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The GOP & The Middle Ages: A World View

Monday, January 18, 2010

A couple of years ago a CBS News poll on evolution had a startling revelation: only 30% of registered Republicans believed in evolution. That’s 30%. Registered Democrats don’t get off so easy either where 57% actually believe in evolution that still leaves 40% who do not. That’s still 4 out of ten registered Democrats. Independents were at 61% yes to 37% no. Let me assure you the rest of the western world has moved on from this argument and overwhelmingly embrace Darwinian science. This includes an astounding 85-90% of Chinese.

What prompted this post was Digby’s piece over at Hullabaloo citing FDL’s Blue Texan discussion of Scott Brown’s anti evolution stance in the Massachusetts Senate Race. Back in 2005 Digby wrote a piece about how the GOP was being held hostage by the rank and files’ European Middle Ages’ world view of a literal theological doctrinaire belief of the book of Genesis and its creationists story:

“[…] Ben Adler asked a bunch of leading conservative intellectuals whether they believed in evolution. As far as I can tell only about half of them have any intellectual integritywhatsoever, and only one is definitively honest in my opinion: Charles Krauthamer, if you can believe that. Richard Brookheiser and William F Buckley get honorable mentions.Remember, these are highly educated people. The problem is not that they may believe in God or have a religious view of the origins of the universe. That is quite easily explained. It's the weaselly, mushy way they try to divert the question elsewhere or explain what they know is a ridiculous position. It's as if they are all terribly afraid that James Dobson might read TNR and berate them for not having a religiously correct fundamentalist view. William Kristol, as always, is the slickest guy around.

[…]And these are the people who railed against campus political correctness. What do you suppose it's like to be intellectually held hostage by people who you know for a fact are dead wrong on something? It must be excruciating.”

As a World History and A.P. World History high school teacher I will refuse, if I am ever driven by school board or state policy, to offer the sham view of Creationism in the classroom as an explanation with equal weight as that of Darwinian’s hypothesis of natural selection.

One has to wonder why evolution is still denied by such a large body of citizens in light of the Catholic Church’s record on the denial of scientific truth (i.e. Galileo). If one believes in the literal interpretation of Creation in the book of Genesis then one must also deny Galileo’s view of the universe where the Sun is not the center of the universe where the Earth actually revolves around the Sun and not vice versa. I am appalled that a large percentage of the American electorate still wants to hold these Middle Ages’ beliefs at the expense of scientific advancement (i.e. stem cell research). It just doesn’t seem logical to me to accept these other scientific truths while denying others that are based on the same scientific research methods.

This isn’t even the most bothersome thing about this. Let me conclude with a quote from a commenter on Digby’s post about intelligent design:

“I recall years ago reading some statistic about how like 80% of the Chinese believed in evolution like 40% of Americans.

It's probably more like 95/25 these days.

I await the arrival of our Chinese overlords any day now.”

Amen to that warning brother.

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