Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This is scary....Americans at bottom of list in belief in evolution.

From the Science Magazine Policy Forum note by Miller et al.

"Over the past 20 years, the percentage of U.S. adults accepting the idea of evolution has declined from 45% to 40% and the percentage of adults overtly rejecting evolution declined from 48% to 39%. The percentage of adults who were not sure about evolution increased from 7% in 1985 to 21% in 2005...Regardless of the form of the question, one in three American adults firmly rejects the concept of evolution, a significantly higher proportion than found in any western European country...the structure and beliefs of American fundamentalism historically differ from those of mainstream Protestantism in both the United States and Europe. The biblical literalist focus of fundamentalism in the United States sees Genesis as a true and accurate account of the creation of human life that supersedes any scientific finding or interpretation. In contrast, mainstream Protestant faiths in Europe (and their U.S. counterparts) have viewed Genesis as metaphorical and--like the Catholic Church--have not seen a major contradiction between their faith and the work of Darwin and other scientists...the evolution issue has been politicized and incorporated into the current partisan division in the United States in a manner never seen in Europe or Japan. In the second half of the 20th century, the conservative wing of the Republican Party has adopted creationism as a part of a platform designed to consolidate their support in southern and Midwestern states--the "red" states. In the 1990s, the state Republican platforms in seven states included explicit demands for the teaching of "creation science". There is no major political party in Europe or Japan that uses opposition to evolution as a part of its political platform...The broad public acceptance of the benefits of science and technology in the second half of the 20th century allowed science to develop a nonpartisan identification that largely protected it from overt partisanship. That era appears to have closed."

3 comments:

Christian said...

This doesn't sound scary to me, but shows that there is Hope.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm surprised that Christian would be reading this blog. He apparently has hope that America will become a theocracy? What does he have against the creation myths of other cultures? I envy his divine insight that the evangelical literal biblical protestant christian path is the correct way. I hope he looks forward to the final battles with moslem, catholic and other apostates who worship the same god, not to mention buddhists, hindus, etc. I'm not certain about anything (which strikes me as healthy.)

pam ashlund said...

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm pondering moving to Iceland!
;-)

One thought about the blog title, even framing evolution as a "belief" slants the issue. Afterall, we goofy Americans are so used to having and accepting differing beliefs. But come on, what's there to "believe" about strong science?

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