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Gallup has just released a scary new poll that indicates just how much work still lies before us as a nation--and just how frightening is the prospect of Republican rule.  The majority of Americans are still likelier to believe in creationism than in evolution--with an amazing 7 out of 10 Republicans holding fast to their literalist beliefs.

Most depressingly, the figures for the American people in general have not moved significantly since 1982--both according to the Gallup polls and a number of others.  The fantastic site Polling Report has a rundown of the major polls on just about every major sociopolitical issue, including evolution and politics.  The numbers are anything but encouraging: in 1982, 38% of Americans thought that human beings were created over the course of millions of years, but God guided the process; 9% thought God played no part; and 44% said we were created by God in our current form (9% stated "other").  In 2007, those numbers have shifted only slightly, with 38% for divine guidence, 14% for no divine role, and 43% for creationism.  A 2005 Harris poll showed 6% fewer Americans believing in human evolution than they had in 1994.

While the overall numbers for Americans are depressing, the political divide is nothing short of astonishing.  As Gallup says:

The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.

Independents and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in the theory of evolution. But even among non-Republicans there appears to be a significant minority who doubt that evolution adequately explains where humans came from.

The partisan numbers are 68% creationism to 30% evolution among Republicans, and 57% evolution to 40% creationism among Democrats.  Of course, the divide between those who attend church regularly and those who do not is far larger (74% creationism to 24% evolution among those who attend church weekly, compared with 71% to 26% the other way), but that is largely to be expected.  It is also important to note that many Americans appear to hold somewhat conflicted and contradictory beliefs.  As Gallup goes on to say:

The data indicate some seeming confusion on the part of Americans on this issue. About a quarter of Americans say they believe both in evolution's explanation that humans evolved over millions of years and in the creationist explanation that humans were created as is about 10,000 years ago... <snip>

It might seem contradictory to believe that humans were created in their present form at one time within the past 10,000 years and at the same time believe that humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. But, based on an analysis of the two side-by-side questions asked this month about evolution and creationism, it appears that a substantial number of Americans hold these conflicting views.

While I have no direct evidence to support this claim, I think it stands to reason that more moderates, independents and Democrats are likely to hold contradictory beliefs on this issue: I know several religious Democrats who stick to the principle that science and faith are entirely separate, and willing to live with a contradictory dichotomy between the Bible's literal words and the scientific evidence.  Such contradictory beliefs are not generally in keeping with the dogmatic views of the fundamentalist Christians who tend to reject scientific evidence entirely.

Most interesting and underreported in stories covering this issue, however, are the numbers among independents: a full 61% of independents believe in evolution, compared to 37% for creationism--a higher belief in evolution than among Democrats.  Factoring in the stunning increase in the number of voters who call themselves Independent (32.9% of the population), this is but another example of a strong majority of "swing" voting population moving away from bread-and-butter Republican beliefs in some pretty fundamental issues.  It is a scary thing for a rightist political party when Independents actually stand to the left of the bulk of the Left's party constituents.

Gallup sums it up nicely:

Being religious in America today is strongly related to partisanship, with more religious Americans in general much more likely to be Republicans than to be independents or Democrats. This relationship helps explain the finding that Republicans are significantly more likely than independents or Democrats to say they do not believe in evolution. When three Republican presidential candidates said in a May debate that they did not believe in evolution, the current analysis suggests that many Republicans across the country no doubt agreed.

To me, the upshot is this: we have an increasingly hostile ideological divide in this country between the two parties, with one side avowedly in favor of Luddite ignorance when it comes to evolution, and the other with a solid majority of more reasoned (if often contradictory) beliefs.  And while the views of the American public at large in this deeply divided country have not shifted dramatically, the views of Independent voters have swung sharply in the direction of Democrats--and on a fundamental issue that is not subject to prevailing political winds or current events.

Once again, we have a situation where the differences between the two parties could not be more clear; where the Republican Party is showing itself to be increasingly irrational, dangerous, and in hock to the extreme Christianist right; and where the Democratic Party has little to lose with crucial swing voters by standing strong on its principles.

Because to put it bluntly, in the year 2007, a party accountable to a constituency with a supermajority of believers in Biblical literalism simply cannot be allowed to rule.  We have seen the consequences of such willful ignorance for the last 6 years, and we can no longer afford to be patient with it.

Also at MLW and at There Is No Blog

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:00 PM PDT.

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  •  tips (305+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapantsula, Kimberley, bink, Canadian Reader, Alumbrados, Erin in Flagstaff, Terri, Firefly, northsylvania, Aeolus, pb, Sean Robertson, itsbenj, ultrageek, vivacia, ferg, ogre, wystler, Trendar, Liberal Thinking, Marlboro Lite, Mountain Don, jxg, TrueBlueMajority, Bob Love, Robespierrette, Shockwave, Sherri in TX, LionelEHutz, shayera, OLinda, ablington, rhubarb, cookiesandmilk, RickD, moira977, frisco, Carnacki, bumblebums, Rey Mota, rasbobbo, Boston Boomer, joynow, Hatu, bronte17, bobtmn, Shadan7, SamSinister, megs, Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner, OCD, CoolOnion, AlyoshaKaramazov, pattisigh, hekebolos, vmibran, roses, taonow, JuliaAnn, javelina, murphsurf, badlands, BruinKid, Shaniriver, matt2525, rioduran, splashy, bustacap, Anderson Republican, baad, stacystace, hopesprings, ktakki, Dallasdoc, Miss Jones, worldbeggedyoutovoteKerry, casperr, MTgirl, MA Liberal, exiledfromTN, NYFM, ohiolibrarian, hazzcon, rockhound, AbsurdEyes, lecsmith, sommervr, fritzrth, walkshills, bwintx, Ayanora, YetiMonk, DrReason, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Little Red Hen, DrewDown, Jambon, Josiah Bartlett, pat208, bibble, Marc in KS, murrayewv, Spam Spam Bacon Spam, greeseyparrot, cohe, sxwarren, rapala, G2geek, Fabian, Desert Rose, maybeeso in michigan, radarlady, Jeffersonian Democrat, Alegre, deepfish, franziskaner, unclejohn, theKK, bluewolverine, ek hornbeck, PBen, Philoguy, Event Horizon, tomhodukavich, elkhunter, tgray, clammyc, ChemBob, kaye, RepublicanTaliban, Brooke In Seattle, kamarkamarka, david78209, skeptigal, Turkana, boofdah, bleeding blue, majcmb1, civil society, EconAtheist, thered1, ladybug53, annefrank, lotlizard, peteri2, nwsound, BobOak, SheriffBart, wardlow, HiBob, alkland, The Raven, Shotput8, Rosemary, JavaManny, pacotrey, wiscmass, LivesInAShoe, LithiumCola, Rogneid, playtonjr, Shiborg, hcc in VA, kkjohnson, liberalsouth, xaxnar, Prof Dave, Uthaclena, Coherent Viewpoint, kovie, keefer55, Major Danby, trashablanca, buddabelly, gwilson, BachFan, PatsBard, dharmafarmer, Ellicatt, Arabiflora, theadmiral, buhdydharma, deha, Esjaydee, balancedscales, greenearth, Lefty Coaster, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, Lashe, nonnie9999, funluvn1, gooderservice, DtheO, UEtech, Bush Bites, condoleaser, justalittlebitcrazy, FireCrow, NearlyNormal, BalkanID, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, el cid, ER Doc, feduphoosier, Something the Dog Said, Hey BB, Turbonerd, Nerdsie, rage, rsie, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, RantNRaven, MarketTrustee, scoff0165, MadMs, choice joyce, shaharazade, Tek Jansen, crystal eyes, evanindallas, kidneystones, duha, AyLian, Temmoku, ThomasB, eastmt, tikikiki, Iowa Boy, marykk, A Mad Mad World, ibonewits, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Old Gardener, Bob Guyer, dmh44, california keefer, kmiddle, moodyinsavannah, godislove, ColoTim, jetskreemr, offgrid, VA02 femocrat, vets74, ddriscoll, RandomGuyFromGermany, 0wn, left coast lad, LillithMc, kath25, ReadyForChange, profmom, flumptytail, Nordic Kossor, kenoyer130, jayden, jedennis, ubertar, TheCorkBoard, mudslide, The Angry Rakkasan, Rumarhazzit, madgranny, homerun, keikekaze, TomP, kwestone, MKinTN, Light Emitting Pickle, MyBrainWorks, Dem in the heart of Texas, memofromturner, rogerdaddy, mconvente, Devsd, JeffW, LightningMan, walja, dotster, Indexer, rjones2818, wayoutinthestix, zerone, spencerh, Diaries, bythesea, Cat Servant, Johnny Rapture, Akonitum, Greasy Grant, Rebel of the Sacred Heart, Mardish, Lujane, TomFromNJ, kN3eLb4Z0d, geomoo, landogriffin, DanK Is Back, ClapClapSnap, Chrispy67, fool mee once

    for the victory of Reason.

  •  7 in 10 republicans (8+ / 0-)

    are shit-kickers still afraid to use the internet tubes. shit wits.

    Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

    by kwestone on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:01:22 PM PDT

  •  So why aren't the GOP candidates representing (5+ / 0-)

    their base? Only a paltry 30% of them don't believe in evolution.

    Join the College Kossacks on Facebook, or the Republicans win.

    by DemocraticLuntz on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:02:43 PM PDT

  •  horray for underfunded public education! eom (17+ / 0-)

    I'd like an Obama and Edwards with a slice of Richardson, but please hold the Clinton. I call it the Wesley Clark.

    by areucrazy on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:04:02 PM PDT

  •  Ugh, what can I say. Ugh. (3+ / 0-)

    "I don't think I intended to break the law." - Monica Goodling

    by Bob Love on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:04:25 PM PDT

  •  let's look at the silver lining here... (24+ / 0-)

    Because the GOP is the "incredible shrinking party" the ONLY people remaining inside the "Big Tent" are the creationist wackos.

    Their numbers aren't growing, they're just now becoming a larger voice in an increasingly irrelevant and marginalized party.

    well, that's my attempt at glass half full for the day

    New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become. Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

    by Chrispy67 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:05:25 PM PDT

  •  Jesus H. Christ. (6+ / 0-)

    He believes in evolution, too.

  •  The Poll I'd Love to See (11+ / 0-)

    Is one that measures the difference between Republicans in leadership positions in the party (staffer, senior campaign people, office holders, etc) and the rank and file voters.

    I suspect, much like tolerance for homosexuality, that thee is a massive difference. The Beltway leadership of the party accepts evoution for the scientific foundation that it is, while the base expects them to reject it publically.

    Which is what we get on TV.

  •  The 30% who don't believe..... (9+ / 0-)

    include the doctors and pharmaceutical companies sector.  Pocketboock vs. piety.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:09:49 PM PDT

  •  this just in........... (29+ / 0-)

    7 pf 10 Republicans don't believe the Earth revolves around the sun.

    Didn't we cover this shit back in like 1616

    Psalm 93:1, Psalm 96:10, and Chronicles 16:30 state that "the world is firmly established, it cannot be moved." Psalm 104:5 says, "[the LORD] set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved." Ecclesiastes 1:5 states that "the sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises."

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


    "Republicans tell you that government doesn't work. Then they get elected, and they prove it" - (Future Senator) Al Franken

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:10:00 PM PDT

  •  And we think we can convince them global warming (18+ / 0-)

    is real and happening?

    The repubs and christians in general have shown a disdain for thinking, science and what they call "human reason". How the hell are we going to win the debate when the other side simply plugs their ears and says "la la la" when we try to show them FACTS? They simply don't trust science because they believe it is attacking their belief in a myth - even AFTER hundreds of years which have shown beyond a doubt that science is getting it right more and more.

    They fought for hundreds of years against the idea that the Earth was round, that it was in orbit around the sun and that all of the other stars were like our sun. Even after a humiliating defeat where they were finally FORCED to admit that science was right, they still think they have some kind of authority to dispute the claims of science.

    And all because some 2000 year old book says so. With no other proof and no reasoning other than "they believe it to be so".

    Sometimes I want to vomit when I think of the stupidity in humanity.

    The world is my country, science is my religion.

    by ReadyForChange on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:10:40 PM PDT

    •  I know, I couldn't believe it!! n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greeseyparrot, tgray, vets74

      The world is my country, science is my religion.

      by ReadyForChange on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:16:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well, keep in mind again (7+ / 0-)

      25% have contradictory beliefs--and there are a lot of heavily churched Democrats (especially among minority populations like Latino Catholics and African-American Baptists) who hold such views.

      Education is the key to all of this.

      •  Not just education, critical thinking abilities (11+ / 0-)

        I think most of the problem is that alot of religious types are TAUGHT not to think. Literally! You are not allowed to question the Bible. You are not allowed to even admit the POSSIBILITY that your beliefs may be wrong. You are not even allowed to decide for yourself what the Bible is trying to say - the church and the priests will decide that for you!

        I was raised as a christian, and went to bible study for my entire adolescence. During that time I was NEVER encouraged to think for myself or to be skeptical or to question. It was always the opposite - you MUST have unquestioning faith.

        THAT is where I think the real problem is.

        The world is my country, science is my religion.

        by ReadyForChange on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:45:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually (4+ / 0-)

        folks who believed, in varying degrees, in Christianity, were the main creators/drivers of the  the Civil Rights movement. I'm not religious, but I am AfricanAmerican, and I think that approach to social justice is worth the attention and respect of progressives.

        I'm not saying all is dandy in the Black church - there's hypocrisy, and turning a blind eye to reality, and some homophobia (although I think it's starting to die out in many places). But there is also the propensity to value compassion and  healing, and to recognize, at bottom, the oneness of humanity...

        So, how to see the lessons learned in non-wingnut fanatic churches, and join together with those folks who are not  insane, to agree where we can all agree (health care, global warming - even some of the wingnuts are reportedly interested in this new idea of 'stewardship of the earth'- education, access to the internet, etc).

        I don't have the answer, but I thought it might be worthwhile to find hope and possibility in the question...

        Steve Gilliard: We Will Not Forget.

        by Terri on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:48:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats almost as bad (11+ / 0-)

    This from a CBSNews poll:

    VIEWS ON EVOLUTION/CREATIONISM

    God created humans in present form
    All Americans
    55%
    Kerry voters
    47%
    Bush voters
    67%

    Humans evolved, God guided the process
    All Americans
    27%
    Kerry voters
    28%
    Bush voters
    22%

    Humans evolved, God did not guide process
    All Americans
    13%
    Kerry voters
    21%
    Bush voters
    6%

    It's not a Republican vs Democrat problem -- its an American problem.  

    (Oh, and by the way, 50% of Americans also believe Saddam had WMD.)

    •  Creationism itself is not dangerous, but... (7+ / 0-)

      when you have people who think that Creationism is the end-all-to-be-all of life origin, and then these people are on our local school boards dictating what curricula our children learn in public schools, then that's the problem.

      If people want to believe in Creationism, then that's fine, but don't reject or restrict science.

      "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

      by mconvente on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:17:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You back up my other comments here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74

        You identify the problem correctly here, but you don't, IMO, in the diary. It comes off as a rant against their belief.

      •  Doink - thought you were the diarist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vets74, mconvente

        So sorry.

      •  I disagree - its NOT ok anymore (14+ / 0-)

        Allowing such blatant stupidity is going to kill us all.

        We have reached a point in our species existence where there can be no more exceptions. There are too many of us now and our technology gives us even more power than ever to destroy ourselves. If we don't conduct ourselves with REASON instead of superstition we WILL perish.

        Take global warming for example. The widespread attitude that scientists are all out to get christians and can't be trusted is one of the primary reasons for our lack of action on this critical problem.

        Think of it - christians wouldn't admit that the world was round for HUNDREDS of years. How long before they FINALLY admit that global warming is a real problem? Probably not until we see a rise of about 7 degrees for global temperatures. In other words by the time they say "Oooooh... I guess you guys were right. My bad." It will be too late.

        We cannot allow stupidity to propagate unchallenged anymore.

        The world is my country, science is my religion.

        by ReadyForChange on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:31:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oy fucking weh "Allowing"???? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jagger, vets74

          who the fuck are you - the thought police?

        •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

          I think the overriding problem is complete and utter arrogance that fundies display.  I get your point - that utter arrogance and stupidity is destroying us.  I just think that denying evolution isn't as big a problem (you know, regardless how much the Catholic Church denied that the Earth was not the center of the universe, it still wasn't - lol) as global warming.

          So I see your point

          "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

          by mconvente on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:44:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The two are interrelated (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot

            Those who argue against the validity of evolution are a big part of the problem because to them ALL science is suspect.  In order to turn things around in this country people will need to find a way to reconcile their religious beliefs with proven scientific fact.

            Until that occurs we will never convince that 70% of Republicans that Global Warming is real.

            /International treaties? We don't abide by no stinkin' international treaties./

            by sigmarthebad on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:36:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why do we need to? (0+ / 0-)

              This is about getting Democrats who believe in reason, science, and technology into office, and we only need to grab another 10% of the nation to make a Democratic majority somewhere around permanent.

              They only need to obey the new laws (e.g. requiring energy efficient HVAC, for instance) and if the only cars available are energy efficient, they'll buy them. If jobs open up in the factories that will build the energy-efficient replacements for what we're using today, they'll line up to fill them.

              To turn True Believers en masse into sane people in a time frame which would make them useful in helping the rest of us stop global warming would take. . . a miracle.

              All we need from them is their grudging cooperation.

              If we had to get their complete acceptance of any and all new technologies, we'd be reading by candlelight and our fastest communication would be via a relay of fast horses. It's OK to be a late adopter.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 02:40:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see your point (0+ / 0-)

                I guess I'm coming from the viewpoint that we can't assume, no matter how successful we are, that we can keep Dems in control.  It seems a much better solution to try to bring enough Repubs along so that, rather than sway between sanity and insanity, we can shift between two sane (scientifically respectful) parties.

                The practicality of accomplishing that is, of course, a whole 'nother story.  So long a fundamentalists equate all science with an attack on their beliefs and they continue to have such a strong voice in the Repub power structure, the possibility looks grim.

                But I agree that in the short term we just need to get Dems in control. Perhaps accomplishing that will re-establish enough of a respect for science and rationality that it will filter into the education system and precipitate a shift in perception amongst the next generation(s) to begin to chip into the fundamentalist stranglehold on much of the population.

                /International treaties? We don't abide by no stinkin' international treaties./

                by sigmarthebad on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:25:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the long term fix (0+ / 0-)

                  perhaps more science and technology jobs... and more of an emphasis on the humanities in the standard curricula in these areas.

                  Knowing science and technology does not preclude fundamentalism, the Muslim Brotherhood has traditionally had a fair number of engineers, doctors, and other people with narrow tech-oriented educations.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 12:54:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, look what happened to Krypton (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greeseyparrot, Spoc42

          That's what you get when you tell the scientists to bugger off.  It's not a wise course of action to laugh in Jor-El's face.

          Even my namesake knew that.

        •  Global warming and Christians (0+ / 0-)

          I don't see a contradiction for Christians.  The Bible says that the earth will be destroyed by fire ... who's to say that the heat won't be turned up little by little - i.e. global warming?  

    •  I'm speechless. (0+ / 0-)

      eom.

      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

      by Boston Boomer on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Coincidence or not? (8+ / 0-)

    Not suprising that 70% of Republicans support a president that hasn't fully evolved himself:

    http://www.bushorchimp.com/

    "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'I need to quit drinking!'" - Greasy Grant

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:11:40 PM PDT

  •  I'm on the next track over (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, rogerdaddy

    I dont' care that they don't believe it- well, I do, but I don't care any more than I do that some 95% believe in God. It's all hooey to me. what I care about is the lack of belief, and knowledge, in secularism. Believe what you want, but believe in secularism too and we'll be fine.

  •  who is this god (11+ / 0-)

    and how come I've never seen him?

    Don't start a blog, build a community with SoapBlox - the NEW blog framework.

    by pacified on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:12:09 PM PDT

  •  Makes sense. Why would they believe in a process (13+ / 0-)

    ... that has passed them by?  

    •  Because they haven't experienced it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, tgray, scoff0165

      it doesn't exist. But these are the same people who believe that Ronald Reagan was a great President, so we should have realized that they hadn't evolved much beyond the primordial soup stage.

      •  Great UID (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MagisterLudi

        I know this is OT, but I read that book (along with everything else by Herman Hesse I could find) about 30 years ago. Hesse is far and away my favorite non-sci-fi writer. Reading The Glass Bead Game was almost like being in Nirvana.

        "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

        by scoff0165 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:20:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  my only ray (5+ / 0-)

    of hope here is that according to my husband who works in numbers and polling is that Gallup polls are notoriously skewed right wing. In both their demographics, and their question phrasing so hopefully this isn't as dire as this study suggests.

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:13:22 PM PDT

  •  Scary indeed... (12+ / 0-)

    Evolution occurs right in front of our eyes.  Why do we need to create new antibiotics?  It's because a percentage (albeit very small) of a bacteria species is naturally immune to the antibiotic.  The environment determines what traits are favorable, and we see natural selection in action.

    The science data is there to back evolution.  And even I, as a science person, find it incredible to think that humans could have evolved, but why not?  I mean, humans and orangutans have 99.5% similar DNA.  During my genetics class at college last year we did studies on proteins - it's pretty interesting how the amino acid sequence for a protein in humans is really similar to the one in mice (which for non science buffs, is a great research model organism because it's easy to breed and maintain, plus they are like humans in a lot of ways).

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:14:07 PM PDT

    •  They like to say that micro-evolution (6+ / 0-)

      like bacteria becoming drug-resistant occurs, but there couldn't be species changing into other species.

      Kind of like epicycles.  Yet another way to fudge the data.

      Happy the man and happy he alone--he who can call today his own ... John Dryden

      by ohiolibrarian on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:06:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ah epicycles... (0+ / 0-)

        They mentioned those in gen. physics last year, and in order to explain all the movements there needed to be like 100 different circles and orbits - basically, the epicycle theory is bunk

        ah, truth and reconciliation...

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world" - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:12:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is really annoying. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greeseyparrot, Spoc42, spencerh

        I think the word "microevolution" was coined to allow evolution-deniers a way out of having to avoid taking medicine so that they don't appear hypocritical.

        Evolution is evolution.  Over a long enough time period you get speciation, but it's the same fucking process as "microevolution."

        It's a trope.  I don't use the word.  There is evolution; allowed to proceed for long enough in environments that differ enough, you get speciation.

        And that's all I'll say about that.  ;)

        "Je suis un fromage minuscule et nomade..."

        by Marc in KS on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But I always thought that humans were a lot like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente

      mice as well as the other way. And when you look at the studies with mice that encourage population growth but hold living space constant, you see in a microcosm what the most crowded cities are experiencing today. Mouse crime isn't pretty either.

      Global War on Terror: Not worth the bumper sticker it's printed on.

      by OHdog on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:22:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Evolution was accepted 'fact' before Darwin (5+ / 0-)

      proposed his theory.  By the early 1800's any serious student of geology knew that the fossils you dug up changed gradually the deeper you dug.  The only sensible explanation is that the deeper stuff was older and the things being fossilized had gradually changed over time.  

      Darwin's contribution wasn't identifying evolution in the fossil record; it was explaining how it could happen.  That was in his book, "On the Origin of Species" (1859).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Another thing Darwin did, which may be what set back the public acceptance of all his work and much that came before him, was to publish "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex" (1871).
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Though that second book was apparently well received at the time, I think changed evolution from a dry theory about dusty old fossils into something that made fundamentalists mad.

      I happen to like the idea (at least partly Darwin's) that the details of the evolution of our species tell us a lot about how we live, organize ourselves, fight, and reproduce.  I think we still have most of the instincts of a scrawny, four foot high ape (Australopithecus) that can't get enough to eat in the trees, where it's safer, and has to prowl the grasslands at least some of the time.  (The gorillas probably pushed us out of the best forest real estate.)  We probably would have gone extinct if we hadn't learned to use a club as a weapon.  Australopithecus used an antelope's humerus (foreleg bone) as his favorite club, and he must have been right handed, because he preferred the bone from the antelope's right leg by about a 10 to 1 ratio -- that bone has a useful inward hook to the club end of it when a right hander holds it by the natural handle, the shaft.  The apes who used the opposite humerus probably weren't dumb, they were probably southpaws, like 10% of humans today.  (This is from the book African Genesis by Robert Ardrey, 1961.)

      Those scrawny apes probably occupied an ecological niche similar to baboons, sleeping in trees but making a living mostly on the ground.  They probably needed to live in groups of 50 to 100, much like baboons do now.  

      Nobody likes the idea that we're slaves to those ape instincts, so we're tempted to deny that they exist.  Ardrey's main point is that denying them hasn't worked well, and we'd do better to acknowledge them and try to work around them when we need to.  

      Clinging to a belief that we were created in our present form by God a few thousand years ago seems an extreme case of denying that we're closely related to a frightened, scrawny ape.

      We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

      by david78209 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  human-orangutan identity is less than 99.5% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42
      Human-chimp identity is about 98%, so human-orangutan is slightly less. Just a friendly correction from the trenches.

      But on that note, we need to ask creationists if they've ever looked at a DNA sequence, and if they "believe" in the cancer therapies that are developed with evolutionary principles.

      it's pretty interesting how the amino acid sequence for a protein in humans is really similar to the one in mice

      You'll appreciate this: scientists have even been able to swap a regulatory sequence in zebrafish with the human one and have it work identically even though the sequence was not the same at all. (For the non-scientists, this is about short DNA sequences upstream of genes that control when the genes are activated.) The sequence was very similar among mammals, and another sequence was very similar among fish, but the two sequences were not similar to each other. The scientists predicted (big difference between science and creationism) that the sequences were probably functionally equivalent (there's often "turnover" in sequence and location in these elements) and that replacing the fish one with the human one would leave the fish none the wiser. It worked.

      Linkety-link: Conservation of RET Regulatory Function from Human to Zebrafish Without Sequence Similarity

      When was the last time creationists gave us a testable prediction?

  •  Do these right-wing nutjobs believe that all of (7+ / 0-)

    the scientific evidence that contradicts the fantasy of biblical creationism is just one gigantic, satanic conspiracy?
    If these wackos are allowed to hold the reigns of power in any way this country is screwed.
    This is very scary shit. How can so many people be so ignorant about so many things? It must be some sort of mass psychosis...aaahhh, yes....the opiate of the masses.
    Keep pushing the truth. It's our only chance.
    These people creep me out. When will they finally become extinct? It won't be soon enough, IMHO.
    In the name of The Noodles, The Sauce & The Holy Meatballs...Amen and Peace ;-)>

    Today's Carlinism: "After every horror, we're told, 'Now the healing can begin.' No. There is no healing, just a short pause before the next horror." ;-{>

    by rogerdaddy on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:14:15 PM PDT

    •  Hey, we have what constitute (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rogerdaddy

      "whackjobs" in a eligious sense all over the Left. Many on this site.

      I think people should hold their fire on this.

      •  Yes we do (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thereisnospoon, Little, godislove

        I've encountered them many times, usually of the "religion must die" variety.  Really annoying.  Although one time I actually did meet an evangelical Democrat who tried to proselytize me.

        An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

        by DH from MD on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:23:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I was being a little harsher (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scoff0165, OHdog, godislove, rogerdaddy

          than that even, but only for effect. Anybody who follows Christianity is, IMO (and please allow me to say the way I'd say it straight and with fun to my brother's face) a "whackjob." I get all - okay, not all, but some - of what's good about faith, period, and about the  lessons for ourselves and the aide in giving lessons to children through such faith, and I underestand what a powerful community it can be, but to actually believe the actual stories?

          How many Christians here believe in the Resurrection? I doubt many would say they don't (and good on ya - like I said, people can belive what they want). But if you think about it - it's as fucking nutsoid as Creation. Maybe more so.

          •  Hmph: How many Christians here believe in the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rogerdaddy

            Ressurection?

            And the rest of the question above.

          •  I was married in a church (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TeresaInPa, Little

            My kids were both baptized in that church.
            My husband and I sing in the choir at that church.
            I've prayed publicly from the pulpit in that church.
            I was on staff for years as the director of youth ministry at that church.
            I hope that my memorial service is held at that church.

            And I think that not just the Resurrection but the Last Supper and the story of the Virgin Birth are irrelevant to the authentic spiritual life I've found in that church.

            The correct answer for any religious person to give when asked if they believe in the Bible is a resounding "WHO CARES?"

            Jesus for sure was not about drawing these weird kinds of boxes around himself . . . whatever else he was, he sure as hell did not give a moment's thought to anything beyond what people did with their time and resources on behalf of the last and the least.

            This means the model for a Christian is Mother Theresa, not George W Bush.

            •  You give people too easy an out (0+ / 0-)

              Though what you say is wonderful.

              I posted the question as counter to the people calling the 70% ignorant and idiots and on and on. They're missing something.

              •  They are missing a lot, but then (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TeresaInPa, Little

                so are we all, no matter how we live our lives.  

                I used to be a lot more concerned about the 70% . . . I used to worry that they were going to ruin my church as well as my country.  Lately, though, I've been more optimistic.  The Southern Baptists more or less sold their souls to the Republican Party in the last 2 elections, but a church that is not honest with itself and true to its mission will not be able to sustain membership in the long run.

                The place will, sooner or later, start to feel hollow and people will just drift away.  They seemed so strong in 2004, because they were flush with having "won" -- but that experience was the polar opposite of what they came to church for in the first place.  You just can't align yourself with the power structure and keep up the pretense of doing the church's job--which is standing tough outside that structure and holding it accountable to the people.

                I've often wondered what the sermons are like around those places now--the ones that handed over their membership rolls to Republican operatives  and hung "nonpartisan" Voter Guides around the vestibules.  Is it still fun when so much of what they were proudest of has turned out to be made of cheap plastic?

                If there's anything real and valuable in a church, it won't be vulnerable to the likes of Jerry Falwell.  I don't enjoy being lumped in with greedy idiots, but so what?  I'm not a greedy idiot, and I know it.

            •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greeseyparrot

              you want to really hold up Mother Theresa as a model of a good Christian...

              I finally put in a signature!

              by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:43:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

                Is there something I should know?

                •  She sold blow. (0+ / 0-)

                  Kidding. I've heard some tales - but hell, every huge personality gets them.

                •  Too much to get into here (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greeseyparrot

                  There's a lot of information out there, but in particular she was not the most ethical of persons when it came to how she handled the millions of $$ in donations she solicited.  She used most of the money to open 150 convents and evangelize on behalf of Catholicism rather to help the poor and needy, which donors expected to be the case.  She also, like JPII, did quite a bit of harm thanks to her anti-abortion and anti-contraception stances.

                  I finally put in a signature!

                  by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:31:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Well, there's this: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Calamity Jean

                  [T]oday... the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion... Because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for me to kill you and you to kill me - there is nothing in between."

                  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) Founder of the Missionaries of Charity; Nobel Peace Prize laureate and caregiver to the sick and dying.

                  From here. (An anti-abortion site.)
                  The quote is from her Nobel acceptance speech.

                  From another site, this:

                  The conditions within the institutions (run by Mother Teresa) are wretched to say the least. In her home for the dying no medication or painkillers are allowed even in extreme cases. Her childcare institutions have no toys or play grounds for the children. They are told only to pray. Her hospitals are highly unhygienic, according to Dr. Robin Cox (of England), Editor of the foremost medical journal "Lancet".
                  Mary Loudon, another English investigator found patients sleeping on the floor as many as 60 in a single room. She saw needles being used and reused after washing in tap water. Patients in need of simple surgery were left to die instead of being sent to other hospitals in Calcutta.
                  ...
                  In all these, the single remedy offered to the inmates regardless of their condition is prayer.

    •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      UniC, Spoc42, godislove, rogerdaddy

      Do these right-wing nutjobs believe that all of the scientific evidence that contradicts the fantasy of biblical creationism is just one gigantic, satanic conspiracy?

      Almost.  Most of the fringe right-wingers actually believe that fossil evidence was put there by God as a test of their faith.

      An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

      by DH from MD on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:18:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This can be said of any religion based on faith, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Southern Mouth, rogerdaddy

      the difference is just a matter of degree

      We Changed The Course!

      by hcc in VA on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:27:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends On What the Faith is Exercised Toward (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rogerdaddy

        If it's limited to supernatural and extra-worldly beings, forces and states, even very strong faith is relatively benign.

        It's when faith (even well short of deification) is exercised towards testable things--especially institutions and leaders--that it becomes dangerous.

        And that principle applies far beyond fundamentalists into the mainstream.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:02:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Since the passing of Carl Sagan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, Uthaclena, rogerdaddy

      There hasn't been a strong enough counter-voice.  He is sorely missed, probably now more than ever.

    •  Consider all the people who STILL proudly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickD, Spoc42

      proclaim that they don't understand or can't use computers?

      911 did not change things. George Bush with his sycophants and enablers have changed way too many things. me

      by maybeeso in michigan on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:23:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Creationist wackos?" (8+ / 0-)

    So, if a person believes or thinks that there is a God/being somewhere who created the heavens and the earth, they're wackos?

    Granted, there are those religious people who are wackos.  But also, there are those NON-religious people who are wackos.

    I'm having a difficult time believing as I once did, as I was raised to believe starting 60 years ago.  But ... I don't like people screaming at me that I had better "believe" there is a God and I don't like others screaming at me calling me a wacko if I do choose to hope that there is a loving God.

    Someone somewhere present PROOF of either thought and I'll examine it.

    •  Good point...my comment was, after all just my (3+ / 0-)

      Humble opinion based on an extreme right-wing religious upbringing and was not directed at any of the fine, progressive, open-minded voices that I hear on this site all of the time.
      As Always...Peace ;-)>

      Today's Carlinism: "After every horror, we're told, 'Now the healing can begin.' No. There is no healing, just a short pause before the next horror." ;-{>

      by rogerdaddy on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:21:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem isn't belief in God (15+ / 0-)

      and actually, the "humans were created over millions of years in a process guided by God" isn't a problem, and is neither provable nor disprovable.

      But when those people are outweighed by the "created in their present form" people, we've got serious problems.

      •  16 yrs in catholic schools... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, tgray, godislove

        not that I am now, but even when I considered myself a catlick (that's a catholic from brooklyn, btw), we were always challenged with: "define a day"
        God created the earth in 6 days... define a day...

        then again, that was when schools taught students to think critically.

        Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

        by netguyct on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:13:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Bible says a day is as a 1000 years (6+ / 0-)

          and a 1000 years as a day.

          So ... we get people who say that every day is a 1000 years to God.  Not.  The message, IMHO, of this Biblical statement is:  with God, there is no time.

          After all, a day is what?  24 hours?  based on the sun and the moon?  And people want to think that the God who created the sun and moon is then "setting his watch" by same.  

          Personally, I believe that there is no time in God's realm ... a day is as a 1000 years and 1000 years as a day.  

          Us pea-brained humans are time-bound.

          •  I think people make God (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Southern Mouth, netguyct

            not just Jesus but God, small enough to  understand by their own standards.
            They put Jesus on their dashboard and talk about their personal relationship. I keep wondering why they are always talking about it if it is so personal.

            I talk more about religion here at dkos than I ever do in life. It's because I think most religion threads start dumb and stay that way.  Just look at the comments in this one... and that is no reflection on the diarist who I think is very reasonable.
            But I think the poll is bad and there were probably no good nuanced answers to define what people really believe.  

            •  projection is a wonderful thing ...not really... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TeresaInPa, Spoc42, Southern Mouth

              I agree with you and would go so far as to suggest that "in his image and likeness" has more to do with man's soul, or energy nature, than with human form of two eyes, nose, ears, etc.

              but, trying to put it in a form to which everyone of the day could relate, 'in his image and likeness' becomes a white haired angry daddy figure with which everyone was familiar.  

              since my perspective on the nature of god, the universe, earth and mankind are quite different from most "mainstream" religions, I tend to not talk about god and religion on dkos except when they are used as the muscular goons standing behind some clown trying to coerce the world into a particular perspective.

              Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

              by netguyct on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:44:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  A Day Is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spoc42

          A day is one third of an age. An age is about 2100 years long. (It's one-twelfth of the precession of the earth on its axis, which takes about 26,000 years.) So, six days is two ages. It's a way of saying, "It took a very, very long time to create the heavens and the earth. Not just one age, but longer than that. Longer than you or I could imagine."

          This is what it literally means, in astrological terms.

          •  Creation in 6 days - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Liberal Thinking

            If there is a being who can CREATE a heaven and a earth and all the galaxies and people and animals of all animals and all living creatures ....

            What difference does it make how LONG it took him/her?

            Is there ANY POSSIBLE way us pea-brained humans can comprehend to begin with??  So, we're given "a story" that God created in X period of time ... and "here's your cookies and milk", "take your nap", etc.

            •  Well (0+ / 0-)

              The question was, "What's a day?" I just thought maybe someone would like to know!

              I agree with you. It's a little arrogant to think we can understand the creation of the universe, as if we're going to go out and create a few ourselves.

      •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KathleenM1, Boris Godunov, NYFM

        There is a problem with the guided by God thing. It's an assertion of existence of something and it's influence on the natural world. If you're going to assert that a thing, anything, has some influence on the the natural world, whether or no that thing is of the natural world, you should have evidence.

        I know I'd like to see it.

        It's that kind of thinking that allows the Intelligent Design crowd to still have influence.

        Show me some evidence.

        phat

        Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

        by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:39:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Term "Creationist" Applies to the Anti- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickD, Boris Godunov, rogerdaddy

      evolutionists specifically. If you accept that life and all its components obey all the same laws of science that intert matter does, that life arose out of nonliving matter and chemical processes, you're not a creation-ist.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:04:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, rogerdaddy

      "So, if a person believes or thinks that there is a God/being somewhere who created the heavens and the earth, they're wackos?"

      Nope.  After all, two out of every three people in the United States who accept evolution, are theists who believe in God.  Indeed, the vast majority of Christian churches, worldwide, have no gripe with evolution or any other part of modern science.  The ONLY ones with such a gripe are the fundamentalists, and they are a tiny minority within global Christianity.  (Apparently they didn't learn their lesson from that whole "Galileo" thingie.)

      It's not their belief in God that makes creationists wackos.  It's things they say like:  (1) the earth is only 6,000 years old, (2) humans and dinosaurs lived together, (3) fossils are the dead drowned bodies from noah's Flood, (4) the craters on the moon came from a fight between Satan and the Angels.

      They are indeed wackos.

      Author: "Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America" http://www.redandblackpublishers/deceptionbydesign.html

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one note (0+ / 0-)

        not all fundamentalist have a problem with evolution and science.  That is not what fundamentalist means. It is literalists who believe that God created the heavens and earth, man and Animals all in seven days and not all fundamentalists are literalists.

        Other than that we are in agreement.

    •  Near Death Experiences (0+ / 0-)

      Look into near death experiences.  It can even sway some hard core agnostics into a belief in an afterlife and a creator.  It certainly raised severe doubts in mind that there is nothing after death.

    •  that's not creationism you're talking about (0+ / 0-)

      "creationism" = "all species were created in their current form by God".

      And yes, given all the scientific evidence to the contrary, I would have to say that creationism is wacko.

      "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

      by RickD on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:29:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Proof of either (0+ / 0-)

      You should examine your tacit assertion of a priori equivalence.

      If I told you there was a unicorn in my closet, would you be agnostic or would you assume I was a nut?  Same thing with God.  The only reason the idea of God is treated differently than the idea of unicorns is that God has loads of cultural cachet, and unicorns don't.

      I would never scream at you, but I will implore you to free your mind.  The world is a whole lot better without gods in it.

      Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

      by stillnotking on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:03:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, if you told me you had a unicorn (0+ / 0-)

        in your closet, I'd want to see your closet.

        And I would love to hear from you.  Were you drunk when you made the assertion?  Did you see a horse in your closet (because a tornado took almost ALL your house EXCEPT for the closet) and mistook a hanger for a horn?  I'm "analytical" that way - also known as a royal pain in the bahootie.

        Thanks for not screaming at me.  As for my mind being freed, I'm workin at that daily.

        As for the world being a whole lot better without gods ... the world would be a whole lot better without people .... people who fashion a God to suit their own needs and not stop to think that IF there were a BIG DUDE who created the amoeba, he/she's just a whole heckuva lot more capable and intelligent than humans.  

        Who is to say that the God people refer to and pray to is not an alien from another planet who is capable of rescuing the earthlings when they end up DESTROYING the very ground they live on!

  •  Hmmm... (8+ / 0-)

    A 2005 Harris poll showed 6% fewer Americans believing in human evolution than they had in 1994.

    Statistics like that make me question whether human beings are evolving at all.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:21:43 PM PDT

    •  Further proof that evolution can go backwards n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justalittlebitcrazy, scoff0165

      Dulce et decorum est pro taxcutia mori?

      by Shiborg on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:32:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no "direction" to (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RickD, NYFM, Spoc42, scoff0165, godislove

        evolution.  It is merely a change.  If a good one (if it enables the critter to get along better in its environment and make more babies), we call it an adaptation.

        When you think about the political and social climate in this country, you have to wonder if denying science isn't an adaptation.  

        Look at all the people who got jobs in Bush's administration!  

        "Je suis un fromage minuscule et nomade..."

        by Marc in KS on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:46:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, that gives me an idea (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RickD, NYFM

          I think I'll apply for a job with the U.S. attorney's office.

          I'll include on my resume that I don't believe in evolution or global warming and think that the greatest threat to the U.S. is election fraud on the part of democrats.

          Once the new Democratic administration takes over in 2009, my positions on these issues will "adapt".

          "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

          by GTPinNJ on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:51:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And science has (10+ / 0-)

    doubts about intelligent life in the Republican Party.  We will need empirical evidence.

    "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

    by TomP on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:23:11 PM PDT

  •  Can you believe in "survival of the fittest" if (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, rogerdaddy

    you have ever actually gotten to know a conservative Republican?  I guess it's "know thyself" for them, and that's the conclusion they reach.  And they will go from one edge of the Earth to the other to defend their beliefs.

    We Changed The Course!

    by hcc in VA on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:23:41 PM PDT

  •  Biggest irony: Confuse evolution with origin. (10+ / 0-)

    Most people, who do not believe in the Book of Genesis literally, still answer the wrong question:

    They oppose the concept, that species have randomly originated. Many of them would not oppose the concept that the species are adapting and changing in the process. Now what was Darwin's point, I wonder?

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. -- Philip K. Dick

    by RandomGuyFromGermany on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:26:46 PM PDT

    •  It's possible to... (4+ / 0-)

      be a deist and believe in evolution that's set in motion after some sort of cosmic starter pistol, and there's some reason that leaves even cosmologists scratching their heads about how we could be so lucky. For example, there's the so-called fine-tuning of the fine structure constant that, were it to differ by 1 x 10^(-120) would give rise to a sterile universe. That's a very small range, almost statistically impossible and it's raised some interesting theological questions.

      I don't find this reasoning plausible at all, but I'd prefer it any day to the God of the Bible, who Jack Miles describes as a "God of radical unpredictability and terrifying moral ambivalence, the God of the Old Testament". The universe as we see it has much more wonder and intrinsic beauty and complexity, and it's tragic that these people in a self-imposed intellectual apartheid are denying themselves the opportunity to ponder such things. As Christopher Hitchens says, it's as if they've discarded the fruit and gnaw hungrily on the rind.

      The Christian Right has even tried inventing their own unique brand of science, completely faith-based, with clearly fraudulent(to anyone with the slightest scientific literacy) explanations that nevertheless employ similar concepts to peer-reviewed science. But as one might expect, the pseudoscience offered suggests a creation story that completely strips the poetry from Genesis leaving an unfamiliar landscape: humans living next to a T Rex in the garden of eden. The T Rexes, supposedly, were vegetarians while in Paradise but after Eve at the apple, the dinos wanted blood.

      I shit you not.

      Clearly education isn't the only factor here... it's criminal that this was allowed to happen. But Americans believe in angels, witchcraft, the devil... this is an interesting question. Which takes precedence... freedom to worship or the right to a good education? I'd argue that the democracy must favor the option which is most beneficial to its citizenry here.

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dantyrant

        The fact that the fine structure constant does not raise any theological arguments. That is if your not looking for one. Only theists find that a theological argument. The rest of us think it's really interesting.

        phat

        Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

        by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:44:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, (0+ / 0-)

          i personally think there's no point even discussing the deist interpretation, but it is interesting nonetheless. One can argue that the anthropic principle says we couldn't ask the question 'why are we here' if the universe wasn't so, but that's not a very satisfying line of reasoning for physicists. Leonard Susskind seems quite caught up in the debate, and AFAIK he's no deist: LINK

          •  Hmmm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mother of Zeus

            I'm not really sure asking "why are we here?" is worth anybody's time.

            phat

            Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

            by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:08:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm... Depends on your POV i suppose. (0+ / 0-)

              • It's a basic question of philosophy, possibly the most basic. I think they're interesting for their own sake, but when discussing THE UNIVERSE it's hard to avoid philosophy. Another question we could ask is 'what is the nature of physical reality?'. We don't even know if space is continuous or discrete("pixelated"), or how many dimensions are actually in our universe, and what is our universe?

              • ALL creation myths attempt to answer that question.

              • Science speaks to that question every day in a more concrete sort of way. This month's Scientific American has an article about a possible precursor to RNA, which   was thought to be the first self-replicating molecule to allow for the evolution of our genetics. It was previously thought that RNA would have had to have formed spontaneously out of simple chemical ingredients, and the probability that that could happen is effectively 0. This is a problem which may have just been solved and if so it would fill in a gap that we previously had in our knowledge. We didn't know that RNA was an evolutionary product as well. RNA became DNA, and DNA gave us life.

              I think the results are worth somebody's time

      •  sterile universe? (0+ / 0-)

        It's a red herring.  We have no information about any universe that has different fundamental constants, and thus have no reason to make any presuppositions about them.

        Indeed, one thing one learns as one is exposed to more and more biology is that the alleged requirements for life are continually violated.  By this I mean that we continue to discover life in situations and circumstances that had previously been thought to be prohibitive to the existence of any life.  

        "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

        by RickD on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Misunderstanding? (0+ / 0-)

          By a sterile universe, they mean a universe in which life could not even begin. For instance, if the whole evolution of a star from birth to death (be it supernova or white dwarf) took place in a thousand years, there would not be time for life to begin, let alone evolve. This is the sort of sterility being talked about when discussing differences in physical constants.

          •  this argument (0+ / 0-)

            is based on presumptions.  I know what the "sterile universe" argument is.  It's based on presumptions that, unless things developed in some universe exactly as they did here, life wouldn't happen.  It's an unknowable proposition and, quite frankly, not terribly interesting.

            "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

            by RickD on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 03:59:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I also oppose the concept (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickD, phatass

      of species "randomly" originating.  That's because there's nothing random about it--natural selection is NOT a "random" process.  And we shouldn't assume abiogenesis was such, either.  Removing the god hypothesis from the equation doesn't mean everything suddenly becomes random.

      I finally put in a signature!

      by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:47:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  indeed (0+ / 0-)

        To clarify the situation: random mutations happen in the DNA, but the evaluation of fitness is far from random.  

        I don't know what is supposed to be meant by "everything becomes random".  I suspect it's just a bugbear kind of argument that's intended to be scary.

        In any case, "randomness" is just a mathematical construct.  But the mutations of DNA certainly seem random.

        "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

        by RickD on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:39:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why is it (12+ / 0-)

    that some religious people insist on contradiction between their religious doctrine and evolution?

    We're not experiencing a war on religion being waged by science, but a war on science being waged by the religious right (which is neither).  I think this is largely because their faith is essentially a very weak thing.  That would explain their need to: 1) debunk anything that might challenge their faith; and 2) convert everyone else to their way of thinking.  This strategy enables them to live in their carefully constructed universe without any challenges to their views of how the world does and should work from a natural and spiritual perspective.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:28:31 PM PDT

    •  I'm curious (0+ / 0-)

      and yes, this is a loaded question (although maybe not in the manner you think).

      What gives you the right to claim that the religious right are not "religious?" I mean, really, I would think that's not up to you to decide.

      phat

      Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

      by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:47:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's simply a play on words... (0+ / 0-)

        The other way I've heard it said is that "the Moral Majority is neither" which was a more accurate dig, but since that organization is now defunct, it makes less sense.

        No I'm not the judge of what makes someone religious or not, nor even the judge of what makes someone moral, except against the mirror of my own personal morality.  

        "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

        by GTPinNJ on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:33:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Epitaph for our species (3+ / 0-)

    The few (understanding survival in the present)  were engulfed by the many (understanding only their dreams of afterlife).

  •  This is like burkha/headscarf laws in Europe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother of Zeus

    Funny how the babushka was a fashion staple for Russian, Polish, and Italian grandmothers for many years in this country, right up through the 70's. Now it's sign of dangerous European Muslim radicalism? Hmmmm.... Maybe if the EU would have "Headscarf Day," it would make the whole issue less fun for radicals.

    I think Evolution is similar in the US - it is a wedge issue and a badge of political loyalty rather than a sign of strict fundementalism.

    •  I agree and I take these polls with a bit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers

      of a grain of salt for that reason as well.  

      I think it pays to remain agnostic and open with respect to what people's "true beliefs" are.  Often they are manufactured or are loyalty/club badges.  

      By the way, I'd never even HINT at that to a person who self-describes as fundamentalist -- worst thing you could ever do, IMO.  Let them stumble out of the darkness when they are ready.  Beliefs are subject to radically change at a moment's notice when a social tipping point is reached.  Let's just keep working to the tipping point.  The strangest things that have nothing to do with the debate at hand will probably be the factors that bring it about - social security, war and peace, corruption . . .

      Those people who answered "yes" to both evolution and to literal creation?  They don't have a strong belief.  They just want to fit in somewhere.

  •  Believing that science is the best path (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, scoff0165

    to understanding the world around us is not, in and of itself, "left".

    It seems that being thoughtful and willing to question things is correlated with being anti-authoritarian, feeling responsible for your fellow man and woman and believing that science offers the best tools for finding out how the world works; but neither science nor intellectualism(?) are leftist. They just exist.

    Reason vs Fanaticism and Apathy: who will win?

    by Shaviv on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:35:46 PM PDT

    •  Read the Declaration of Independence sometime, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coigue, scoff0165

      and think about those men who were enlightenment-born and how they worked hard to make sure that this was a country ruled by laws, laws arrived at by reason.  They appealed scarcely to "self-evident" or theistic claims.

      How far we have come!

      "Je suis un fromage minuscule et nomade..."

      by Marc in KS on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:58:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, what did you expect? At what point (0+ / 0-)

    did any one tell you that the entire species of homo-sapien was actually fully "sapient"?
    Silly you for believing other wise! :P

    Soldiers = The President's Human Shield Program to keep him safe until he is out office.

    by RElland on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:38:47 PM PDT

  •  i don't blame them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ekaterin, suburi

    evolution passed them by.

    © 2007 "one must pay back from this secret deposit of exquisite moments" - virginia woolf

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:41:33 PM PDT

  •  My dog doesn't believe in evolution (4+ / 0-)

    But she is a dumb animal.

    What are the excuses for these Goopers?

    •  Your dog is smarter than Goopers, at least (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan, scoff0165

      it doesn't disbelieve.

      "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

      by java4every1 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:59:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Bible! (0+ / 0-)

      The Goopers have a choice between believing all those confusing scientific facts about evolution. You know, those darned facts that make them have to use their brains and THINK.........

      Or, they can read an absolutely coherent Bible story about Adam and Eve and a talking snake and a fruit tree, and it doesn't require any brain power whatsoever to believe it.

      And if you accept evolution, you don't get to believe in the cute story about the animals (including baby dinosaurs) pairing up and getting on that big boat so that God could drown most of the human race and all the other animals.

      Now, which would YOU choose?

      "They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It"

      by Ekaterin on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:50:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't like the question's framing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Jagger, Matt Z

    It creates tension between science and religion, which need not be present. There exists a hatred by a vast number on the right towards undeniable science. Questions like this only further their blindness and hatred.
    There is also a smaller group on the progressive side, in the intellectual circles that help give us identity, where persons with religious beliefs are mocked. The question of creationism v. evolution causes the intensification of this mockery.

    For accurate and responsible results, the question should leave the creationist aspect out of the equation when discussing evolution.  

  •  So if ignorance is evil (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    Republicanism is the root of evil? Ha ha. I know, it's not 100%; but close.

    •  Insecurity Is the Root of All Evil (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      john de herrera

      I'm a Christian, but I believe there is sufficient evidence that evolution is the true story of how humans came to be as they are that when it conflicts with the story in the Bible we must believe that evolution is the correct accounting. For anyone to use evolution to separate people is a political tool, and an odious one at that.

      I really believe many people cling to the idea that the Bible is completely physically true because they can't imagine giving up this belief and still being a Christian. It's as if God depended on the Bible, not the other way around.

      So, they will let themselves be force into increasingly uncomfortable positions trying to defend Creationism regardless of what evidence comes up. They will make themselves willfully ignorant to avoid facing up to the contradiction between the biblical creation story and our understanding of the world based on our own observations.

      Our political system is taking advantage of the gullibility of many by humiliating them economically and then distracting them with explanations that justify their hardship on the basis of made-up discrimination. The explanations to these poor people (I mean that both ways) keep on coming. It was blacks that kept them down. It was women. It was Mexicans. It was elitist liberals in some far-away part of the country. And now it's the pagans, the people who are not sufficiently pure in their Christianity to be part of their group. It's always some other group, but it's never the truth. The truth is that they are exploited economically.

      This is where we have to pose some simple questions. Are you better off today than you were four years ago? If not, why not?

      And then we need to give them the answer. The reason is because the political system is manipulating you. It's using this politics of divisiveness to hide the fact that the system is rigged against you. When you go to sell your services in the job market, you usually have only one buyer and there are many sellers. They've systematically rigged this system by globalizing trade, and they've done it for one reason and one reason only. It's not to provide you with cheap goods. It's to rob you of your bargaining power. Because you are dispensable to them and your money is not. They will work you until you are too sick or too old to continue, then they will discard you. And the promises they made about providing for your health or your retirement, if they can renege they will.

      And they will shamelessly and immorally use religion to get you to vote against your own self-interest, and the interests of your family and friends, your community and indeed your country so that they can line their pockets.

      Belief it Creationism is not the same as belief in Christ. To believe in Christ means to believe in what Christ stood for, which is love. Allowing the debate about evolution to cloud your vision of who is on the other side can get in the way of your love for your fellow humankind. It's just a distraction, and it's one we can scarcely afford at this time.

      •  i am not christian l.t. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Liberal Thinking

        but i really admire you and want to thank you for such a great post here. really inspiring to me.

        if you have time, may i suggest a book titled The Twelfth Planet by z. sitchin. it actually makes both the bible and evolution true at the same time if you can believe that.

        as to your perception of the poltical, i concur, and may i suggest you take a look at the following site: http://www.foavc.org

        the rule of law--the supreme law--the constitution--is what is known as the convention clause written into it. the politicos and the special interests are allowed to continue to get away with this divide and rule stuff because they have vetoed the convention clause and our use of it.

        thanks for helping to make christian people seem sane.

    •  When did certifiable cretins (0+ / 0-)

      start registering to vote?

  •  Poll chart here: (5+ / 0-)

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    Comment I made on this in an open thread here.

  •  Evolution is it currently stands doesnt explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger

    Everything

    I dont "believe" in Evolution, but "accept" some aspects of it.

    Creationism:
    I dont believe in it either. I am ambigous and really dont care one way or onother for creationism.

    But I do believe in the existence of a God.

    There you go.
    A mish mash of cherry picked buffet style 'beliefs'

    •  One doesn't "believe" in evolution. (7+ / 0-)

      But then, what standing do you have to "accept" parts of it? Do you "believe" in gravity? Do you "believe" in quantum physics?

      If not, please explain your evidence and logic. A Nobel is available.

    •  Tell me (7+ / 0-)

      ... which of these major scientific theories explains everything about it's particular area:

      1. The Atomic Theory
      1. The Theory of Matter and Energy: Conservation of Matter and Energy
      1. The Cell Theory
      1. The Germ Theory
      1. The Theory of Plate Tectonics
      1. The Big Bang Theory
      1. Chaos Theory
      1. The Theory of Quantum Mechanics
      1. The Theory of Special Relativity which subsumes The Theory of General Relativity which subsumes Newtonian theories of motion
      1. The Photon Theory of Light Energy
      1. The Theory of Electromagnetism
      1. Nuclear Theory
      1. The Theory of Molecular Bonds
      1. The Theory of Thermodynamics
      1. The Theory of Homeostasis within Living Organisms
      1. The Constructivist Theory of Learning
      1. The theories of self and development of mental processes in the brain.
      1. Theory of Gravity

      The sum total of Man's knowledge is a small island in a vast sea of ignorance.  Even so, evolution is as much a fact of life as is gravity and quantum physics.

      i am jack's complete lack of surprise -- fight club

      by bustacap on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:16:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The aspects I "sccept" are for example (0+ / 0-)

      evolution of man from "primitive" homonoids.

      But the sudden emergence of a cells from a hot stew of amino acids, lipids etc which then became  aquatic multicellular beings, then a fish???, amphibian, reptile, bird, mamamals etc has too many gaps.

      Where is the Nobel? The cash will do. Keep the medal

      •  Nobel DENIED (7+ / 0-)

        Your understanding of evolution is very poor.  I don't think you should get credit for this.  I mean, it's pretty easy to "not accept" things about which one is ignorant.  Republicans do it all the time.

        The "sudden emergence" you describe (abiogenesis) is NOT part of evolutionary theory.  Evolution is ONLY about what happened once life got started, and it is indisputable fact.

        As for gaps--which gaps are these?  Science has a pretty strong understanding about the progression of evolution.  There are tons of examples to fill your "gaps" (i.e. dinosaurs spanning the "gap" between reptiles and birds).

        I finally put in a signature!

        by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:52:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like you are insinuating that the science (0+ / 0-)

          Of evolution is cast in stone and is indisputable.
          Its NOT law!

          Still one must explain the genesis of life for evolution to be complete.

          Assuming that life started somehow, bang! then evolved is what makes creationism suspect to some degree.

          Where is the beginning, and how did it start?

          As for molecular biology and genetics, just how many genes are similar within the great span of living things i.e from insects, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians and mammals to state that one evolved from the other?

          •  No, you're just not comprehending. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RickD, justrock

            Of evolution is cast in stone and is indisputable.
            Its NOT law!

            The fact that evolution has occured is indisputable.  There is an over-abundance of evidence for it.  It's fact.  Your statement about it not being "law" seems to be confusing the fact of evolution and the mechanism by which it occurs (natural selection and other factoris).  There is debate about the mechanisms of evolution within the scientific community, but not about the fact it occurs.

            Still one must explain the genesis of life for evolution to be complete.

            Not at all.  The process by which life originated could be completely separate and unrelated to the processes by which evolution occurs.  The Theory of Evolution is no more dependent on abiogenesis theory than the Theory of Gravity depends on Big Bang Theory.  We could just do reducto ad absurdium and say that no theory is complete unless everything behind it is complete, but where would that get us?

            Assuming that life started somehow, bang! then evolved is what makes creationism suspect to some degree.

            What makes creationism absurd is that is claims that everything was created ex nihlo by a magical being (which is not itself supposed to be explained).  I've no idea what you're saying here, since creationism specifically rejects the idea that things evolved.

            Also, abiogenesis does not say there was a "bang" and life started.  Have you actually read any work on abiogenesis?  Or are you spouting off about things you're ignorant of?  I'd guess the latter.

            As for molecular biology and genetics, just how many genes are similar within the great span of living things i.e from insects, fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians and mammals to state that one evolved from the other?

            Um, an enormous amount.  We share 95% of our DNA with other primate species.  We share correspondingly less and less with other species as one moves "down" the evolutionary tree.  Molecular and genetic research have backed up evolutionary theory to an astonishing degree.

            Do you have an explanation as to why human embryos develop gills during pregnancy, but lose them during the gestation period?

            I finally put in a signature!

            by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:45:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Shared genes with primates yes (0+ / 0-)

              Those are the aspects I mean to say makes sense.

              But the evolutionary timeline involves other species reptiles, amphibians etc before primates emerge.

              I mispoke here

              Assuming that life started somehow, bang! then evolved is what makes creationism suspect to some degree.

              I mean to say evolution. Creationism always ask "Yes , but where did the first living being come from?"

              Your reference to ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny gives evolution some street cred. But its the time line that raises questions, and by that I mean how these other 'lower' species morphed into the 'higher' ones with time. Is there genetic relationship between the species?

              •  I'm not sure... (0+ / 0-)

                Are you being deliberately dense? The very terms "lower" and "higher" show a tendency to thinking that something (or someone!) must be at the top of the tree. As the environment becomes more complex, species must adapt and themselves become more complex, even though the very fact that they are adapting is making the environment more complex for other species.

                Take the common cockroach or the shark; I'm sure that they have evolved over the millions of years they have existed, even though the evolution was simply staying in the same place. In these cases, the evolutionary effect is similar to the Red Queen's Race in Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. You have to run as fast as you can, just to stay in the same place. If we could compare the genes of these species with their predecessors 100 million years ago, I'm sure we'd find major genetic shifts, even though they look pretty much the same.

                Is there genetic relationship between the species?

                What exactly are you asking? The question makes no sense without giving it a context.

                BTW, we share about 30% of our genes with yeast cells, and I don't think you can get much further apart than that, can you?

              •  Wha? (0+ / 0-)

                I mispoke here

                And you're still misspeaking.  No theory of abiogenesis I know of postulates that "bang!" life appeared.

                Creationism always ask "Yes , but where did the first living being come from?"

                This is what abiogenesis is about.  NOT Evolution.  Once again--there is no need to get into abiogenesis to validate the fact that evolution occurs.  Even if life DID miracurously "bang" into existence, that would NOT challenge the scads of evidence showing the evolution of such life since its origin.

                And abiogenesis, while still a nascent science, is providing far more convincing theories than the magical snap of a supernatural entity's fingers.

                Your reference to ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny gives evolution some street cred. But its the time line that raises questions, and by that I mean how these other 'lower' species morphed into the 'higher' ones with time.

                What about the timeline raises questions?  As the other poster mentioned, "lower to higher" is a false concept in evolution.  But what's the problem?  Evolutionary theory has already explained how the earlier forms of life "morphed" (a terrible misuse of that term, btw) in into descendants that were different.  It's called genetic mutation+natural selection (with some other more minor forms of selection thrown in as well).  There's nothing wrong with the timeline--you do realize that 3.6 billion years is a reaaaaaaaaaally long time, yes?

                Is there genetic relationship between the species?

                Yes, I already mentioned this.  Animals within closely-related groups share genetic similarities, as we would expect in evolution.  There are more dissimilarities as the relationship widens, but there remains some degree of similar genetic make-up, all the way back to single-celled organisms.  This is how we know that all living things are descendants of one primitive ancestor, not multiple ones.

                I finally put in a signature!

                by Boris Godunov on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:49:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  actually (0+ / 0-)

            a fairly good example would be our closest living relative - chimps.  we share 96 % DNA similarity with them.  the science of evolution is not the same as a physical constant such as gravity, its a different area.  where was the beginning?  why does there need to be one?  what if things have just always gone on and on, and will always continue to?  what would that change either way?  it is entirely plausible that cells formed out of complex chemical reactions, eventually worked in concert as the first early organisms, and evolved from there.  how the hell else would it all have happened?  things don't just appear out of nowhere.  they never have and never will.

      •  Take a comparative anatomy course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, unclejohn

        take molecular biology
        take any Geology course

        then take statistics.

        It's not really much of a stretch when you have the proper education.

    •  no theory (0+ / 0-)

      "explains everything".

      Evolution does a damned good explaining pretty much every aspect of biology.  It is as rock-solid as any theory in science, including the "theory" of gravity.

      "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

      by RickD on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:42:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Holy Sh#t - Ignorance Reigns (7+ / 0-)

    It's hard to believe that many people admit to being that stupid.

    Willfully ignorant doesn't even scratch the surface.

    SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

    by Alegre on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:45:32 PM PDT

  •  I don't believe in evolution either! (12+ / 0-)

    I understand the theory, in general terms, and I understand that the vast majority of the world's thinkers who have studied evolution have provided evidence that the theory of evolution is in fact, correct.

    We need to stop phrasing evolution as a belief, folks. You hand the ignoramouses a victory every time you do that.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:46:24 PM PDT

  •  What is the efficacy of this type of poll? (5+ / 0-)

    Really think about it?  I'll bet that the margin of error for this poll about this subject is great.  

    For whatever the reason folks are trained not to reveal what they truly feel about their religious beliefs.  I doubt that this is an accurate poll.

    The other reason I feel folks don't tell the truth is that in crisis both Dems and Rethugs instinctively rely on the technology of science when health is an issue.  In other words, when push comes to shove and life critical issues are at hand, it is not the snake healers and creationists that folks go to.  It is science.

    The creationist beleivers: Their action makes a lie of their words.

  •  This is an indictment of our educational system. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, scoff0165

    Almost all of these believers in creationism have had a biology course and used a textbook that discusses evolution.  But it just goes over their heads – primarily because the teachers could care less or do not believe in evolution themselves.  That is why I do not get very excited about fights over textbooks – most students do not read or understand them.

    •  Dunno (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bittergirl, maybeeso in michigan

      I'm not sure that is the case in the majority of instances.  Why would someone dedicate their life to teaching biology if they reject the fundamental theory of the subject?  A teacher can't force a student to believe what they are teaching.  If a student has a biology teacher on one side teaching evolution by natural selection and their parents and religious leaders on the other side telling him or her that evolution is evil and that special creation is the only answer, then who wins the tug of war?

  •  It's a miracle that creationism isn't allowed in (6+ / 0-)

    public schools.

    Three cheers for unelected judges!

  •  There you go. You have to say very little (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bittergirl, scoff0165

    else to understand why it all just doesn't have to make sense. If ever we had proof of why facts don't matter and why all our fact spewing has gone for naught this is it.

    But, you know what? It's ok because it is what it is. At least, now we know what were working with.

    You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. - Lee Iacocca

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:55:05 PM PDT

  •  There's Been No Mechanism to Increase Reason (5+ / 0-)

    since Reagan came in.

    The economy is completely finished with reason and democracy, business has nothing to gain and vast amounts to lose from an educated, informed populace.

    That's why it's not the Bushies or conservatives "taking over" government but the global economic empire pushing in at all levels, departments and regions even fast than corrupt officials can reach out.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:55:14 PM PDT

  •  Have patience. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap

    The middle ages had an enormous influence.  We're still shaking off the effects -- but it's happening.

    In the 1940's it would have been 19 out of 20.  In another few decades it'll be 2 out of 10.

    •  Optimism! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maybeeso in michigan, scoff0165

      I just doubt that it's realistic. The US has been increasingly religious for over a century now, at least in terms of church & state entwinement. Until WWII, the fundamentalists were fundamentally anti-state, and the country was secular.

      But the damn fool leadership decided to call on religion to fight the "atheist reds" and we've been in free fall ever since.

    •  We don't have another few decades for people to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Jones, Brooke In Seattle

      accept reality.

      In the beginning was the surf

      by nu on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Middle Ages was brought to us (0+ / 0-)

      by Christianity. For example,

      The Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos (ca. 310-230 B.C.) hypothesized that the earth revolves yearly about the sun and daily rotates about its own axis. He attempted to determine the relative sizes and distances of the sun, moon, and earth.

      http://www.answers.com/...

      and

      Eratosthenes ... Of Cyrene (b. c.285–80, d. c.194 BC), ... In On the Measurement of the Earth he used an ingenious method to make a remarkably accurate calculation of the earth's circumference. His calculations were based on observations of the angles of the sun's rays at Alexandria and Syenē (Aswan) ... his result is within 1 per cent of the modern figure (40, 075 km.).

      http://www.answers.com/...

      Of course, these findings and much of the rest of Classical science contradicted the Bible. So, in a fit a Christian piety, all of Classical knowledge was purged by the Church Triumphant.

      Then, there was also

      Heron of Alexandria [a.k.a. Hero, b. Alexandria, c. 10 ce, d. c. 75] ... His works survived because of a wealth of practical information on wine presses, cranes, pulleys, and the like. He is best remembered today for a pinwheel that operated by steam, often called the first steam engine.

      http://www.answers.com/...

      The Christians halted the development of manufacturing for a millenium. Slavery and drudge work would now be distant historical memories had they died off like the other mystery cults.

      If if weren't for the fucking, ignorant Christian fanatics, we would probably have invented the internet about the year 1000 and have long ago conquered cancer. But here we are still trying to establish reason as the measure of reality instead of fucking faith in fairies.

  •  The underlying reason that people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, thereisnospoon, scoff0165

    believe creation by the almighty as opposed to evolution or other scientific explanation is simple. It is easy - most folks are mentally lazy and creation requires no thought at all. God did it, that's it, so prove me wrong.

  •  Horrifying (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound, lotlizard, lgmcp, scoff0165

    Is it because the real world has become too complicated, too overwhelming, so people have withdrawn into a world of magical thinking where everything is condensed into an easy-to-understand mythology? A simple story? A narrative?

    I really want to know because at a time when we need to remain competitive in the sciences our credibility in the world is even more at risk with statistics like this.

  •  How does this play out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scoff0165

    in other 1st world countries, i.e. Japan and Eurpoe?

    Are there any data of the evolution vs creationism debate in those countries? Are we behind the rest of the world, or just representative of it? Anybody know?

    •  U.S. is comparable to 3rd world (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jett, RickD, justalittlebitcrazy

      in terms of percentage of people believing in evolution.

      The lead-in to an article on livescience.com:

      A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.

      U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution

      An article on the website of the National Science Foundation you might find of interest as well.

      Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding

      "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." - Albert Einstein

      by scoff0165 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:48:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Other Countries more Disposed to Science (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jett, RickD, shpilk, NYFM, maybeeso in michigan

      From a recent Wired magazine note.

      % of Population that agrees with Evolutionary Theory

      Iceland...83%

      Sweden...81%

      France...80%

      Japan...78%

      S. Korea...63%

      US....40%

      Turkey...28%

      In the graph, the only country that believed less in evolution was Turkey.

      Personally, I do believe in evolution, but I also believe that God was responsible for the genesis of life in the universe.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:52:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is no debate between (0+ / 0-)

      science and superstition in France. The French are generally appalled by the ignorance of many Americans about basic science, among other things.

      OTOH, there seem to be significant minorities of cretins in northern Europe and the UK. These countries are a bit behind in the evoltion toward a post-Chrisitian Europe, but the majorities are nevertheless firmly grounded in the reality-based community.

    •  Smart people take advantage of opportunities (0+ / 0-)

      And since we're the dumbasses, they're going to smoke us, that's how it plays out. Ten years from now, if you want a stem cell-based treatment for your cancer or your collapsing spinal disks, you're going to have to go to Asia or Europe to get it - and they'll keep your money and re-invest it in more research, instead of "owing their shareholders" the maximum return, i.e. stripping their company's assets for a short term strokeoff.

      The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

      by David Mason on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 04:20:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Drug resistant bacteria, radio carbon-dating (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, tgray, Spoc42

    believe in the medical community, and the 50 billion pills taken annually in the US, but not in the mechanism proven as fact at the adaptability of germs.

    Believe in the science of nuclear energy providing 20% of the nation's power, and powering all the US submarine fleet, and most of its surface fleet, but not the part about half-lives and determining the age of a fossil.

    see the bright sunshine of a beautiful summer day, then stick your head up your ass and asphyxiate...

    Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

    by netguyct on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:04:26 PM PDT

  •  It's almost like Republicans = Taliban (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tgray, Spoc42, scoff0165

    Totally fucking insane.

    "But we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers..." - RFK

    by RepublicanTaliban on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:06:59 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      The only major differences seem to be the name of the god they worship, and the religious ceremonies (since I have no idea how a muslim church services are conducted, I assume that there are differences).

  •  Actually, I understand their POV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bittergirl, Spoc42

    I mean, if people had really evolved, wouldn't they be smarter that your average chimp?  Take Bush for example....

  •  This is due to an agressive anti-ev campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, bittergirl, rockhound

    The Republicans have integrated anti-science into their strategy.  The further we get from the old Soviet empire, the more of their tricks the Republicans use.  Anti-intellectualism has always played to a certain extent in this country, but not so much anti-science.  Certainly not as much as it does now.

    The Cubs WILL win the World Series in '07. I'm not saying which century, though.

    by nightsweat on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:08:32 PM PDT

  •  Ah the knowlege vs certainty argument (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, tgray, Spoc42

    Oldest debate in the Western world, the City of God vs the City of Man.

    I'm up with Aristole not Aquinas.

    The numbers imply that the only smart guys the Republicans have are in it only for the money, or equivocally, they're cannibals in suits who prey on the rest of us.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:08:58 PM PDT

  •  unfortunately there ain't no 12 step program (4+ / 0-)

    for stupid.

    take it from boutros boutros-ghali, put down your gun & listen to bob marley

    by rasbobbo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:12:00 PM PDT

  •  Organisms (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, unclejohn

    that consistently fail to derive corrct inferences from their environment have the pathetic but gratifying tendency to fail to reproduce - and therefore become extinct  

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:12:39 PM PDT

  •  The wording from the blockquote (4+ / 0-)

    seems biased to me.  The writer repeatedly refers to the "theory of evolution" and talks about "believing" in evolution.  Evolution is a fact.  It's a fact best explained by Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection.  Natural selection allowed for the origin of different species.  People have put artificial selection to work for them for thousands of years - it's the reason our produce looks the way it does when we go to the supermarket; it's the reason we have domesticated animals.  Understanding how this works is the basis for biology and hence modern medicine.  I bet people who don't "believe in evolution" still go to a doctor when they need one instead of a prayer group.  

    To refer to evolution as a theory that one can choose not to believe in already stacks the cards against it.

  •  Americans reign supreme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thereisnospoon, lotlizard

    in the realm of cognitive dissonance

    It might seem contradictory to believe that humans were created in their present form at one time within the past 10,000 years and at the same time believe that humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. But, based on an analysis of the two side-by-side questions asked this month about evolution and creationism, it appears that a substantial number of Americans hold these conflicting views.

    which may help to understand why so many continue to vote against their better interests.

  •  another slightly less scary way to look at it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, tgray, Anna M, justalittlebitcrazy

    that is better news for us:

    it's not that Republicans are less likely to believe in evolution, but that Christian fundamentalists who do not believe in evolution are more likely to label themselves Republicans.

    put another way, people who believe in evolution, and science, and reason, are getting fed up with fundy control of the R party and either calling themselves independents or becoming Democrats.

    as a result, this poll could be seen as a sign that we are successfully marginalizing the R party, making it clearly the party of fundamentalist extremists, and therefore less hospitable to moderates.  as a result, moderates in 2008 will either vote with us, or vote third party, or stay home, rather than align themselves with a political party obviously under the control of people who are so relentlessly backward.

    So I think we should trumpet these poll results from the highest mountain.  The Republican Party is the party of Christian fundamentalists who don't believe in evolution.  That should encourage a few more Pam and Paul Purplevoters to come to their senses and join the Blue Team.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:14:22 PM PDT

  •  Luddites get a bad rap. (5+ / 0-)

    The Luddite movement was more of a labor movement than an anti progress movement.

    Luddites

    In his work on English history, The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson presented an alternative view of Luddite history. He argues that Luddites were not opposed to new technology in itself, but rather to the abolition of set prices and therefore also to the introduction of the free market.

    Thompson argues that it was the newly-introduced economic system that the Luddites were protesting. For example, the Luddite song, "General Ludd's Triumph":

       The guilty may fear, but no vengeance he aims
       At the honest man's life or Estate
       His wrath is entirely confined to wide frames
       And to those that old prices abate

    "Wide frames" were the weaving frames, and the old prices were those prices agreed by custom and practice. Thompson cites the many historical accounts of Luddite raids on workshops where some frames were smashed whilst others (whose owners were obeying the old economic practice and not trying to cut prices) were left untouched. This would clearly distinguish the Luddites from someone who was today called a luddite; whereas today a luddite would reject new technology because it is new, the Luddites were acting from a sense of self-preservation rather than merely fear of change

    .

  •  Time to "push" the science teachers? (6+ / 0-)

    My brother, a genetics prof, has finally had enough. He is sick of kids coming into university science courses and questioning the basics - "Sir do you really believe that evolution stuff?". So after a few years of being "tolerant" he has decided to go the opposite way. He "pushes" evolution as hard as he can, almost being evangelical about it. It is the path that Dawkins is pushing these days and is in my opinion well overdue. It is unbelievable/unforgiveable in this day and age that so many people believe in creationism.

    Check out

    "Don't know much about biology"

    Senator Brownback, along with his two dissenting colleagues, really should be forced to answer a rather more embarrassing question: who is responsible for their being so misinformed? Where did they learn the so-called "problems" with evolution: at their mothers' knees, or in Sunday school? Or perhaps from reading books; and, if so, what books, and who recommended them? Doesn't a public servant have a responsibility to stay informed across a wide spectrum of topics and issues?

    Given how Brownback plays fast and loose with the facts, or ignores them altogether, it's fair to ask why the New York Times went along with publishing misleading statements about evolution. Doesn't somebody at the Times keep an eye out for gross errors of fact on the editorial pages? Brownback is surely entitled to say that science can't tell us how we should behave, but is he also entitled to misrepresent the central principle of biology? An opinion is an opinion, but it's not a very good one when based on "facts" that just aren't so.

    Brownback's misunderstanding of science is more dangerous than his ignorance of evolution, and should be disconcerting to educators and parents hoping to see their children educated properly.  He rejects evolution if "it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence."  Using that criterion he'd have to reject all of science, including physics and chemistry!  

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should!

    by taonow on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:18:21 PM PDT

  •  When polled on this question (3+ / 0-)
    I believe a lot of people dont think about what they are saying.They think that Creationism= God.Period.They are not inquisitive and totally dogmatic.George Bush Jr. was made for them.
  •  There is a major flaw to these questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bittergirl, Mad Mom

    IMO and that is the definitions.

    I understand the science of evolution as well as any nonscientist. I believe God started evolution. I think it is his greatest achievement. If I believe in a God created evolution, do I believe in evolution?

    The question of understanding evolution needs to be separated from it's start gate. I suspect a majority of Americans understand evolution, but belief in how it started is divided at least in two.

    I think much better questions would be, do you understand evolution? If so, how do you believe it started?

  •  When's Gallup poll on gravity? (10+ / 0-)

    Just curious.

    What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?- Micah 6:8

    by Mad Mom on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:23:28 PM PDT

  •  just boggles my mind (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, maybeeso in michigan, OHdog

    When will people start thinking for themselves? This poll is scary and seems to show American society regressing on this issue. It's similar to the death penalty where no progress is visible. You can be religious and still believe in scientific principles, but an awful lot of people seem disinterested.

  •  How did the Kangaroos get to Australia? (5+ / 0-)

    How does disease resistant Bacteria evolve?

    If you don't believe Bacteria evolves, can we agree to give the believers older sulfa drugs that don't work...on EVOLVED bacteria?

    Did the variety of people evolve or were some Noahs kids White and other's Black and other Chinese, and others Latino's?

    Why do animals copulate if not to mix up genes?

    How do SARS and other new classes of disease come about?

    If the Bible is to be literally believed, then lets Catch and Rape some Virgin Religious Women and then Pay their Father's 50 Scheckles for the Rape...then have a Rape Wife with whom we are never to be seperated from her

    And we can start deprogramming them.

    Bible Lessons about Rape and 50 Shekel Costs

    And for what it's worth...some Christian Fascists are worried this is a plan to use the Bible Against them.... As you can see in this posting from True Christian...

    True Christian Discussion of Rape used against them.

    Or we can spend Billions on Faith Based Science to prove Kangaroos sometimes build rafts to cross oceans...

  •  Wishing doesn't make it so (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan, OHdog

    Can't have cancer, beefsteak tomatos or the newest wonder drug without natural selection.  They can continue to deny it but unless they sign away their rights to Bird Flu vaccines and "The Wave" Petunia, I'm not particularly interested in how many of them are engaging in wishful thinking.  
    Their God is much smaller than mine.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:37:43 PM PDT

  •  This is the ultimate example... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Brooke In Seattle

    ...of the failure of the education system in the United States....

    No more needs to be said...

    ...but, plenty more needs to be done.

    We have truly failed our children if so many grow up with such a contempt for science.  No wonder companies want to import H1B visa applicants...  look at that appalling number you just reported.  Who would take our graduates seriously, when so many are, quite simply, ignorant.

    The American Empire is coming to an end, folks... and it's all because if ignorance... ignorance about the war... ignorance about science...  How can we lead, how can we grow, how can we develop, when so many of us are simply incompetent?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  •  Ask Republican candidates about Jouhua 10: 12-13 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Lesser Dane

    This is where Joshua needs more daylight to finish slaughtering the Amorites; so God stops the sun and moon in the sky so the blood shed can continue in the name of Israel. Do these doofi really believe the literal interpretation there? If so then no wonder they believe that Bush really won in 2000 and 2004: it's a miracle.

    Global War on Terror: Not worth the bumper sticker it's printed on.

    by OHdog on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:41:02 PM PDT

  •  There are no creationists (0+ / 0-)

    in foxholes. Or something like that.... ;-)

    I guess what I'm trying to say is this: If one accepts a literal interpretation of the bible then the acceptance of that one premise means one cannot "believe" in evolution (See The Creationist Museum for some chuckles) because on one hand the bible literalists say the earth is 6,000 years old and well, everyone else (and common sense) says otherwise.

    So evolution is a threat to their organization. It's like turning on a fan that's pointed at a house of cards. Or to really mix up metaphors, the biblical literalists are holed up in foxholes, trying to survive and are in pretty deep denial.

    And make no mistake: evolution is seen as a threat by biblical literalists. My personal theory is that organized religion is all about control. And one can't be controlled if one's thoughts are allowed to wander you know. Just ask Galileo.

    I suspect that a lot of people who claim they do not "believe" in evolution in fact do - or at least have a heaping helping of cognitive dissonance about their lack of belief in evidence that's quite plainly right in front of their noses.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:43:23 PM PDT

  •  Evolution affects them (0+ / 0-)

    Whether they believe in it or not.  Scientific truth is not subject to majority rules or popular opinion.

  •  Evolution as a wedge issue? (5+ / 0-)

    Who would have thought about it 20 years ago?

    It is not that they just do not believe in evolution, they also do not believe in the Big Bang or in Plate Tectonics, carbon dating, etc.  

    And, they believe that Satan plants evidence to fool scientists, that the End Times are here, etc.

    The one thing that gets me is that, since 40% of Democrats are creationists, this "wedge" issue could backfire on US.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:46:49 PM PDT

    •  No, no, no! Not Satan! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42

      I was told that GOD Himself planted that evidence, to fool us, to prove that He was greater and smarter than mere man.

      Now they've got you believing it was Satan. Pffft. As if Satan were that powerful.

      Your priest would explain it to you if you let him.

      And stop asking so many questions and just have faith.
      /snark

  •  3 year olds don't know parents hear around ... (0+ / 0-)

    the corner.  

    If there is a God who created all this stuff ....

    And if that God "inspired" people to write about him/her ....

    What makes ANYONE think that that God would 'splain everything?  What makes ANYONE think that they could comprehend it all?  

    Dumbing it down is readily understood in this area!

    I don't pretend to know exactly what is meant by all scriptures and to isolate God to 6 days of creation - er, before there WAS a sun and a moon to define that day - while ignoring that there are dinosaur bones and earlier human-like forms, is just not comfortable.

    If one believes in a loving God of creation, why believe that He/She has told YOU the whole story?  and not just what you need to get by.

  •  I'm skeptical about these data (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, NYFM, bittergirl

    sorry to be skeptical, but i am... when in just about all red states that voted for Bush in 2004, 45 percent (or thereabouts) voted for Kerry.

    But let me say this: any way you look at how we got here, it's all fantastical stuff. It's just as crazy to think some fluke happened billions of years ago that ended up with us here NOW worrying about the end of everything. It's pretty far-fetched.

    As far-fetched as thinking some guy with a big white beard got lonely one day and said, hey, let there be light...

    No, no matter how you look at this life shit, it's all pretty far-fetched.

    And i think the statistics about votes in 2004 might say something you're not hearing: maybe pro-creationists can live with secular ideas in the market place - they're not all lunatics. i venture to say most are not... they just like their fairy tales with a guy who looks alot like Santa. I like mine in the deep dark unknown parts of the universe and my theory revolves around two pieces of dust passing each other... well, that for another time.

    but even with math and science and god, it's all pretty incredible... no matter who's version turns out to be right.

    let's see if we're misreading the data and scaring ourselves about what it means.

    "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

    by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:50:03 PM PDT

    •  I think most people here just (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tryptamine, NYFM, pfiore8, geomoo

      like to hate/fear these "crazy people" although they are their neighbors, dentists, postal carriers, babysitters, etc.

      Find a local farmers market near you. http://www.localharvest.org/

      by bittergirl on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:33:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  more afraid i think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bittergirl, geomoo

        than hate... but somebody has to be right i suppose

        but there was this needlepoint saying i saw in a store  once:

        i'd rather be happy than be right

        and sometimes we hold on to tight to being right... it's not all it's cracked up to be

        happy, well that suits me just fine.

        nice to meet you bittergirl... pf8

        "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

        by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:43:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This situation is a predictable development (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tryptamine, bittergirl, pfiore8

        in light of mighty efforts by the right to polarize.  Demonizing is their MO.  It is disappointing that we have taken the bait, but it is understandable.  We are called every name in the book, see ourselves under- and misrepresented in the media, watch as surrealistic claims are confused with reality, and we feel increasingly powerless.  The average red state American is confused in our minds with the traitorous neocons who are ruining our country.  This is a dangerous situation, because feelings from a certain segment of the right are even more hostile, with less self-examination, than we see here.  Thanks for the reminder not to participate in mindless polarity.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:48:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pfiore8

      I had a comment here and it seems to have disappeared. Did it get disappeared?

      Hmm..

      Anyway, evolution is not far-fetched. It is supported by evidence. As are the theory of gravity and various other scientific theories.

      The white-bearded guy thing is far-fetched precisely because there is no evidence for him.

      phat

      Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

      by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:13:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how did it get disappeared??? fantastical maybe (0+ / 0-)

        hey phat... love your screen name

        even if it's fact, evolution is absolutely far-fetched... i mean from what the mud and here we are... and how do you know this is the only dimension? maybe our facts don't work somewhere else... i'm just saying, nothing NOTHING is immutable... even facts.

        and there is some evidence for the white-bearded guy: Abraham's story is a powerful one and so are some others... and maybe God has given context for our facts to work... i don't know, i'm just supposing

        you know why? cause i believe a little in everything... yup. it may be a safe position... cause all the bases are covered.... and yet, it ends up being more gentle

        so whaddya think of that phat??? that's egyptian too... i think... some god... anyway... nice to meet you too...

        "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

        by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Must not have taken (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pfiore8

          when I hit publish.

          How is it far-fetched? What I mean is is that the odds are only dependent upon our sample. The fact that we see plenty of evidence makes it not far-fetched. It makes it fact.

          Far-fetched means it's not likely, meaning little to know evidence.

          Now I'm not saying it's not fascinating. It's beautiful. I only wish I'd studied more biology as a child.

          It's not, by very definition, far-fetched.

          Now God, on the other hand, that's far-fetched. The story of Abraham is not evidence. It's a story. Some people might even think it's compelling. It's not evidence of a higher power.

          phat

          Economic Left/Right: -7.75 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.54

          by phatass on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:43:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i can see we're going be friends.. (0+ / 0-)

            but facts strike me as far-fetched because they are contextual...

            that's one thing i learned from science fiction::: how do you know if those facts work in a black hole? you don't...

            and i think you know what i mean by phar phetched anyway...

            don't be so literal, that's what's got everybody wanting to come to blows...

            ...loosen up

            and yeah, it is beautiful, isn't it...

            ...pf8

            "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

            by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:51:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Any data available... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, Brooke In Seattle

    ...on what percentage of the respondents weigh the same as a duck, and are therefore made of wood, and therefore a witch???

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:57:45 PM PDT

  •  Evolution is not a belief system (7+ / 0-)

    I take issue with the terminology "believe in evolution."  It is not a question of belief, it is a question of where the scientific evidence takes us.  I "believe" that the best current explanation for the evidence so far uncovered is one of the several versions of evolution being debated.  The scientifically minded would say that if further evidence conflicts with the theory of evolution, or if another theory emerges which provides a better explanation of the facts, the theory of evolution will be discarded.  This does not constitute "belief" in the sense that some people believe in creationism.  I realize that "belief" is a shorthand word here, but I would prefer the matter be stated otherwise.  "I support evolution" might be a more accurate alternative.

    The question is really one of whether you think you know how people came to be here--belief--or you are willing to follow evidence and reason to the most likely explanation--scientific reasoning, which accepts that answers are seldom final or all-knowing.  That's not believing so much as humbly seeking to know.

    It is ironic to me that secular humanists are often stereotyped as arrogant as compared with some people of faith who claim to know everything.

    This very upsetting poll to me is indicative less of stupidity than of calculated ignorance promoted by conservatives in media, education, and formerly scientific bodies.

    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

    by geomoo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 03:58:56 PM PDT

    •  i'm two comments up from you (0+ / 0-)

      it's just another perspective... about how incredible it is that we are here and no matter which way you want to believe it... it's still fantastic...

      but i think these data aren't giving the whole story... anyway, take a look if you want... maybe it will make  you feel a little better

      hello, geomoo!...pf8

      "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

      by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:03:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That comment did make me feel better (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tryptamine, pfiore8

        in that I think it's right on.  The perspective has been falsely created that saying you believe in evolution is somehow equivalent to turning your back on god.  That's one of the reason I object to the terminology "believe in evolution."  I agree with you that a lot of people who answered that poll are just fine with letting archeologists and such folk figure out what's going on.

        The problem is loaded, however, in that this is a burning issue less because "the people" are naturally stirred up about the question than because it is one that is convenient for getting people riled.  It is a prong in the effort to assert totalitarianism, and as such, this poll means less as a measure of people's thoughts or lack thereof concerning evolution, and more as a measure of the success of the right in undermining the authority of science so as to replace it with their authority.  Science, like objective journalism, is one of the things mediating against control of the masses from on high (and I'm not talking about Jesus' Dad).

        And hello there yourself, pfiore8.  I've been lonely today.  I needed a dialog.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:37:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and the wonder of it all, geomoo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tryptamine

          how wonderous this whole adventure is... no matter what the answers turn out to be

          and what is the geo moo???

          "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

          by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:50:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It implies meaning... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tryptamine, pfiore8

            but it's really just the first 3 letters of my first and last name--George Moo...  I really like the suggestion of the earth and cows.  Perhaps I'll make up an esoteric meaning.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:58:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  very earthy for sure (3+ / 0-)

              and i like cows... in a way they're like dogs and horses... and i'm not even sure what i mean but it's just how it strikes me

              have a peaceful night, geomoo...

              "Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop" Gus McCrae

              by pfiore8 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:01:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Oh yeah, the wonder stuff, I forgot to say (3+ / 0-)

        that's really the bottom line.  We've gone so caught up in polarity and black and white battles.  How many of us, when we are sitting calmly at home, think we know the answer to these questions?  Maybe 15% at worst?  That would be my ballpark estimate.

        These polarized, stereotyped discussions help the right in the war on civility more than us in our hope for tolerance.  I wish we would ignore them more and move forward with our agenda, not forgetting that this whole deal is pretty darn mysterious, just as you say.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:41:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Belief in creationism is equivalent to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boris Godunov, Miss Jones

    "I can't understand it, therefore it must be magic."

    cl

    Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

    by Caoimhin Laochdha on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:02:04 PM PDT

  •  Dems have no reason to cheer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, unclejohn

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Gore Avoids Stance on Creationism

    By Hanna Rosin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, August 27, 1999; Page A8

    Vice President Gore, known for his love of science education, refused
    yesterday to take a clear stand on whether public schools should be
    required to teach evolution and not creationism.

    Gore and the other candidates running for president have been faced
    with questions about their position on the teaching of evolution after
    the Aug. 11 decision by the Kansas Board of Education to wipe out
    evolution from the statewide science curriculum. The vote is the most
    decisive victory in recent years for creationists, fundamentalist
    Christians who believe that God created human beings and animals fully
    formed, as described in Genesis.

    When first asked about the Kansas vote, a Gore spokesman seemed to
    allow for the possibility of teaching creationist science, an option
    the Supreme Court has ruled out.

    "The vice president favors the teaching of evolution in public
    schools," Alejandro Cabrera said yesterday in response to a question
    from a Reuters reporter. "Obviously, that decision should and will be
    made at the local level, and localities should be free to teach
    creationism as well."

    The Supreme Court has ruled that schools are not free to teach
    creationism. In 1987, the court ruled in Edwards v. Aguilar that a
    Louisiana statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution unless
    creationist science was taught as well improperly endorses religion.

    After checking the 1987 decision, Cabrera adjusted his statement by
    saying that Gore supports the teaching of creationism only in certain
    contexts, such as in a religion class--an option that has not been
    ruled unconstitutional. The vice president, however, declined to
    criticize the Kansas school board vote, repeating that the decision to
    teach evolution should be up to local schools.

    Prominent scientists felt betrayed by their ally, and detected waffling
    in Gore's finely tuned answers.

    "What he's trying to do is carry water on both shoulders," said Daniel
    Koshland, former editor of the journal Science and a professor at the
    University of California at Berkeley. "It reflects badly on him that he
    would say something incorrect in order to appease all parts of the
    population."

    Author: "Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America" http://www.redandblackpublishers/deceptionbydesign.html

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:02:35 PM PDT

  •  More frightening is the 40% Dem number n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unclejohn, Over the Edge

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:04:55 PM PDT

  •  Republicans have certainly not evloved. (0+ / 0-)

    But in any case, I think a lot of people report differently than they actually believe in these polls. I can't imagine people are that unscientific in their actual beliefs. I think they are simply brainwashed by parents and church, as well as now political leaders into spouting this crap, still without actually believing it, as if they will "save their children" or something by having a properly pious set of espoused beliefs.

  •  i would be curious to see the crosstabs here (0+ / 0-)

    in particular the generational cohorts.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:15:59 PM PDT

  •  A "Gotcha" Moment that I liked... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, ThomasB

    ...when at the first Republican debate, a show of hands was called for, when asked the question, "Who doesn't believe in evolution?" Only three of the Republican presidential candidates raised their hands, among them Huckabee (Evangelical Presbyterian Tancredo and Catholic Brownback were the other two). Ironically, though,  much of the media applaudedwhen Huckabee was asked to elaborate in the second presidential debate, he made some intelligent design sounding statements. Here is what he said:

    "But you’ve raised the question, so let me answer it. 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.' To me it’s pretty simple -- a person either believes that God created this process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own," Huckabee said. "... I believe there is a God who was active in the creation process. Now, how did He do it, and when did He do it, and how long did He take? I don’t honestly know, and I don’t think knowing that would make me a better or a worse president.

    "... [I]f I’m selected as president of this country, [Americans will] have one who believes in those words that God did create. And as the words of Martin Luther, 'Here I stand. I can do no other.' And I will not take that back."

    McCain - one of the self-proclaimed evolutionists from the first debate, weighed in after Huckabee's comments, "I couldn't have said it better myself." It makes me think that the logical follow up question is: Do you believe intelligent design should be taught alongside evolution in public schools. I would hope McCain wouldn't say "Yes" but he might. Meanwhile, the question remains, "Was he kowtowing to obscurantism or is he obscurantist himself in his views on biology?" You see, we have to ask, of those who claim to believe in evolution, how many of them really begin to understand it to the point they can see how foolish notions like intelligent design are?

    The issue of evolution reflects on policy decisions in two ways. The first is whether we are able to teach science effectively in our education system. More importantly, though, is the second: Knowledge of evolution underscores the importance of the role of ecology in life on this planet. I don't believe anyone who doesn't fully understand evolution can truly be an environmentalist, because s/he doesn't understand the role that we are playing in driving to extinction species that evolved over the eons, carving out unique roles through the course of evolution.

    •  How evolution affects policy... (0+ / 0-)

      ...also, in a third way: It informs how people think about abortion. If you're convinced that humans aren't evolved from other forms of animal life, you think humans are uniquely created, there is no concept of human life as anything but sacred and separate from the rest of life. So it's no wonder that three of the most militant pro-life candidates also don't believe in evolution.

  •  half-glass fool? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, geomoo

    My glass was hearteningly 7/10 full when only three of the Republican debaters denounced Darwin's dangerous idea. I would have predicted a more unanimous response akin to the cricket chirps that answered the question of who among them would support gays openly serving in the military.  

    My gin and and tonic completely lost its fizz after I read kudo's for Brownback's subsequent (Holy ghostwritten) NYT op-ed, in which he posited that "Faith seeks to purify reason..."

    I recalled many incidents of the pious attempting to purify reason, and the reasonable. William of Ockham, Galileo Galilei and Baruch Spinoza would have perfectly understood Brownback's pledge to the faithful for the (continued) purification of science.

    Alas, many beyond the Republican party would support a president who proclaimed himself decider and purifier.

    •  Purify Reason? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42, ThomasB

      So, Brownback thinks reason is corrupt, I take it.  There's the kind of circular idiocy that can't be countered by rational people.  Our minds can't "go there."

      Religion is the biggest danger to mankind, especially Christian of the reborn variety. Believers, like Brownback, demonstrate again and again that they are on earth to quash human happiness and promote human suffering, whether it be in the form of "virginity pledges," missionary ventures, "pro-life" stances, or praying for divine medical cures instead of seeking medical treatment, or its converse -- seeking prolongation of dying in order to thwart relief of suffering.

      Religious purification is something kindhearted people wouldn't do to a dog.

      They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

      by Limelite on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:50:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ahhh. the penny drops. The new meme: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, NYFM, dangangry

    The vast majority of today's Republicans are uneducated, ill-informed, superstitious, backwards, uncivilized idiots. ERGO,  why should ANYONE believe ANYTHING they say?

    In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

    by agnostic on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:29:05 PM PDT

  •  God, that is frightening (3+ / 0-)

    That is frightening but shows how human beings plain are not logical.  They are blowing off all of the science and evidence and sending us back to the stone age...

    which they claim doesn't exist.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:31:39 PM PDT

  •  7 in 10 don’t believe in Bill of Rights (3+ / 0-)

    It seems to me that more Republicans don’t believe in the real underlying principles of the country.  This is a lot scarier than their religious views.

  •  Is there any more clear indictment... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dangangry, ThomasB

    ...of the failure of America's education system?

    The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true ...

  •  Am I the only one (0+ / 0-)

    who doesn't subscribe to neo-Darwinism as being the most accurate theory of evolution?  I personally don't see how it has survived as long as it has, other than supporting it has become a type of dogma.

    Gradualism and reductionism are both extremely flimsy constructs that don't hold up well at all unless you go through ALOT of contortions to "defend" them.

    In a sense it reminds me of Creationists who cling so fervently to things they "know" to be true.  I've always seen this as a bit ironic.  

    I mean morphogenesis, implicate order, emergent software, qualitative to quantitative (punctuated equilibria)..they are all much better tracks to be pursuing in my mind since they actually rationally take into account the things we are observing.

    Even Lamarckian ideas seem to have there place somewhere in there.

  •  I find (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge

    the statistics a bit unbelievable.  

    What would you do if a politician killed your loved one for a lie?

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:45:07 PM PDT

  •  W is a Cro Magnon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM
  •  It's not a matter of "Belief" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, dangangry

    The question should be, "do Republicans UNDERSTAND evolution?"

    big difference.

    in the reality-based we seek to understand difficult subjects. what we "believe" we keep to ourselves.

    "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

    by greendem on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 04:52:54 PM PDT

  •  It's easy to believe (0+ / 0-)

    in things that happened long ago, or reincarnation or the bermuda triangle or anything else that has no impact on our daily lives.

    You can be a perfectly good scientist or engineer or doctor and believe all sorts of wacky things outside your field.

    That's why so many fundamentalists think your faith means nothing unless you're willing to kill for it.

  •  I can't believe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, NYFM, Burned

    it's not butter.

  •  There is no contradiction in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, NYFM

    thinking that life evolved and also that God created humans.  

    I take it that some version of the 2001 movie is supposed to be the story here, with God playing the part of the Monolith.

    That story might be strange, it might be wrong, but it's not contradictory.

    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:02:51 PM PDT

    •  Well, the poll (0+ / 0-)

      asked people if they believed the literal, Biblical story of creation that God created people 10,000 years ago in approximately our current form.  That is definitely contradictory to evolution.  I don't see an possibility of reconciling the two.  Which is why the fundamentalists' decision to label the evidence for evolution a test of their faith was probably a wise move . . .

  •  Is this only an American phenomenon? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AbsurdEyes, Spoc42, dangangry, ThomasB

    I know that in Canada we have more of a proportion of our populace who declare themselves as members of a particular church, but a lower rate of weekly attendence at services.

    I can think of only one clergy member of my acquaintance who would dare to admit to being so ignorant as to hold that creationism is the literal truth. Even the Evangelicals of my acquaintance know that the account in Genesis is poetic truth. (But then again, they're all lefty Knee-Dipper Evangelicals).

    Is it because we have less of the Snake Grabbing variety of fundamentalists, or is it someting unique to the American experience, history or character?

    I know that Americans are great believers in the sound bite/magic bullet/ simple answer. You fought a revolution rather than wait for liberty, yet wound up with a slave holding republic for a full 70 years after we abolished slavery up here...

    You build a society on technological innovation and rational thought, yet look for scientific vouchsafing for what is clearly spiritual.

    Proving faith with science is quite akin to dancing about architecture. There is no connect that is useful to the purpose.

    Grown Up people know that there is little correspondence between the discourse domains and they aren't that troubled by it.

    Except Americans. I think, at heart, American fundamentalists aren't truly spitritual, they're just bettors on the easy answer and quick fix.

    DFooK

    "Impeach the Cheerleader, save the world!"

    by deepfish on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:06:26 PM PDT

  •  What it shows (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, dangangry, Fiona West

     Is that, despite millions and millions of dollars spent, with massive political forces at their beck and call, with the resources of a vast media machine, the fundamentalists have gotten precisely nowhere in the last 25 years.  They have managed to hold their faction together, that's all -- they have not actually managed to convince more people to convert to them than they lose by attrition. In other words, they are treading water.  Take away their money and their recruiting structures, take away their political support and leave them on their own, and they'd be the fastest declining religious segment of the population.

  •  It's not really surprising (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, NYFM, Brooke In Seattle, dangangry

    For people who accept Evolution, the theory is no big deal - it's just another element of science.

    For wacko billionaires and fundamentalist preacher fanatics, it's the tool of the Devil and they've poured big bucks, lots of TV preaching, church school/camp brainwashing, and more into trying to stamp it out and discredit it.

    Against that kind of organized and over funded opposition, it's a wonder the public school system - about the only place where Evolution gets a fair treatment - has been able to hold on at all. It's also why they're trying so hard to destroy public education in this country.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:15:35 PM PDT

  •  Crushing, isn't it that logic fails one half (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, dangangry, Pete Rock, ThomasB

    of the population in this country?

    I'd love to see the statistics for Canada, Western Europe, Japan - I'll bet they are nothing like the numbers here in the States: even in Ireland, Italy, Spain and strongly Catholic countries I'd wager the numbers are lower that believe in Creationism/ID.

    I'll tell y'all what I think; and most of you will think dear shpilkis has gone nuts, gone over the deep end.

    Well, break out the tin foil.  

    Here's my take on this:
    What is driving this uptick in faux religious belief  is corporations. There's a reason why religion is becoming more of a powerful force here in the US. It is because corporations are desperate to force anti-science upon the masses, because science and facts quite frankly interfere with profitability.

    Let's not fool ourselves here: anti-science is in almost all advertising. To be convinced to buy the crap we are constantly being bombarded with requires one to almost be bereft of logic and reason. One must become credulous to accept the garbage thrown at us by Madison Avenue. I submit that anti-science has been and is a pre-requisite in most ad campaigns. It's quite deliberate. It's present in nearly every mass media outlet you watch.

    Anti-science rules supreme in the marketing world. Selling crap requires the buyer to suffer a suspension of common sense. The ads for pain relievers, the nonsense that passes for 'nutrition' as it's rammed down our kids throats - 'breakfast cereals with vitamins'. My God, they even have soft drinks with vitamins now. The very idea your lawn must not have a weed growing in it, that if you have bad breath or body odor, the world will simply cease to exist as we know it.

    We have been sucker punched so bad by Madison Ave, it's no wonder half the population swallows this bogus shit about ID without even a second thought. Mass consumerism has a direct tie in to denial of science. Mass consumerism has become religion: it's interchangeable.

    And where does Creationism and ID come in? It plays to the 'safe' concepts of an "overlord", that there's a plan that makes things the way they are. The big brother of government/religion/corporation will watch benignly over all of us.

    I wish Gallup would poll people who believe in Creationism and ask these people how they view corporations: I'll wager there's a direct correlation between belief and Creationism and trust in corporations. The crosstabs would be interesting to see, would they not?  

    Because Creationism and ID help negate the very concept of science and free will. They deny fact and reality, just as consumerism and corporate greed deny the facts, reality and accountability for all damage they are doing to this planet.  

    Ramming the twisted religious dogma of anti-science down America's throat cements the concept that science itself is bogus.

    A poll I'd love to see the crosstabs on: People that believe in Creationism vs climate change.

    It's all a clever marketing campaign which started decades ago, using conservative buzzwords and 'patriotism' and the flag as the backdrop. What has changed recently in the last few decades is the adoption of religion into this mix: this creeping fascism [because this is EXACTLY what a combination of government, religion and corporatism is, fascism]
    helps the continued success of multi-national corporations to go on unabated by pesky legislators and scientists who dare challenge the 'God-given right' to make money at any cost.

    The mega churches that spew these lies about Creationism and ID have corporatized religion to such an extent, they are really indistinguishable from the multi-nationals. Rapture is not only good for your eternal soul, it's good for the bottom line, too. They use the same tactics that Madison Avenue has used to convince us that Excedrin, which is simply a mixture of Tyelenol, Aspirin and Caffeine is honestly better than taking two pills and having a cup of coffee.

    The proponents of Creationism and ID? It's the snake oil salesman, at his best selling his wares. They've got their MBAs and they've learned how to reach inside the brains of half of Americans and to pith the very soul right of them.

    Creationism/ID: a stunning triumph in mass marketing.

    ---------

    There. Done. My tin foil hat is on fire.
    Anyone have a fire extinguisher?

    I need an Excedrin.

    •  Corporations and MegaChurches (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42

      Your post, shpilk, clarified something for me about the rise of the "modern" large efficient new "Mega" churches in the suburbs.

       I was wondering what drove these places to succeed against older meeting places, and after the usual reasons(convenient,closer to the affluent people with time to devote to them,no messy poor people or minorities or inner cities to be around) it became clear.

       The modern corporation is a terrifyingly impersonal
      place. It is implacable, uses people up, doesn't reward loyalty but expects it andd generally is a merciless powerful force that controls its employees fairly completely.

       The success of the corporation is hard to resist.

         These Mega Churches reproduce the efficiency and organization and the atriums/office space/ feel of a corporate HQ that the corporations have but with a faux "personality" and "outreach" that the modern corporation's profit obsession won't allow.

       That is the schizophrenia of modern American life: the corporations rule and depersonalize and control their workers and executives fairly completely. Sucks them dry. So they have to form another, smaller "corporation' that has the same social life and interactions, but with a personality or altruism that is missing in Big Brother six days a week.

       How else could people work for military vendors, energy giants, junk food behemoths, agrobusinesses, big Pharma and a thousand others indifferent to America's people except as cash cows? and then relieve themselves of psychic burdens one day a week and go back and toil soulessly all over again for Mammon the rest of the week?

      "America doesn't want to commit to firm goals" German Environmental Minister,G8

      by Pete Rock on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 10:11:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this nation (3+ / 0-)

    half creationist and half evolutionist cannot endure.

  •  These numbers aren't useful without age stats (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThomasB, Mother of Zeus

    In my view polls like this are useless unless they tell us how the different age groups are thinking.  Polls on gay marriage, for example, show a sharp contrast between older and younger generations.

    In this case, if we are seeing no improvement with the 20-35 set over the older set, then we have serious reason to worry. But if we have overwhelming stupidity on the older side, and improvement on the younger side, then perhaps we can breath a little easier and wait for the luddites to meet Jesus.

  •  Somebody gas up the spaceship (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebel of the Sacred Heart

    because it's really too fucked up on this chunk of rock to stick around.

    "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for us." - former Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson, on barring foreign language teaching

    by JT88 on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:46:08 PM PDT

  •  10 out of 10 monkeys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    don't believe in Republicans.

  •  My Mom believes that God created evolution (0+ / 0-)

    Love, baby, that's where it's at. --The B52's

    by Mind That on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:49:05 PM PDT

  •  This isn't new (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    America has been viruently anti-evolution ever since Darwin came up with it. We are unique in this regard among advanced industrial societies, which is just fascinating. Our beliefs are comparable to those of devastated peasant communities in Asia and the like.

  •  But Do They Know What Evolution Is? (0+ / 0-)

    If people are untutored in something they cannot profess understanding of it. One doesn't precisely "believe" in  theory in any case, of course, making the nays technically more scientifically correct than those who profess "belief" in the context of a poll on religion. But I'll allow that only a superminority of respondants in the negative intended that cleverly.

    The world is deep, And deeper than the day could read

    by NewDirection on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 05:54:03 PM PDT

  •  I've got to get the f*** out of here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChuckInReno

    I'd rather be on a desert island by myself than surrounded by these goddamn morons.

    I actually heard a "world is 6000 years old" preacher on the radio in WV a few weeks ago.  FYI, the end of the world is 2014.  If only all these idiots would off themselves in anticipation...

  •  Creationists hate amphibians (0+ / 0-)

    Get off the pot!
    Either your a lizard for a fish!
    Make up your mind!

  •  I do not buy this study (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fiona West

    I think the author comes up with some bad conclusions based on bad questions:

    It might seem contradictory to believe that humans were created in their present form at one time within the past 10,000 years and at the same time believe that humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. But, based on an analysis of the two side-by-side questions asked this month about evolution and creationism, it appears that a substantial number of Americans hold these conflicting views.

    sorry, but that makes no sense.  It is more likely that people were not give good choices and had to chose from the best of some bad options.
    I do not find Science and Religion the least bit contradictory and I will not explain it.  People with a brain can figure it out.  There are quite a few actual scientists at my church, and I am not talking about people who teach biology.

    TINS, I am not attacking or arguing with you.  I want you to understand.  I believe in both creation and evolution and if people can not understand that I really do not care.  Do I believe that God created people just as they are now 10 thousand years ago?  Absolutely not and neither do most people who this author has decided are "conflicted".  As for the literalists, take heart.  The republicans are only about 35 percent of the population, so the percentage of them who believe in the literal translation of the bible is a small part of america and nothing to panic about.

  •  Advice for dealing with these freaks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Mother of Zeus

    If you meet some right-wing freak who doesn't believe in evolution, tell 'em this:

    "Sure, I believe that God created the heavens and earth in seven days--but remember, we're talking about God's time and not mankind's.  In God's time, the first "day" was 3.7 billion years ago.  It's impossible for us to comprehend just how vast God's time is..."

    I've done it, and it's amazing how they just don't have anything to say back about it, and the truth gradually sets in.

    In TX-32, visit Sessions Watch to keep an eye on Pete Sessions

    by CoolOnion on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:09:21 PM PDT

  •  Monkey Trial II (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Existentialist, ThomasB

    Inherit the Wind is (or was recently), I believe, revived on Broadway.  Timely, no?

    Regarding learning more about the superstitions and poisoned-by-religion beliefs of the right wing Christianists (especially), I recommend Sam Harris' essay/monograph Letter To a Christian Nation.  He features some revealing statistics like these:

    Only 12% of Americans believe life evolved naturally w/o interference of a diety;
    31% believe life was "guided" by God.  In other words, "intelligent design" defeats biology by about 3:1.

    Here's more:
    63% of Americans are "creationists," believeing the entire cosmos was created 6,000 years ago.  BTW, that's 1,000 years after the Sumerians invented glue.
    44% believe Jesus will return to judge the dead and the living sometime within the next 50 years.

    So, next time you're taking public transportation, chances are most of the folks sharing the ride with you have crackpot ideas.  In sum, there's a lot of "closet Republicans" out there.  Cold comfort.

    They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

    by Limelite on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:19:27 PM PDT

    •  The Monkey Man (0+ / 0-)

      says forget about the Monkey Trial.

    •  These stats are meaningless without knowing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa

      how the questions were phrased.

      I've read detailed polls on religious belief that placed the number of literalists at about 25%.  So when you say that 63% of Americans are "creationists," I balk at that.  Are you counting everyone who says that they believe God played a role in creating the universe?  Because a majority of Americans do believe that.  But a great many of those people are NOT literalists, and accept evolution as real (and as not contradictory to God creating or being involved in the evolution of the universe).  

      I have NEVER, not ONCE, seen a poll where I could really examine the questions asked, that ended up showing 60+ percent of Americans as genuine anti-evolution literalists.  I have never seen a poll that, on examination, showed the majority of Americans believing that the world was created in 7 days less than 10,000 years ago.  I'm convinced, from the polls that I have read, and simply from my contact with religious people in this country, that it isn't true.

      I don't have time to research this right now -- maybe none of us do -- but there's a lot of distress going on here without a sound empirical basis.  Someone needs to check the Pew surveys on religious beliefs, or other detailed surveys, before people get so horrified.  Granted, even 25% of Americans denying the reality of evolution is upsetting, even shocking, and reflects poorly on scientific education in this country.  But asserting that a majority deny the reality of evolution is, in my opinion, false and alarmist.

      If 60% of Americans really rejected the reality of evolution, we'd have a hell of a lot of schools where creationism was being taught by this time, given the fierce campaigns the religious right has been waging.  Instead, the people of Kansas threw the creationist school boarders out on their ears, and there has been NO surge of creationist election victories.  

      The fanatically convinced and well-funded religious right has not been able to make more than marginal headway on this issue even under the Bush administration.  If 60% of the American people were with them, the picture would be very different.

      I'm not saying that the literalists and near-literalists aren't dangerous.  They are, particularly in areas such as encouraging condemnatin of GLBT people, encouraging condemnation of abortion, encouraging authoritarian child-rearing, acting as apoligists to give moral cover to the corruption and anti-libertarian tendencies of the Bush administration, etc.  The literalists and near literalists are my political enemies as well as yours.

      But they are not making any significant headway against evolution, and I don't believe, as long as we hold strong against them, that they are going to.  I'm convinced, on the other hand, that the surge of interest in environmental science will lead more and more young people to knowledge that will include biological evolution and will make acceptance of evolution more and more the norm among religious as well as secular Americans.

      •  Exactly So (0+ / 0-)

        So when you say that 63% of Americans are "creationists," I balk at that.  Are you counting everyone who says that they believe God played a role in creating the universe?  Because a majority of Americans do believe that.

         Yep.  That's creationism.

        12% of Americans believe life evolved naturally w/o interference of a diety;
        31% believe life was "guided" by God.

         This is the exact wording of the questions, restated as statements to grammatically accommodate the results.

        Further, I don't have exact figures, but questionnaires reveal that of those 53% who are creationists (by definition of beleiving God had something to do with the existence of matter), many believe that dinosaurs lived 2x2 on the ark; that light from distant galaxies was created en route to earth; that the first members of our species were fashioned out of dirt "enlivened" from divine breath in a garden inhabited by a talking snake!

        Fer gawd's sake.

        I am not making this up.  Nor am I going to find rational room to "excuse" people who profess they believe this sort of claptrap, literally or, EVEN WORSE, in some watered-down form.

        They burn our children in their wars and grow rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

        by Limelite on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well bully (0+ / 0-)

          for you.  I don't think people are sitting around looking to be excused by you.  

        •  “Yep. That’s creationism.” (0+ / 0-)

          You’re mistaken about this.  In discussing Christianity, "creationism" is not used to refer to anyone who believes God is involved in the existence of the universe.  It’s used to mean "Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible" (This is from American Heritage Dictionary; Random House Unabridged is similar.)

          "Creationism" is specifically associated with very conservative, right wing religion.  What you disdainfully refer to as the "watered down version" – belief in God without denying evolution and other facts demonstrated by science, the assumption that there wasn’t literally an ark, much less dinosaurs on it – is in fact the majority, normal, mainstream religious view in the United States in this century.  And it’s nothing new.  The view that parts of Genesis are metaphorical rather than literal goes back at least to the fifteen hundreds, though it was no doubt a minority view at that time.

          You seem very focused on what you are willing to accept or "make excuses for."  In terms of your personal views of religion, that’s fine.  But this is a community with a focus on political awareness and action.  So when you’re talking about factual things such as what views are held by different sectors of the population, you need to be able to distinguish between creationists (who are political foes) and mainstream Christians (who are Democrats and strong allies in some cases, and have the potential to become allies in some other cases).

      •  Follow the link in the diary to Gallup (0+ / 0-)

        It gives you the questions that were asked.

  •  Pastor Bush's Flock (0+ / 0-)

    The Coalition of the Witless.

    By the way, does he ever attend church services, and if so, how regularly? Maybe almost never? Which congregation does he belong to? Or does he have personal spiritual advisors like Ted Haggard come to the WH for private ministry?

  •  What does it matter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TeresaInPa

    Just out of curiosity and to play devil's advocate....so what?  I've never understood why the left gets so worked up over this.  Whether humans evolved from another species or whether God created humans in a snap of a finger from nothing does not have any relationship to concern for the poor or commitment to social justice. Nor does it really have any impact on contemporary, tangible science. A person's stance on evolution doesn't affect whether they believe in microwaves, for instance.  I also question what the poll said.  I believe in evolution but I don't believe in Darwinism, that somehow the human spirit evolves. I don't deny that the world and its inhabitants evolved over many millions or billions of year, but I don't believe human nature is evolving even though our physicality may be evolving. Humans seem to be prone to the same vices as thousands of years ago and capable of the same good -- evolution has not distorted our ability to choose to do good or evil.

    •  Evolution is a slow process (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChuckInReno

      I don't deny that the world and its inhabitants evolved over many millions or billions of year, but I don't believe human nature is evolving even though our physicality may be evolving. Humans seem to be prone to the same vices as thousands of years ago and capable of the same good -- evolution has not distorted our ability to choose to do good or evil.

      A few thousand years is a drop in the bucket as far as evolutionary time scales go.

      At any rate, I certainly see a change in human nature since earliest history.  It's generally for the better, too.  People now revile atrocities that formerly were taken for granted or seen even as good things.

      As for why it matters--I think its the implications of what it means for public policy that is the issue.  The religious right are the ones trying to infiltrate schools with "intelligent design."  See Philip Johnson's "wedge" document to understand the sinister motives of this.

      No, the fact of evolution will never change, but the power of the Republican religious extremists could turn enough people away from science to have long-lasting negative effects on our country, possibly the world.

      I finally put in a signature!

      by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:57:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A few thousand years (0+ / 0-)

        You make a good point that 6000 years is very small in the history of human existence.  However, I hope human nature is not evolving because otherwise we certainly seem to be regressing.  While it is possible to argue that the past 20-30 years has seen a general awakening against atrocity, this seems to be a blip in regression. The past 80 years (and even smaller number than 6000 years!) have seen atrocities committed by some of the greatest ideological maniacs of history (e.g., Hitler, Stalin, Mao).  The systemic killings under fascism and communism in the twentieth century likely combined rival all the systematic state killings over the past 5000 years or so of recorded history. That doesn't sound like things are getting better. I think human nature comes down to choices -- humans have the same choices between choosing good or evil as we did 6000 years ago, we just have different means to faciliate those choices today.

        •  There's not a huge difference (0+ / 0-)

          between the killings of the 20th century and those of the ancient eras.  Stalin, Hitler, Mao, etc. also happened to have unprecedented technology at their disposal for doing the damage.  So certainly the scale was bigger, but in reality, these men were no more evil than rulers that today we think of as typical figures in history--Ottoman sultans, Chinese emperors, Roman despots, etc.  In fact, Genghis Kahn was arguably much more evil than any of those three, considering he actually revelled in the horrific suffering of his enemies.  Vlad the Impaler also comes to mind.  While Hitler et al. killed millions through their pursuit of ideology and power, there's no evidence they actually took great pleasure in it.

          And, again, the contemporary responses to such atrocities is telling.  Massacres were once condoned by religious texts (the Bible, Koran, etc.).  But the world was appalled by the atrocities committed by the 20th century's dictators.  I think there is a clear sign of a significant groundshift in attitudes towards human life.  After all, we're now outraged over a war that has killed 3500 U.S. troops, where as a century ago we'd be accepting of numbers ten times higher.

          I finally put in a signature!

          by Boris Godunov on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:48:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  To simplify (0+ / 0-)

      There are only so many hours in a day spent on learning at school.  I want the professionals that I seek advice or care from to know the facts and to be able to make sound judgments based on those facts, i.e., I want my surgeon to know how to do their job when they cut me open.  I don't want them having missed out on important knowledge in order to learn someone else's beliefs.

      If the potential surgeon has some free time during the week, they're more than welcome to pursue some spiritual learning... but only as an extracurricular activity.  Or if they want to spend all their time on being spiritual, then they shouldn't be a surgeon.

      And yes, I'm going to make a controversial comparison, and that is if some people believe in superstition, then should time be allocated in schools to learn that walking under a ladder is bad for you?  

      Creationism is a belief.  Whether that's a good or bad belief is up to the individual, who is free to pursue that on their own time; not to make laws from nor  take away from the time allocated to learn facts and how to reason.

      Souls, souls, blessings, blessings, prayers, prayers; Where's the leadership?

      by gooderservice on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:11:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that creationism should not be taught in public school because it is not religion, but this :

        If the potential surgeon has some free time during the week, they're more than welcome to pursue some spiritual learning... but only as an extracurricular activity.  Or if they want to spend all their time on being spiritual, then they shouldn't be a surgeon.

        is quite arrogant and frankly none of your business.  What's wrong with you? It's almost as if you have some sort of God complex.

    •  Evolution but not Darwinism (0+ / 0-)

      What's that mean exactly?  That every organ of modern humans is a product of evolutionary processes except for the brain?

      I have a book recommendation for you: Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature.  Our natures are very much the product of evolution, including our moral sense.  There is a rich field of inquiry (evolutionary psychology) that is exploring these very questions.

      Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

      by stillnotking on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans are best argument against evolution (0+ / 0-)
  •  Not surprising at all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    I always knew that 7 in 10 Republicans were stupid.  This just confirms it for everyone else.

    Souls, souls, blessings, blessings, prayers, prayers; Where's the leadership?

    by gooderservice on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 06:46:13 PM PDT

  •  Someone should ask Bush at his next PC... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, gooderservice

    ...if he believes in evolution. Then sit back and watch the monkeyboy dance! ;)

  •  Last year's flu shot. (0+ / 0-)

    That's great!  We can save a bundle on health care.  For those who don't believe in evolution, we can just keep giving them leftovers from prior years.  Or antibiotics from the 1950s.  It shouldn't matter.

  •  They knew these figures 7 years ago... (0+ / 0-)

    .. and they used them as wedge issues. It's just wrong.

  •  "Being religious in America today is strongly..." (0+ / 0-)

    ...related to partisanship. My conservative friends fall into that category easily.  Lately, they have been compromising saying 'God created evolution'.  hahaaaaaa

    http://rochesterturning.com/

    by optimusprime on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:13:27 PM PDT

  •  Evolution must be true ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    if only because the opposite appears to be.

    "What is the most important thing in life? People, people, people." -- Maori proverb

    by mkfox on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:18:13 PM PDT

  •  If we can get them to not believe in the theory (0+ / 0-)

    of gravity, maybe they'll spin off the planet and into deep space.  I sure wouldn't miss them.

  •  I am not trying to deny (0+ / 0-)

    the scary fact that an alarmingly large percentage of Americans believe the literal word of the Bible even if it contradicts reams of scientific evidence.

    But it is a random telephone poll.  Someday I want to look into this more and diary it, but for now . . .  I would just mention that although the Do-Not-Call registry does not apply to pollsters, there are some who believe that the public is somewhat emboldened by the registry and increasingly unwilling to comply with requests for interviews.  Widespread caller ID also hurts.   And proliferation of cellphones also limits access of pollsters to certain demographics.

    In other words, I think it is relevant to ask ourselves which people are likely to be called, be at home, answer their phones (i.e., not screen), and then stay on to answer the questions.  Maybe I'm just comforting myself, but I'm thinking that these kinds of polls almost always have a kind of response bias.  There is nothing in the link to suggest that Gallup did any kind of demographic analysis to look for trends other than religious/non-religious and republican/demographic.  It might have been interesting to see how this sample (and other random telephone poll samples) of respondents compares to the general population on other demographic variables.

  •  why can't folks believe in god and evolution? (0+ / 0-)

    but hey, i'm just a godless, science-based progressive...what do i know?

    "I don't wanna listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore!" -Howard Dean

    by astronautagogo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:38:42 PM PDT

    •  My sister, a Catholic, has no problem thinking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thereisnospoon, ChuckInReno

      that human beings evolved over time
      with divine guidance. As a matter of fact,
      the Vatican seems to feel the same way.
      We may disagree with many Vatican policies,
      but they seem to respect science way more
      than the fundamentalists.

    •  most people do (0+ / 0-)

      this poll is probably for shit.
      The thing I love about the comments in this diary is how at odds they are with the other great mythology of dkos, that "people really are not as religious as polls say"(the polls that say 85 percent of Americans believe in God) and that "Most people don't really attend church except for Christmas and Easter, particularly not democrats".
      Look at all the comments here accusing people of being conflicted and having cognitive dissonance for believing in God and science. But all these smarty pants kossacks don't look at their own cognitive confusion.  = )

  •  This is so crazy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42

    The rest of the world is looking at us going "WTF"?  The biggest superpower in the world is run by a bunch of ill-informed, superstitious nutcases.

    I believe there's something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government. -Woody Allen

    by hopesprings on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 07:54:38 PM PDT

  •  file me under (0+ / 0-)

    the independents who are "left of the bulk of democrats" and who believes strongly in evolution.

    As for a majority of republicans who believe evolution is just a theory I should point out they also believe...

    > Global warming is a myth
    > Marijuana is dangerous and addictive
    > Jesus is coming again soon
    > The GOP fights for the everyday American
    > Iraq harbored Al Qaeda prior to the 2003 invasion
    > Saddam played a role in 9-11
    > The DHS keeps America safe
    > Violent video games cause violence in real life
    > Vaccines cause autism
    > The media is liberally biased
    > Things in Iraq are peachy
    > Islam is evil
    > Cigarettes don't cause cancer

    I guess they're now on reality's side with that last one.

  •  Americans Too Stupid To Disbelieve Anything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thereisnospoon, beyondbushco

    Most Americans don't really "believe" either evolution or Creationism. They like getting a "both" option, even though that one shows they don't understand, or even care about anything that doesn't directly connect to either their fear or greed.

    Evolution and Creationism just represent the dictates of different authority figures in most Americans' lives. They don't really relate to either evolution or science - they just have to get by when tested. They don't really relate to religion either, or they'd act a whole lot different every day. They just got taught by different people each set up as some authority who's supposed to worry about such things. As long as the two authorities don't directly argue with each other, they don't know who to pick. But the scientist doesn't threaten the kind of eternal damnation the clergy threatens, so they generally choose the clergy's line, even when it's clearly just superstition.

    Which means that science loses. Not just by getting its ass kicked by scary priests. But because that kind of acceptance without being able to understand is the essence of faith. Faith without vision, faith out of fear.

    What a sorry lot of stupid people blowing the greatest opportunity for enlightenment any people has ever had handed to them by historical fortune.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 08:40:11 PM PDT

    •  this is probably the best comment i've (0+ / 0-)

      seen on this subject yet.  bravo.

    •  Fat, sugar, sex and yucks (0+ / 0-)

      What's the point of worrying about anything else? That's what pointyhead intellectuals are there for, dude.

      The most common form of human stupidity is forgetting what one is trying to do - Friedrich Nietzsche

      by David Mason on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 03:42:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Outsourced Brains (0+ / 0-)

        As a geek, I know the contempt even friendly Americans have for "techie" thinking, even the kind they can do for themselves reliably and for free. And, by extension, contempt for the people who do it. I'm sure it's also true for clergy.

        And I see how that contempt extends to the people who do that thinking for them. Without threatening the authority those people have when their help is requested, which is automatic in some carved-out scenarios.  When people depend on your help, but could learn their way away from you, but don't, they hate you. It's some kind of mommy problem. The behavior crystallizes in highschool, when jocks beat the nerds who do their homework for them.

        But they often don't know how to tell whether some new or unfamiliar thinking requires that expertise. Especially without advertisements. Maybe scientists should advertise on issue buzzwords: "Climate Change can extinguish your species, even if you don't notice until it's too late. Get some help from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Ask your Congressmember. You're worth some good advice."

        BTW, you're not the David Mason who used to work with Jim Capaldi, are you?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:56:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Evolution does not care... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what we believe. Evolution of thought is not exactly the same animal as genetic evolution either. Our thinking may change drastically when we are brainwashed on the subject, but it has little impact on the fact that underlying reality still wins out. You cannot win that war with propaganda.

    Even if the survey proclaimed that 100% of humans denied evolution, it would not stop it from happening if it will.

  •  At least 7 in 10 republicans (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frank, sagesource, Shockwave, Spoc42

    make me disbelieve evolution, too.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 09:36:32 PM PDT

  •  my father the republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Greasy Grant

    The thing is, evolution doesn't explain everything, science doesn't claim to. It's not theology, it's for grownups. So I would answer the poll saying evolution doesn't answer everything, and that would not make me a loon. It's all semantics with these polls.

    Anyway, I was reminded of my republican father who once decided to explain to me the truth about where humans came from. According to dad (who felt Nixon was too liberal), we were all created by space aliens who crossbred their own seed with monkeys. He explained that black people were closest to monkeys, that Jews were next up on the list after hispanics, etc. etc. The funniest part for me was that he didn't have whites on top of his evolutionary ladder! He said that Japanese people were superior to whites. How could he tell? "Just look at 'em! They look more like the space aliens than we do!"

    The key shortcoming of most of the posters here at DKos is that you all grew up in nice homes with intelligent parents who loved you and were not insane. That makes you markedly different from the majority of Americans, no matter how you huff and puff that you're regular joes. Regular Joes don't have the patience to read through half of the stuff written here. Republicans understand this, and that's why it's easier for them to win elections in most times. They've studied PT Barnum and took it all to heart. Democrats seem to feel it would be demeaning to talk to people as though they were mentally retarded children. Republicans understand that people WANT to be talked to as though they were mentally retarded children. Most people find that reassuring. Democrats present themselves as intelligent, caring adults, while Republicans act like "Daddy." The more we laugh at them and their (intentionally) stupid ideas, the more the majority of people warm up to them and turn their feeble minds off.

  •  Over the wall. Quickly. (0+ / 0-)

    Or we're doomed!

    "Can you hear the grasshopper at your feet?" -Master Po

    by DW Dawg on Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 10:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Wow, a lot of uninformed Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    The partisan numbers are 68% creationism to 30% evolution among Republicans, and 57% evolution to 40% creationism among Democrats.

    40% of Dems are creationists? Jesus, that's scary.

    Question for all the creationists: you fear that the person most dear to you in this world has cancer. Do you take this person first to a place of worship or to a hospital? (Choose one and only one. While you may pray at the hospital, it's not fundamentally a place of worship, and going to church after the hospital is cheating.) At the hospital, your dear one is likely to be given medication developed based on evolutionary principles.

    Second question for creationists: have you ever looked at a DNA sequence? Which one?

    •  Republican evolution picture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrReason

       title=

    •  Here is the truth and the only truth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrReason
    •  this is supposed to be smart? (0+ / 0-)
      1. If I were a "creationist" why should I agree to your rules about what I can do when a loved one has cancer?

      Dr Reason: Your wife has cancer, you can go to church or the doctor, going to both would be cheating.

      Creationist:  Bite me, have me arrested. In the meantime I've gotta get to the Hospital and then to church.

      Dr Reason:  Oh

      1.  WTF is a medicine developed based  on evolutionary principles?

      Would that be, like, primordial stew chemo mix?

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Let me spell it out more clearly. When someone is actually in need of someone else who understands something about the human body, its function and malfunctions, one goes to a hospital, not to a church. That's an implicit acknowledgment (that I'm trying to make explicit) that prayer doesn't cure cancer, for example.

        >  WTF is a medicine developed based  on evolutionary principles? Would that be, like, primordial stew chemo mix?

        No, that would be like many of the drugs everybody ingests. You want to know what gene(s) it targets, how toxic it is, how to modify it rationally so it contacts the target with the right affinity, etc., and you do that with our relatives like yeast and mice.

  •  Can we make the whole country like Kansas? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thereisnospoon, Greasy Grant

    This survey should be shouted from the rooftops.

    This kind of thing drives the last few moderate Republicans I know nuts.

    They're so damned ashamed the Christian Taliban took over their party they've already started calling themselves "independents" or "libertarians."

    This kind of thing will make sure they don't backslide and go back to the Republicans next year.

  •  I assume in 1982 that DEM creationists were highe (0+ / 0-)

    than today.  That wasn't indicated in that article.  In 1982, the DixieCrats were still in the middle of their complete transition to the Republican party.  That transition is now complete.

  •  There go the oil and pharmaceutical industries (0+ / 0-)

    Oil companies rely on geologists expert in evolution to successfully drill for oil. If, the far right imposed its anti-evolution ideas on schools and businesses, geology would become an extinct profession and the oil industry would go bankrupt.  Similarly, the biggest advances in medicine today are derived from DNA studies based on human evolution. So, we could also scratch those new medical treatments for currently incurable diseases.

    Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. ~ Cervantes

    by Deep Harm on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 05:20:27 AM PDT

  •  Simply magnificent diary (0+ / 0-)

    Bravo!

  •  Conclusion (0+ / 0-)

    Belief in evolution is, at best, adaptively neutral in the context of American society.

    ;)

    Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

    by stillnotking on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 09:24:44 AM PDT

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