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Please Return To Your Kindergarten Class

Utterly depressing.

A peek above our garters to James Hrynyshyn of The Island of Doubt for bringing this survey to our attention.

Creationism Poll

I’m not even sure what to say about this.  There is simply no kind way to tell you that if you fall anywhere but in the 11% bracket, you should be immediately remanded to Kindergarten Science Class.  I might be inclined to pardon the 14% of people who answered where the blue line is, as long as “intelligent design” is not capitalized.

General theism of that sort is possible, but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of the people who answered that way were speaking of “Intelligent Design”, the hoax perpetrated by William Dembski, Michael Behe, and the other Discovery Institute folks as a way of circumventing  the first amendment and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard.

That hoax was plainly illegal, it was based on pretend science dressed up in sciency sounding language, consisted of poor theology, and was at its heart deliberately deceptive and pernicious – right up until the D.I. folks got their ass handed to them in Dover, Pennsylvania in December 2005.

At its most generous, this survey indicates that 75% of America is just pig ignorant.

Utterly depressing.

Filed under: Biology, Education, Fundies, Rants, Religion, Science

9 Responses

  1. adam says:

    wait, so the agnostics have to go back to kindergarden too? accepting the scientific facts of evolution in no way demands that you accept evolution as an sans-theist origin myth.

  2. JanieBelle says:

    Heh. I was a bit annoyed at the time I wrote that, and was (perhaps) a bit more vehement than I should have been.

    Theologically agnostic I have no issue with. Theologically, I consider myself a theist, to be perfectly honest.

    Agnostic regarding evolution is another matter entirely.

  3. JanieBelle says:

    Ok, let me clarify so there is no confusion (hopefully).

    This survey didn’t specifically address theism, but rather origins of man. In light of that, here are the results:

    53% of Americans believe a fairy tale akin to Grimm’s fairy tales despite all the evidence that their belief has no relation to reality.

    6% of Americans believe a fairy tale, but aren’t even clear on the details of that fairy tale.

    (I’ll come back to the 14% category in a sec)

    11% of Americans accept the reality of evolution, and need no supernatural explanations for it.

    16% of Americans don’t know whether or not evolution happened, which means they also should have failed the most basic of science lessons – remember that this is not a survey about theism, but basic science.

    Now about that 14%…

    Some of those who accept evolution + “intelligent designer” may indeed simply be theistic evolutionists. “God/Allah/The FSM/some supernatural power/space aliens may have set it up and let it progress using evolution over billions of years” still falls within observed reality plus some conjecture. I have no issue with these folks. In fact, this is probably where I fall.

    However, given the appropriation of the phrase “intelligent designer” by the “Intelligent Designer” folks, I have to believe that many (if not most) of the folks who answered this way are doing so in light of the disingenuous “Intelligent Design” movement. These folks I most certainly do have an issue with, as they are deliberately deceptive theocrats, every one.

  4. sunburntkamel says:

    i’m agnostic in the sense that i oppose theorizing about origin, afterlife, and the supernatural. evolution as a process that informs the world we live in is eminently provable, and denying it is inane. theorizing about what happened in the eons preceding the fossil record is equally foolhardy. being sure of something in the lack of evidence reduces your ability to learn. so i’m happy to be part of the 16% of americans who don’t take anything on faith.

    i think i agree with you about the 14%, though. if it weren’t such a buzzword, there wouldn’t be reason to doubt them.

  5. JanieBelle says:

    Hi Sunburntkamel,

    Geez, I’ve really stepped in it.

    🙂

    I think maybe I’m reading more (or less, perhaps) into the 16% answer than you have.

    Given the wording of the other choices, the “Not Sure” answer would seem to indicate “I’m undecided as to whether evolution happened or if the Bible is accurate”, rather than “I’m not exactly sure of the details of the evolutionary processes preceding fossilization evidence currently in our possession.”

    Perhaps I’m just a glass-is-half-empty kinda girl on this one?

    🙂

  6. max says:

    Science is hardly exact. Essentially how it works is, someone comes up with a theory. If no one can prove that theory wrong, it is accepted as the working theory. For the next hundred or so years, it remains the theory, until someone can a, prove it wrong, and b, supplant it with a working theory no one can prove wrong. It is not enough to just come up with another theory no one can prove wrong, either, it has to be a theory no one can prove wrong while at the same time disproving the traditional theory.

    That means, to be the ruling theory, you do not have to be right, you just have to be the oldest theory and no one can be clever enough to prove you wrong.

    Religion is similar in nature. As long as no one can prove it wrong, it does not have to be right. Just unassailable by fact.

    The two actually have a good deal in common, looked at in the abstract. Which maybe explains why they are often at odds with each other. Each is, to a certain extent, superstition and a less than objective perspective on the world.

    Do I buy into the right wing Christian creationism theories? No.

    Do I buy into the scientific commuity’s evolutionary model? No. Because it is not yet solid enough and does not yet encompass enough known science to be an exact model for me.

    There is something in there that is accurate but to me it is like a half truth — too many discoveries are not accounted for and will not be accounted for because science moves slowly and no one has assaulted the bastions of “scientific fact” that are clearly inaccurte.

    So. I do not think either model is accurate.

    I could be wrong.

  7. […] religious blathering in my wordpress install. In the interest of disclosure, I am agnostic. I find the discussion of origin myths, god, or the afterlife to be primitive and […]

  8. JanieBelle says:

    While you’re absolutely correct that science isn’t exactly exact Max, the evidence for the current form of the Theory of Evolution is extremely well supported.

    While exact mechanisms aren’t always known precisely, the fact is that evolution has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.

    The minute details are still up for discussion, but the overarching principal and general frame work are backed up by fossils, genetics, lab experiments, stratigraphy, and in every science field that touches on it.

    That doesn’t preclude there being some intelligent entity having set it in motion, but if there is such an entity, it is a fact that science pretty much knows how it went about it.

    I’m horribly upset that this isn’t explained in detail in our failing educational system.

    And don’t even get me started on Language Arts education in America…

    🙂

    Maybe I’ll do a big ol’ post on evolutionary science soon.

  9. […] religious blathering in my wordpress install. In the interest of disclosure, I am agnostic. I find the discussion of origin myths, god, or the afterlife to be primitive and […]

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