Friday, January 03, 2014

2013 was NOT a good year for Evolution.

Courtesy of The Daily Beast: 

Never mind the increasing evidence—64 percent of white evangelical Protestants reject the science, and professors at Christian colleges are attacked if word gets out they teach it. 

Evolution did not fare well in 2013. The year ended with the anti-evolution book Darwin’s Doubt as Amazon’s top seller in the “Paleontology” category. The state of Texas spent much of the year trying to keep the country’s most respected high school biology text out of its public schools. And leading anti-evolutionist and Creation Museum curator Ken Ham made his annual announcement that the “final nail” had been pounded into the coffin of poor Darwin’s beleaguered theory of evolution. 

Americans entered 2013 more opposed to evolution than they have been for years, with an amazing 46 percent embracing the notion that “God created humans pretty much in their present form at one time in the last 10,000 years or so.” This number was up a full 6 percent from the prior poll taken in 2010. According to a December 2013 Pew poll, among white evangelical Protestants, a demographic that includes many Republican members of Congress and governors, almost 64 percent reject the idea that humans have evolved. 

The connection between acceptance of evolution and political affiliation has grown stronger over the past three years, exacerbating the polarization now plaguing Congress. Among Democrats, acceptance of evolution increased by 3 percent, to 67 percent, while among Republicans it decreased from 54 percent to 43 percent. 

The trajectory is not encouraging, especially as it runs in parallel with a steady increase in the evidence for evolution—evidence now piled so high that not even one evolutionary biologist at any of America’s research universities rejects the theory. Evolution is as widely accepted in biology departments as gravity is in physics departments. 

So how is it that 64 percent of America’s “white evangelical evangelical Protestants,” an unusually powerful and wealthy demographic, remains so strongly opposed to evolution?

Well that is pretty simple actually, because they are taught to believe rather than to think. 

Because they are a wealthy and powerful demographic they are targeted by the Republicans and Religious Right to keep them as undereducated as possible. After all wasn't it Sarah Palin who eschewed the virtues of a college education and suggested a trade school for young people instead?

You know, like beauty school for instance.

And when they are not attacking educators living in "ivory towers" they are going after anybody who is living their lives directed by logic rather than faith.

"How will you know how to solve your problems if you do not reach out to God for guidance?"

I don't know, perhaps by educating yourself and learning how to deal with complications that may arise in your life? Just crazy enough to work.

But the Religious Right realizes that time is not on their side. Not with Google providing immediate access to information about virtually any question that one could ask, and with science making incredible discoveries on a daily basis.

Soon there will come a day when nobody will feel the need to rely on faith to provide answers, nor religious affiliations to provide a sense of community. Instead we will all be connected by the technology that mankind created to facilitate a global community, and have our needs met, in a far more satisfying way, via logic and science.

And nothing frightens those who make a living spreading ignorance, and fear, and divisiveness more than realizing their days are numbered.

If Creationism shows up at all in a science textbook then this is the only acceptable way for it to be included.  

 I could live with this.


  1. It was a good racket while it lasted.

    Religion, done correctly, can give the incurious peace of mind, moral instruction and physical community, but the big bucks might not be there in the future. The blue-collar, the backbone, doesn’t make much money anymore. I was genuinely afraid of America becoming a theocracy, for a long time now, but I can’t see it happening with such a weak backbone. Sorry, Sarah, you don’t get to bring on the Apocalypse.

  2. Ailsa5:13 AM

    Strangely I was reading a review of Darwin's Doubt last night. An excerpt -

    "Another common tactic of creationists is credential mongering. They love to flaunt their Ph.D.’s on their book covers, giving the uninitiated the impression that they are all-purpose experts in every topic. As anyone who has earned a Ph.D. knows, the opposite is true: the doctoral degree forces you to focus on one narrow research problem for a long time, so you tend to lose your breadth of training in other sciences. Nevertheless, they flaunt their doctorates in hydrology or biochemistry, then talk about paleontology or geochronology, subjects they have zero qualification to discuss. Their Ph.D. is only relevant in the field where they have specialized training.[…]

    Stephen Meyer’s first demonstration of these biases was his atrociously incompetent book Signature in the Cell (2009, HarperOne), which was universally lambasted by molecular biologists as an amateurish effort by someone with no firsthand training or research experience in molecular biology. (Meyer’s Ph.D. is in history of science, and his undergrad degree is in geophysics, which give him absolutely no background to talk about molecular evolution). Undaunted by this debacle, Meyer now blunders into another field in which he has no research experience or advanced training: my own profession, paleontology. I can now report that he’s just as incompetent in my field as he was in molecular biology. Almost every page of this book is riddled by errors of fact or interpretation that could only result from someone writing in a subject way over his head, abetted by the creationist tendency to pluck facts out of context and get their meaning completely backwards. But as one of the few people in the entire creationist movement who has actually taken a few geology classes (but apparently no paleontology classes), he is their “expert” in this area, and is happy to mislead the creationist audience that knows no science at all
    with his slick but completely false understanding of the subject."

    It's beyond annoying that these books even get published.

    1. Anonymous8:45 AM

      Awesome excerpt...thanks... I heard about this issue with Meyer on Seth Andrews "The Thinking Atheist" podcast....

  3. Anonymous5:25 AM

    One visit to the pee puddle will confirm that, yes, evolution took a mighty hit in '13.

    1. Balzafiar6:17 AM

      Their existence serves to prove that primitive societies still exist in the backwaters of our country.

      Past experience has shown that the best course of action is to observe and not interfere because when presented with modern concepts which counters their misguided and deeply ingrained beliefs, these pockets of primitive people often tend to react in unexpected and sometimes bizarre ways.

      There really is very little hope that exposure to more civilized society would ever change them due to inbreeding. It may well be that their beliefs will change in time but that may require another century or two. If not, they may eventually just die out.

  4. FOSSIL…..


    1. Anonymous6:33 AM

      No, no, no, no...God planted those fossils as a way to test the faith of Christians, dontchaknow.

  5. Chenagrrl6:51 AM

    If you were the Great Designer why would you not include evolution to protect your design?

  6. Anonymous8:25 AM

    U.S. Losing Its Global Dominance In Science

  7. Beldar Cheeta Conehead8:39 AM

    Gryphen, if that's really your name, which the latest scientific evidence suggests it is not, you couldnt be more wronger if you tried.

    First of all, they call it the THEORY of evolution because no one really knows. A theory is another way of saying "we took a wild guess and we're probably wrong".

    Second, the Bible is VERY clear about this. It is written in the Book of Eclampsians:

    "Guess not, lest ye who guess be guessed upon more or less.".
    Ecls, 20:14

    Does it get any clearer than THAT?

    Man did NOT evolve from monkeys. Are any of YOUR relatives monkeys????? None of mine is!! (Although, now that you mention it, my great uncle Bonzo did have a rather simian countenance and a bad habit of hurling feces about his living quarters but we just figured he had anger control issues...)

    So, let's stop wasting time on this settled debate. The world's most distinguished Bible scientists have proven beyond any doubt that it's turtles ALL the way down!

  8. Anonymous9:10 AM

    And it looks like 2014 isn't shaping up any better!

    South Carolina Violates the Constitution With Plan For Mandatory Prayer In Public Schools

    ...As the new year is getting underway, there is a renewed push to force prayer into South Carolina public schools after the bill languished in the Judiciary committee due to its mandated teacher-directed prayers being ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.

    The Supreme Court Joins The Right Wing Attempt to Replace the Constitution With the Bible

    ...On New Years’ eve the Supreme Court took another step towards replacing the U.S. Constitution with the Christian bible when it exempted groups affiliated with the Catholic religion from complying with the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The groups, none of them churches, complained the mandate violated their religious freedom to withhold prescriptions from their employees despite it was no financial burden on the organizations. Their contention is that Catholic organizations were being forced to “abandon their religious convictions and facilitate access to contraceptives, sterilization, and related education and counseling for their employees.” The mandate does not force leaders of the Catholic organizations, or their employees, to use contraception, or be sterilized, or accept family planning counseling; it left that choice up to each individual according to the Constitution.

    Bryan Fischer Rejects Constitution – Says Evolutionists Disqualified from Political Office

    Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s Director of Issues Analysis who doesn’t understand much about the issues, has, in a less than happy New Year’s message, made it clear what he thinks about the United States Constitution and its Article VI regarding religious tests.

    While Article VI of the Constitution says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” Fischer, whose buddy David Barton has previously insisted the Founding Fathers “settled the evolution debate,” proclaimed Thursday that people who believe in evolution are “disqualified from holding political office in the United States of America.”

    Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:

  9. Anonymous10:53 AM

    sounds like the relig ethos is no diff than the rw bleating
    about being dependent on gubermint.
    why cant they learn to take care of their lives without
    being totally Dependent on someone else and some
    possible 'gift' they would receive.
    god has made them dependent not 'rugged individuals'.

  10. Anita Winecooler5:50 PM

    One observation I've seen is that the folks who go right wing and belong to strict denominations in religion seem to have chaotic interiors and crave the structure, rules and promises of rewards in some kind of afterlife. The more chaotic their interior lives are, the more stricter rules and religious denominations they choose.
    With the GOP'S acceptance of the rwnj's it's almost like the two have melded. If the GOP hasn't accepted it, then their silence shows complicity.


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