Friday, August 11, 2006

 

Americans don't accept evolution

In what can be appropriately called a "penetrating glimpse into the obvious," a new study published in the journal Science indicates that Americans' acceptance of evolution is next to last among 34 countries surveyed. The only country in the survey that was less accepting of evolution is Turkey. The other countries consisted of the European countries and Japan.

This result is certainly not surprising, but disappointing nonetheless. Respondents were given the statement "Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals," and asked to respond with one of 3 choices, "true", "false", or "not sure". The bad news is that 40 percent of US respondents answered "true", down from 45% in 1985. The good news is that 39% answered "false", down from 48% in 1985. Simple math will tell you that the unsure percentage went from 7% in 1985 to 21% in this study. For comparison, in Turkey 25% accept evolution, 20% are not sure, and 45% reject it; while in France, 80% accept evolution with "not sure" and "rejection" at around 10% each.

Here is the best copy of the results that I could find (from livescience.com):


Researchers attributed the poor acceptance of evolution among Americans to "poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians." I think they forgot to add that our current president falls within that "small but vocal group." he has openly supported teaching Intelligent Design in schools. Now I'm not one to criticize someone's religious beliefs (being quite religious myself), but I wish more people would understand that accepting evolution does not necessitate rejecting the Bible or God.
The full article at livescience.com can be seen here.

Comments:
Why is that dissapointing?

I would be dissapointed if that many people didn't believe in God, but evolution? What's so dissapointing about that... unless evolution is your religion...

:)
 
I am disappointed because so many American reject a fundamental tenet of science. As I noted in the post and in past posts, belief in God and acceptance of evolution are not mutually exclusive. Those who portray them as exclusive are creating a fals dichotomy that forces people to choose between their belief in God and an acceptance of science.
 
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