Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Polls, Evolution, and Stupid Americans


I work with a man from Sweden obsessed with and apalled by Americans' belief in creationism. Every so often, he sends out a statement of disbelief, along with a link to polls concerning Americans and evolution: http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm.

According to the Harris poll, roughly half of people believe humans and apes had a common ancestor, that fossil evidence supports evolution, and that other plants and animals evolved. The same poll also says that 64% of people believe God created humans in their current form, so some people both believe humans and apes had a common ancestor and that God created humans without evolution.

Does expressed belief in creationism indicate an anti-science attitude? Only a third of people believed that religion and science conflict with each other. Most people, including me, have a deeply rooted belief that humans are special and distinct from other animals, so it is difficult to accept evolution on an emotional or instinctual level. If the scientific community can support its viewpoint that creationism differs from a scientific theory and should be left out of science curriculums, we will gain more ground than by belittling people's religious belief and feeling incredulous that religious people exist. Let's support the teaching of evolution without comment on religion.

6 comments:

AlegraMarcel said...

But what do you do when people demand creationism is taught alongside science (evolution)?

It gets tricky because at that point, saying "no" would like be seen as disregarding (or worse) to those proposing the co-teaching.

I think the bigger problem is that religion (especially modern day so-called "conservative" Christianity) is taught as black or white: you're either with us or against us. We should teach "religions of the world" to encourage compassion and acceptance and tolerance.

sciencebird said...

Creationism isn't a scientific theory, and our schools should endorse separation of church and state. I think the mistake is, some scientists want to say to to creationism, and no to religion in the same breathe.

GSA said...

But I do believe that belief in creationism just goes to show that one doesn't trust science. Believing a sacred text instead of scientific literature does indicate one's opposition to science in some sense.

sciencebird said...

It does indicate some oposition, but I don't know if evolution vs. creationism is a good indicator of opposition to science.

For example, if you scroll down on the polls, 2/3 of people are pro stem cell research, and think Bush is handling this badly. Also, the same (aobut 15%) people answered yes to both, did God create humans in their current form, and did plants and other animals evolve. So those people may not be opposed to science, they may feel that their religion is being attacked, or they may not trust science on a limited set of issues they haven't thought about deeply.

Bird of Paradise said...

National Geographic has again reprinyed ERNEST HYNKLES phonie embryos which have been proven fakes and the test books of today still show these fake embyos

Anonymous said...

http://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/

This offered lots of (extra) evidence in favor of evolution. Fossil evidence is still big, but DNA coding is becoming undeniable.

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/137/religion-god-theology/human-chromosome-2-a-545752/?highlight=chromosome+2

The fused human chromosome 2, why we have 2 fewer chromosomes (1 less pair) than other primates.
Evolution is a fact, so teach it.