with the other apes in its tightly packed vicinity.

    Now people of all literate ages can be in easy reach of gigantic numbers of other minds, without some of the biological effects of face to face interaction. Minds free to criticize any idea submitted to the collective, with a world’s worth of information right at their fingertips. This will kill religion. Superstition and wish-thinking will still need to be dealt with, but at least it is getting harder for many idiot parents to lie to smart children.

    I’ll tell you something, children are smarter than any of us, you know how I know that? I don’t know one child with a full time job and children.” -Bill Hicks

  3. This isn’t going to get any better until the pop-media gets sharper. Cooper should’ve cut that woman off after that remark about the questions, pointed out that there is such a thing as a stupid, or at least woefully ignorant, question. Because bad questions are at heart of that entire disingenuous “but science is about questioning” creationist-dogma approach. And no, there’s no reason why we should spend time in a science class entertaining dumb questions. However, it does point to a need to train both kids and K12 teachers in what constitutes “a dumb question”. And for that you’ll need a slightly bigger revolution, because the unfortunate fact is that the ed schools in the US a) draw from the bottom of the undergraduate barrel; b) are not so much interested in seeing that the teachers are well-schooled in what they call “content” (as opposed to “pedagogy”).

    Your best hope, in other words, appears to be that crazy guy Arne. He won’t be in long enough to do the job, though.

    I had the CNN conversation on the bus recently with a pretty Iowan bible-college student; I happened to be reading Shapin & Shaffer’s _Leviathan and the Air Pump_, and I think she figured I was ripe for conversion. She didn’t much like how the conversation went, and tried to extricate herself, but I didn’t let her off the hook till after I’d loaded her up with the university email addresses of local biochemists who are devout Christians and Jews, and suggested she contact them to get straightened out about just how Godless scientists are and how they regard evolution, and also walked her through a little conversation about what she’d actually be doing if she wanted to study neuroscience (as she claimed), and why it’s a pity that her bible college doesn’t actually teach any science — as in learning to do science — before teaching them to attack things they don’t understand.

    There were some other tiresome conversations in there, but I don’t think she’ll be going after seatmates reading about Boyle for a while.

    The nice thing’s that the conversation will likely prey on her mind; Iowans are nothing if not fair-minded, and she will have to reconcile what I said, somehow, with what her professors are saying.

  4. I’d heard of ‘Darwinism’ without learning what that’s supposed to be, and now Charmaine Yoest has ‘Darwinianism’? Sheeesh.

  5. Put more simply 50% of americans believe in supernatural interventions in the physical world. I.E. god does things and is by definition supernatural. Once you allow supernatural interventions the whole edifice of science is thrown out the window, because who can describe what the supernatural force may or may not do? If you want 6 physical days of creation, the supernatural force can do that and make things look as they are now. Basically one is left with Occam’s razor as a defense. But since one does not agree on the postulates that define the world, there is now a two way monologue.

  6. What’s equally disturbing is how most liberals believe that significant human evolution couldn’t possibly have occurred. I guess people will always let their ideological biases cloud their thinking, regardless of whether they’re part of the religious right or the liberal left.

  7. Man, Mr. Mud, are you barking at the wrong tree! What kind of special idiot comes to a man’s blog and proceeds to berate another blogger? As an evolution denier, what are you even doing at Scienceblogs?

  8. Mr. Mud@9:

    I would have told the little wimp himself but he’s scared to let me back on his so called “science” blog.

    Seeing as how Ed has perhaps banned two posters over 4 years, this statement is probably best translated as “I got my ass completely hammered over there and I’m too scared to go back”.

    Moron.

  9. I decided against a Poe on #8 and 9; the prevalence of misspelled words indicates that it is not a Poe. Many intelligent people have a compulsion to spell words correctly even when they’re trying to poke fun at things.

    Gee, banned by Ed – that’s a little like being banned by PZ. Usually people are left to make stupid statements on their own for everyone else to laugh at and tear apart.

  10. I can’t help but chuckle at a fucking moron who would refer to my brother as little. Ed may be many things, some bad, mostly pretty good, but little really isn’t one of them and neither is wimp. This is a guy who managed to do an intelligent, coherent interview with Rachel Maddow, after slipping on the ice, falling flat on his back and smacking his head on the concrete.

    Call him an evileutionist. Call him a queer lover. There are all sorts of labels that actually fit. “Little wimp” however, is demonstrably false.

    And if he banned you from his blog, you really must be a fucking idiot.

  11. Notice–she never did answer the question about the age of the earth. Anderson Cooper should not have qualified his statements about scientific fact. It made it sound as if he did not accept evolution as fact. Does he?

  12. So 50% believe in God, 48% believe in astrology, 30% believe in flying saucers. But it is not all bad 88% believe in global warming.

  13. I think that more than half of Americans don’t exist. The question is, then, which half is real, and which imaginary? This begs the question of how you take the square root of the imaginary half of an American.

  14. Mr Mud, what an appropriate name for a very muddy thinker. A sad, and smug little bigot, with a view of the world about as wide as the average amoeba.

    I suspect the gentle carpenter from Nazareth had very little in common with this person.

    And if they are occupying heaven, I do NOT wanna go there!

  15. MadScientist wrote: “I decided against a Poe on #8 and 9; the prevalence of misspelled words indicates that it is not a Poe.”

    Yes, and there’s another reason: I think a Poe would have used just one message, because it had been composed ahead of time.

  16. After viewing the video, I score it Boston 3, Cooper 1, Yoest 0.

    I’m sure the video is old. I would guess it dates from the time Bush 43 advocated teaching ID, which IIRC was 2005. Study of the crawl would probably pin it down more closely.

    But yes, it’s still relevant.

  17. I think it might be far better not to take Mr. Mud seriously. If you take them as a joke, you can laugh and reassure yourself that no one could be that inane. If you think about them seriously and try to construct a well thought out, rational response, you will get a headache. I prefer laughter over pain any day; even if it might be occasionally self-delusional, not taking people like Mr. Mud seriously tends to upset them even more, making it even funnier.

  18. Christians have a problem because the town of Nazareth didn’t exist at the time of his supposed life.

    Anyone using Satan as an explanation definitely needs psychiatric care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.