Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I was listening to NPR this morning, and heard a statistic that just made my jaw drop.

50% of Americans don’t believe in evolution, and another 14% have doubts about it, as it pertains to humans.


I was flabbergasted. I called Mr. Bean on the phone and started ranting.

“They can’t be serious about this! This has to be some incredibly biased poll! How did I miss this particular tidbit.”

“You were probably out back, planting Kale or something. You live in a nation of Christians. What do you expect?”

“Well, hell! I’m Christian, but I’m not brain dead! I can read a book as well as the next person.”

“Ah, my darling. The problem is that they’re all reading a different book than you. Besides, you’ve undoubtedly been paying attention to all that pesky fossil evidence that God left lying around on the Earth in order to test your faith.”

I have, of the last several years, believed with all my heart and soul that the forces calling for “Intelligent Design” to be taught in school were some small minority of the woefully uninformed. It seems that the woefully uninformed are, indeed, more likely to believe in creationism. Among those who have less than a high school education, more than 75% believe that we all were plopped down here, in our current form (along with all the animals and trees and bugs and whatnot) less than 10,000 years ago. Like God had one of those big Colorforms sets and said “Ooo! Let’s put the people here, next to the Wildebeests.” The numbers are reversed for folks who have attended some graduate school. They’re also reversed for basically every country in Europe, at all education levels.

But 50%???? Good gravy! Are we, as a people, that narcissistic to think that we’re the ultimate creation in the Universe??

Mr. Bean laughed. “They’re out there. They’re electing our representatives. They’re petitioning our school boards.”

Right after the Rush Limbaugh show is over, no doubt.

Seriously, I don’t know what to say.


bhd said...

My neighbor and I were showing our age and lamenting the fact that today's youth don't seem to be picking up life skills, in particular, critical thinking skills. A 20-year-old who doesn't know how to address an envelope, for instance (my niece) and also can't figure out that simply picking up a piece of mail could teach her that skill. It's a huge wtf moment for me. Scary.

winter said...

People believe what they want to believe. They pick and choose facts like groceries.

Lisse said...

At one point some 70+% of Americans surveyed believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. It's not just the ignorance, it's the willful ignorance that scares me.

Beanie said...

Well, and you're right. It's the WILLful ignorance. If it's not the Hand of God, then we might just have some influence over it. And therefore some responsibility for stewardship. Can't have that. Nope. That would be bad.

Ms. Creek said...

well...unfortnately i am one of those who was brought up in a home where evolution is of the devil (disney was controversal because he believed in evolution) etc etc so when it come time in college to learn...i closed down...since then, i've married someone who has gently taught me better and oh i long for those college i could go back and LEARN!
I also heard on NPR that America is the only place where Evolution is is accepted as fact in the UK and elsewhere....

Beanie said...

Ms. Creek,

My husband tells tales of nearly 10% of the students in his Biology 110 class, who literally walked out of the room during the lessons on evolution.

I want to take their parents to task. Instilling "beliefs" without exposing children to dissenting evidence and views insults the intelligence of those children and undermines their ability to think critically. It's OK to reject a theory or a line of reasoning once you understand it; but to simply plug up one's ears and go "lalala" is self-diminishing.

And what a treat, to have new things to learn throughout life!

Ms. Creek said...

well, that's my sentiments, exactly, beanie. you wanna come give a lecture at my next family reunion? lol