Thursday, August 17, 2006
A very disheartening post
In vol. 313 of Science, 11 August 2006, an analysis of levels of acceptance of evolution, in the U.S. and abroad. "A third of American adults indicated that evolution is 'absolutely false'", compared with 7% in Iceland, France, and Great Britain. And it's not all associated with religion; it seems to be the result of some crazy interaction of fundamentalism with Americanism, and conservatism with Americanism. No other Western country is as biblically literal as this one, and no other country has politicized the debate like this one. Sometimes it's enough to make me want to move to Scandinavia, except for the darkness and high suicide rate and weird fishy food.
Interesting: "When presented with a description of natural selection that omits the word evolution, 78% of [American] adults agreed to a description of the evolution of plants and animals. But, 62% of adults in the same study believed that God created humans as whole persons without any evolutionary development. It appears that many of these adults have adopted a human exceptionalism perspective." (emphasis mine) I guess evolution is fine for the lowly beasts and plants, but not for the perfect and glorious God-copies that are humans. So why exactly do humans and dogs and goldfish share the exact same bone structures and proteins and cellular processes? Why do we share most our genomes with chimps? And why are humans so frail and inefficient? Truly God works in mysterious ways. I would think the average Christian would want to give him more credit than that. For an omnipotent being, he did a pretty crappy job on his masterwork, and apparently also plagiarized most of it.
I could rant some more but I won't.