Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Bunch of Monkeys

Here is a highlight from Times article on a recent survey about creationism and evolution:

"The poll found that 42 percent of respondents held strict creationist views, agreeing that "living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

In contrast, 48 percent said they believed that humans had evolved over time. But of those, 18 percent said that evolution was "guided by a supreme being," and 26 percent said that evolution occurred through natural selection. In all, 64 percent said they were open to the idea of teaching creationism in addition to evolution, while 38 percent favored replacing evolution with creationism."

I found the first number absolutely staggering. As far as I can tell the last major academic proponent of this idea was this guy Agassiz who helped found Harvard's version of the Sheffield Scientific school some time around the Civil War. Basically he lost out to those who practiced what we now recognize to be methodologically sound science. The thing that I can't believe is the gap that currently exists between scientists and the general public. I'd stake a fair bet that 98% of all scientists and 100% of all non-crackpot types believe that the evidence is overwhelming that evolution has occurred. 42% is out of hand.


2 Comments:

Blogger Vergasy said...

I'm always skeptical of polls that show large numbers of people believe stupid things. I'd want to know more about the methodology and questions, but I don't feel like reading the article right now.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Beer Party Beach said...

I believe it. I think the human aninmal is fundamentally incapable of rational thought.

12:41 PM  

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