Thursday, March 09, 2006

EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESS

Editor and Publisher reports on a recent Gallup poll pertaining to American attitudes toward evolution:

“Gallup: More Than Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Back Bible”

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002154704

The poll itself is unavailable except to subscribers, so we will have to accept E & P’s abstraction at face value…

“A Gallup report released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution theory and scientific evidence, agree with the statement, "God created man exactly how Bible describes it." Another 31% says that man did evolve, but "God guided." Only 12% back evolution and say "God had no part."”

The report goes on to relate the not surprising information that belief in the Biblical account is stronger among Republicans than Democrats, rises with age and declines with educational attainment. Interestingly, more people seem to believe in God than believe God created man. According to a FoxNews poll – admittedly a bit old – 92% of Americans profess a belief in God. From 6/18/2004:

“More Believe In God Than Heaven”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,99945,00.html

An insecure Atheist might lash out at the foregoing, suggesting the Gallup results demonstrate belief in God is inversely proportional to education and directly proportional to senility… And then go on to ask what good it does to poll - on an extremely technical scientific question - a Nation of people who know more about “The Simpsons” than the first amendment…

“Doh! Americans Know 'The Simpsons' Better than First Amendment”

http://www.livescience.com/othernews/ap_060301_first_amendment.html

But I’m not insecure so I won’t…

Seriously, this is a very encouraging result. Consider it: Fully 12% of the poll respondents have managed to overcome the power of the instinct of religion coupled with the power of social conditioning in this still overwhelmingly religious Nation to arrive at the most logical conclusion. 12% put reason ahead of emotion-based belief. That’s progress; especially for a species that has – in fact often still does – commit murder over religious belief.

Man is a primate who is locked in a co-evolutionary loop with his tools. The maker makes the tool; then the tool teaches the maker to make a better tool. The last few hundred years or so our tools have been evolving faster than we have.

Maybe we’re catching up…


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