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

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 can be seen here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Kansas Election Results

From the Kansas Secretary of State:

Janet Waugh beat Jesse Hall 63% to 37%. Hall was pro-ID (see here and here.

John Bacon beat Harry McDonald 49% to 40%. Bacon is one of the pro-ID members of the school board who adopted the ID standards.

Sally Cauble beat Connie Morris 54% to 46%. Morris was also one of the pro-ID members of the school board.

Ken Willard beat Donna Viola 54 to 37%. Willard was one of the pro-ID members of the board.

Jana Shaver beat Brad Patzer 58% to 43%. Patzer is the son-in-law of Iris Van Meter. Van Meter was one of the pro-ID members of the board. She was not running for reelection.

So, of the five seats three were won by pro-science candidates. The ID standards were adopted by a vote of 6-4. The six were John Bacon, Connie Morris, Kathy Martin, Kenneth Willard, Iris Van Meter, and Steve Abrams. The four who voted against the pro-ID standards were Janet Waugh, Sue Gamble, Bill Wagnon, and Carol Rupe. Since Morris and Patzer won't be on the board that presumably would make the vote 4-6 in favor of the pro-ID standards.

As Nick Matzke points out this is the latest in a long string of defeats for the ID movement.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


My nerd score

I am nerdier than 95% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

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