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Americans Prefer Fantasy To Scientific Literacy

by @ 6:43 am on August 9, 2010. Filed under Evolution vs. ID, Religion, Science

This is just depressing:

When presented with the statement “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals,” just 45 percent of respondents indicated “true.” Compare this figure with the affirmative percentages in Japan (78), Europe (70), China (69) and South Korea (64). Only 33 percent of Americans agreed that “the universe began with a big explosion.”

Consider the results of a 2009 Pew Survey: 31 percent of U.S. adults believe “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” (So much for dogs, horses or H1N1 flu.) The survey’s most enlightening aspect was its categorization of responses by levels of religious activity, which suggests that the most devout are on average least willing to accept the evidence of reality. White evangelical Protestants have the highest denial rate (55 percent), closely followed by the group across all religions who attend services on average at least once a week (49 percent).

Sigh.

6 Responses to “Americans Prefer Fantasy To Scientific Literacy”

  1. What did you expect from a country where people are encouraged to be demon-ridden idiots?

  2. You could look at these survey results differently. At least we know that about fifty percent of Americans are just as ready to accept religious dogma as they are to accept secular dogma provided by our leftist universities, of today.

    I am one of the scientists who believes that the two approaches can indeed be merged to a limited extent, so that one can accept that God really did create heaven and earth, but there is a certain amount of fluidity in the creative process to allow for evolutionary growth due to natural selection and other factors present in the environment. We cannot, for example, rule out the idea that some life forms arrive here via meteorites and become altered by being inside earth’s environment. One can say that these interstellar microbes are both part of the natural evolutionary process, but also you can acknowledge that the creator of these life forms could be God, or at least described as the God, for the sake of simplifying the developmental model you may be trying to use. Examine genetic research and it is obvious that all living things (that we know of) have been engineered using a similar genomic foundation. No random collision of molecules would produce the DNA that we see repeated, over and over in widely dispersed species. Just one example, we share DNA sements with some mold slime, for example (well, at least we know that Republicans do).

    Keep in mind that evolution, in spite of the enormous amount of research that supports it, remains a THEORY, as does the THEORY of the “big bang.” The current astronomical observations that indicate that the rest of the universe is receding away from us, may turn out to be an optical illusion, or part of a greater wave/cyclical movement.

    All we really know is that we could be an insignificant life form at the far reaches of the universe, or we could be the chosen people of God, made in His image, with some very special purpose that has yet to be revealed to us; or we are somewhere in between those explanations. Neither science nor religion has provided a definitive answer, so far, so most of us are not ready to completely reject or accept the pronouncements of either side as the final truth.

  3. Dan says:

    You clearly are not a scientist. A scientist would probably not refer evolution as a “THEORY” because that is a confusion of the colloquial version of “theory” and the scientific definition. You seem to imply that with more information, the theory of evolution may be upgraded to a “fact”. This is not the case. Gravity is also a theory. Your own lack of scientific literacy while actually claiming to be a scientist is another painful example of what this study already shows.

    Also, it’s not as though science and religion are even comparable. One functions via ecclesiastical, infallible proclamations and the other is based on logic, reason, and observation. To say that neither have answered all the questions is absurd.

  4. Let's Be Free says:

    Nice post J. Tyler. The choices aren’t black and white, on or off, yea or nay. And the theory of evolution relies on a roiling sea of untested and untestable inferences. There is no need for smugness and certitude on this issue which is perhaps the most debatable of all imponderables.

  5. Jim says:

    Well I guess its obvious that not only are you not a scientist but that you also in all likelihood have never payed more than a passing attention to the sciences.

    To assume that something which has never been observed and has no supporting evidence what so ever (heaven)is possible simply due to the fact that the DNA we see in life forms of today is so complex that it could not possibly have occured due to natural selection is a supreme example of your ignorance in the field of science. All living organisms share a lot of the same DNA due to the fact that we come from the same original life form and have evolved from there with slight genetic mutations each generation.

    Evolution is not a theory, it is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. The criteria for which involve being subject to conforming to existing EMPIRICAL DATA and scientifically TESTABLE THROUGH EXPERIMENT.

    Science has not provided a definite answer to that question because there is simply not enough data to determine the truth. Religion claims that its dogma is definitive.

  6. I would like to shove my diplomas up the asses of those who, in the face of all of the genomic research completed in recent years, including the mapping of the human genome, still cling to the notion that DNA is NOT proof of intelligent design, or those who claim that people who acknowledge the evidence of this intelligent design are, “not scientists.”

    Disagree all you want, as it is your right. You doubters may claim the earth remains flat, too. However, when someone acknowledges what is certainly intelligent design (as in the case of DNA) this does not mean that we have slammed the door on looking into just where the intelligent design came from. I sense from the two “non-scientist” ranters that they equate any recognition of intelligent design to be someone foisting a religious premise on the discussion, but that is just not the case.

    I am no more prepared to claim that the DNA came from some white-bearded old fellow, than anyone else, but I am willing to acknowledge intelligent design when it shows up in every genome project we have done so far. To claim that the sequences are mere happenstance is probably the most far fetched of all possible conclusions, and least supported by observable facts.

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