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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the vorlons-did-it dept.

United States 1010

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that thirty-three percent of Americans reject the idea of evolution and believe that 'humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time' rather than evolving gradually through a process of natural selection, as described by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago. Although this percentage remained steady since 2009, the last time Pew asked the question, there was a growing partisan gap on whether humans evolved. The poll showed 43 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats say humans have evolved over time, compared with 54 percent and 64 percent respectively four years ago. 'The gap is coming from the Republicans, where fewer are now saying that humans have evolved over time,' says Cary Funk. Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants topped the list of those rejecting evolution, with 64 percent of those polled saying they believe humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

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I believe it (5, Funny)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | about 10 months ago | (#45823661)

The average IQ is 100, after all...

Re:I believe it (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45823765)

You know that intelligence (or the lack thereof) is a handy scapegoat for lack of a penchant for the obvious.

Most of the really smart people are aware God and Santa aren't real, but beneath a certain still pretty smart threshold, many seemingly very sharp people believe in a divinity.

It can be so ingrained culturally that you can't sort it out of yourself.

Re:I believe it (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823841)

It can be so ingrained culturally that you can't sort it out of yourself.

The above is a sure sign of both weakness and stupidity.

IQ test results are hardly proof of intelligence or lack thereof.

The ability to THINK is what proves intelligence. A standardized test
merely proves you are the sort of monkey who can be brought into line
with your fellow monkeys.

.

Re:I believe it (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45824085)

No sir, and I am aware a lady can be a coward... it's just that I assume you surrender your rights to gender cruising in your anonymity.

A 'sure sign' is an absolute, and thus, statistically unlikely.

Tests that measure isolated skills, IQ for brains & track for athleticism, are certainly relevant for at least part of the total grade.

The ability to troll proves you've arrived where you are with a damaged psyche.

I am sorry about your bad luck.

Re:I believe it (2, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45823995)

Most of the really smart people are aware God ... [isn't] real

Do you have a cite for your assertion that most "really smart people" are atheists?

Re:I believe it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824025)

it's self-evident. if you believe in unprovable things your brain is defective.

Re: I believe it (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 10 months ago | (#45824097)

Or perhaps they can sort it out just fine, but choose not to. It seems a lot of people are strongly vested in these partisan culture wars, and will answer surveys accordingly, even if it conflicts with their private beliefs.

Re:I believe it (1)

linatux (63153) | about 10 months ago | (#45823791)

Average IQ of Republicans vs Democrats?
Average IQ of believers vs non-believers?

Will I get to toast my marshmellows over the embers?

Re:I believe it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823975)

Didn't they state in the poll that the average IQ of a religious Republican dropped from 54 to 43?

Re: I believe it (5, Insightful)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 10 months ago | (#45824021)

Obviously both Democrats and Republicans are devolving at an alarming rate.

Re:I believe it (4, Interesting)

savuporo (658486) | about 10 months ago | (#45823901)

Look, if you have been denied the opportunity to participate in evolution, wouldnt you lose a bit of faith there, too ?

There is this great documentary [rottentomatoes.com] about this part of the population.

Re:I believe it (1)

careysb (566113) | about 10 months ago | (#45823961)

This is a sad reflection on our education system. Unfortunately we are a country of many education systems and they are extremely localized and the locals have gotten what they've asked for.

And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1, Insightful)

jwkane (180726) | about 10 months ago | (#45823667)

Is anyone actually surprised by these poll results?

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (5, Insightful)

Ragzouken (943900) | about 10 months ago | (#45823683)

yes - a third of the american population don't have a basic science education

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 10 months ago | (#45823769)

They should. It's taught in grade school.

Of course, there are "teachers" who prefer to believe the mythology over facts, who will blatantly lie and teach the mythology until they're eventually caught. It's hard to get caught doing it, if everyone in the area accepts it as fact. {sigh}

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (5, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | about 10 months ago | (#45823817)

Many people reject science and education in general. Make no mistake about that.

I had the misfortune of attending school with such trash (until rescued by boarding school), and rejecting science was the least of their problems. Such folk are why schools are Hellmouths. They are stupid, base and want to stay that way.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1)

fishb0ne (1190195) | about 10 months ago | (#45823833)

Out of that third, some do have that science education and reject it anyway in favor of various delusional world views.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 10 months ago | (#45823865)

33% of the population are age 50 and over, where a significant portion had to suffer through "new math" and "bauma reading" during their school years, rather than actual math and phonics.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45823971)

had to suffer through "new math"

That's me, but as dumb as new math was, it had no long term effect on my math ability or knowledge.

"bauma reading"

Ok, I'll bite. What's "bauma reading"? Oddly, both I and the vast majority of people my age are literate.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#45823943)

Actually, I thought it would be higher than that, somewhere around 50% don't believe in evolution.

Although honestly I find the wording somewhat awkward, if someone asked me if I believed in evolution I would probably glare at them. Believe? I certainly find the evidence supporting that theory convincing, but what does it have to do with belief?

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1, Redundant)

Xolotl (675282) | about 10 months ago | (#45824069)

Exactly. "Belief" has nothing to do with it.

Re: And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824075)

That's just obnoxious. An acceptable [word.com] and frequently used definition for belief is "something one considers to be true", which does not in any way require faith.

If you want to say "I consider it to be true given the weight of the evidence" every time a normal English speaker would simply say "I believe it", go ahead. Just don't presume to correct people who use the correct word.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823959)

I sort of wonder what the science books should say, according to slashdotters.

"Though we have no observable evidence, and every single possible paleontological find manages to fly in the face of its hypotheses, the matter is 100% settled that humans descended from Neanderthals... wait, no, we were contemporaries with them, but not DESCENDED FROM THEM (ridiculous), except maybe some of us, or something, like halfbloods, but we were descended from chimps? No... they're current contemporaries, but we share a common ancestry that dates back to a tailed monkey! Until the next find that places us squarely back to having a common ancestry dating to carnivorous plants, or something. Anyways, because you don't have to go to Sunday School if there is no God, the science is settled! Any critical questions must be answered with condescension, ad hominem attacks, and canned responses from philosophers that call themselves scientists. If anyone disagrees with you, it is because they are stupider than you. Oh, and please don't ask why dinosaurs took a hundred million years to evolve and humans managed to do it in like... 60,000 years. You're stupid to ask a question like that. You obviously don't understand evolution as well as I do if you have to ask a question like that. It has to do with heat and competition and.... life expectancies and that stuff. Also don't ask about idioglossia, any questions about human sexuality, or our naturally-superfluous knowledge capacity, because that will only expose your own ignorance holes. For any further questions, please refer to the fiction section where a writer named 'Dawkins' cashes in on telling you how smart his readers are and how stupid everyone else is, without resorting to basic manipulation patterns."

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824061)

yes - a third of the american population don't have a basic science education

If it was only about education. Unfortunately it isn't about the extreme religious types being ignorant. They know about evolution, the debates have been made, the evidence has been brought fourth and the facts presented time and time again. But it is not the answer they want.

I have on two separate occasions debated with close relatives about religion and evolution and after coaxing the same answer from them both it is clear that they and other like minds embrace a delusion. They wanted answers to two questions that they absolutely felt must have answers. Questions about where we go when we die and why we were put on Earth in the first place. Not only did they need, and I mean absolutely need these answers, but they had to be good; like their is a heaven, and life has a divine purpose and a plan and its all sunshine and butterflies. They wouldn't even allow the conception that other possibilities could exist because that would shake the sanctity of the delusion that they embraced. To them if their was not heaven or divine purpose and god didn't lay everything out in this nice little plan for us then their was no meaning or purpose and what's the point. ....And this was not something I came to the conclusion by analyzing what was said to me from those arguments with family members. Those were literal statements, not the exact wording, but the idea was the same. So they willingly embrace a delusion and want, and I do mean want, to kill any facts, evidence or arguments that challenge their worldview. They would rather embrace a fantasy and believe they can make it real by closing their eyes and clicking their heels.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1)

Rhacman (1528815) | about 10 months ago | (#45824071)

School just teaches you what you need to memorize and later regurgitate on the paper to get credit. The after-school religious education programs are what teach you what you need to believe lest you disappoint friends, family, and community.

Been down that road, it just didn't click. On the plus side it sounds like the new Pope is letting everyone into Heaven these days so you don't really need to hedge your bets any more.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823835)

As an American, I'm surprised it's not higher.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (3, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 10 months ago | (#45823837)

Is anyone actually surprised by these poll results?

If by that you mean, mathematically, how 33% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans could be one third of a total number of polling participants unless no Republicans were selected....

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 10 months ago | (#45823885)

nice catch

wish I could +1

Re: And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824123)

A lot of people are not democrats neither republican. Stop thinking in binary terms.

Re:And this is somehow supposed to be a surprise? (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | about 10 months ago | (#45824073)

"Is anyone actually surprised by these poll results?"

From the top line that so few Americans are scientifically literate with respect to evolution, no. We're always near the bottom when industrialized nations are ranked by understanding evolution. What surprised and encouraged me is how much better it's getting. The poll broke out the demographics and there is a strong age bias:
age______% believe humans (animals) evolved
65+______49 (50)
50-64_____59 (62)
30-49_____60 (64)
18-29_____68 (73)

Political? Shouldn't Be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823699)

Why frame this as a political debate, unless they're just trying to muddy the waters.

This is an education issue, not a Republican/Democrat issue.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#45823731)

It's not a political debate so much as a statement of fact based on the poll results. And if you've paid the slightest attention to American politics over the past few decades, this shouldn't be a surprise.

Re: Political? Shouldn't Be (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823759)

There is a statistically significant difference between Republicans and Democrats on this issue. That's just the reality of it.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 10 months ago | (#45823801)

And I say this with a heavy heart, but the difference does matter. It shows a continuing split between left and right and the loss of center ground. I could probably find some poll where Democrats displayed a great ignorance, but I think this graph does a better job. A wee bit off topic, but I think it does illustrate the point.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 10 months ago | (#45823839)

Exactly. I would blame the failing public education system more than anything else.

Party affiliations come and go. It wasn't that long ago (in the grand scheme of things) that religious zealots were largely Democrats. Sometime in the 50s - 60s the allegiance shifted.

Another likely factor is the lowering of IQ. If societal conditions are such that people of low intelligence breed a lot more than those with high IQ -- i.e. selective pressure in favor of lower IQ -- what could possibly be the outcome? This btw is the exact opposite of what happened to Ashekani jews during the middle ages.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 10 months ago | (#45823913)

And the opposite of what is happening America. IQ has been rising. Economically successfully families (which for myself implies higher IQs) have more grandchildren.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824049)

Being economically successful often has nothing to do with IQ - it has to do with inheritance.

It's rare to see a boss who knows more than the people who do the actual work.

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45824057)

Another likely factor is the lowering of IQ. If societal conditions are such that people of low intelligence breed a lot more than those with high IQ -- i.e. selective pressure in favor of lower IQ -- what could possibly be the outcome?

Obviously. Failure to enforce proper eugenics policies explains the Flynn effect [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Political? Shouldn't Be (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824005)

Didn't read TFA (sorry) but there *does* seem to be a statistically significant bias toward denying evolution that is far more prevalent in one group of people than in another in a certain category. That the category in question happens to be political beliefs is irrelevant, the bias is still there and therefor merits discussion, even more so when successive polling finds the gap between the two groups widening (not only that, they seem to be heading in opposite directions -- more democrats are now saying they believe in evolution as opposed to more republicans claiming the opposite).

And given the state of US politics over that past few years, the Tea Party movement, the hotter topics in Republican primaries, etc, it *is* interesting to observe.

The study itself, as far as I can tell, isn't political in nature, but you can't deny that some political implications can be made (speculated, inferred, deduced) from the numbers the study provides.

Regardless, I would say that it really scares me (even as a non-US citizen) that in the US of A, more people believe in angels [cbsnews.com] than evolution.

That's okay (5, Funny)

tpstigers (1075021) | about 10 months ago | (#45823709)

33% of monkeys don't believe in it, either.

Re:That's okay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823809)

They're called African Americans you bigot.

Further disconnect from the "GOP". (5, Insightful)

ElementOfDestruction (2024308) | about 10 months ago | (#45823727)

Republicans are such a perverted facsimile of what used to be a very reasonable party. If 6 years of Obama has taught us anything, it's that the empty can gets the grease. USA Politics desperately needs the GOP to fork into two factions - there are enough independents currently voting "D" to jump over to make a center-right candidate feasible. Center-right by US Standards, that is.

Re:Further disconnect from the "GOP". (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823763)

This from someone who probably supports AGW despite every single claim about it that can be shown false has been shown false.

Are we going to have the same type of story in 50 years about AGW and make fun of the DNC? Probably.

Re:Further disconnect from the "GOP". (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823933)

This from someone who probably supports AGW despite every single claim about it that can be shown false has been shown false.

[citation needed]

Re:Further disconnect from the "GOP". (2)

schwit1 (797399) | about 10 months ago | (#45824007)

The Republicans are currently in an upheaval. You've got the corporatists(big banks, conglomerates and security/military industries) on one side that wish to maintain the corporate welfare state and too-big-to-fail conglomerates, and the tea party on the other that wants a federal government that is much smaller, almost libertarian.

Unfortunately the money is with the corportists.The real energy though is with the tea party.

The evolution issue will get fixed with time.

Re:Further disconnect from the "GOP". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824011)

More than likely, a third party will splinter from the GOP, containing disaffected Tea Partiers who think the GOP is too full of moderate squishes (their favorite new word).

A lot of Democrats are disenchanted with Obama, but not because he's too liberal -- it's because he's too corporatist and a lot of privacy erosion has happened on his watch. I don't really see those Dems teaming up with the Tea Partiers, nor do I see the center-right (moderate) Dems doing so. My guess is that the center-right Independents who currently vote Democrat will either sit the next election out or vote for a moderate GOP candidate.

Depends on your definition of the beginning (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | about 10 months ago | (#45823735)

If time started less than 10,000 years ago, then sure, we've existed since the beginning of time. Time periods longer than that are very difficult for people to wrap their heads around.

let us just ignore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823757)

Let us just ignore the apes who believe that they have not evolved from apes.

Makes sense (3, Insightful)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about 10 months ago | (#45823767)

At least 33% of Americans are fucking morons, so why should this be any sort of surprise?

Re:Makes sense (1)

savuporo (658486) | about 10 months ago | (#45823937)

The not so surprise is that these morons tend to increasingly more have a certain political affiliation.

Re:Makes sense (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 10 months ago | (#45824105)

The worst morons are the ones who think they're so far above the great unwashed masses.

Evolved? (1)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 10 months ago | (#45823775)

My position is that I agree with the stated percentage of those polled that they did not evolve from monkeys.

On the whole, monkeys are smarter than they are...

Belief (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823783)

As the article title indicates, it IS a matter of belief; a matter of faith.
Does it take more faith to believe ones existence is the random meaningless act of circumstance or the purpose filled intent of a creator?

Re:Belief (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45823989)

Does it take more faith to believe ones existence is the random meaningless act of circumstance or the purpose filled intent of a creator?

Or both or neither. There are four possible states here.

Re:Belief (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 10 months ago | (#45823993)

Yes, because supposing there's a creator, the obvious question is ``who created that creator, or did they evolve randomly''? I.e. you're back at the start.

Translation = 33% of Americans are ignorant. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823793)

These are the same people that likely believe the Earth is 6,000 years old and that man rode his dinosaur to work. Also same group of people likely to believe that global warming is some sort of liberal scam, or that Dungeons and Dragons will cause people to become evil, Harry Potter is some sort of liberal scam to turn our kids away from God, or that a Prius creates more pollution than a Hummer, etc.

At least the great thing about science... (2, Informative)

thatbloke83 (1529851) | about 10 months ago | (#45823815)

...is that it's true whether or not you believe it.

Re:At least the great thing about science... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823951)

How can science be true if the point is science is to continually question the observations? The very nature of science says, "Maybe, maybe not; I'm going to test it". This should go on ad infinitum, but most of civilization needs to believe something so they can get on with living, producing and caring for the less fortunate.
   

Re:At least the great thing about science... (3, Informative)

fisted (2295862) | about 10 months ago | (#45824031)

No. Science doesn't directly deal with reality, but with models of reality. A theory can perfectly and correctly describe a model, yet it might turn out the model doesn't model reality quite accurately [or not at all].

Well to be fair (1)

koan (80826) | about 10 months ago | (#45823825)

That's only because it doesn't apply to them.

The conclusion may be wrong. (5, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#45823827)

There is a big difference between what someone believes and what someone says they believe. The main cause is needing to belong. Someone may say they believe something to fit into the mold they want even though they actually believe something quite different.

Re: The conclusion may be wrong. (1)

Scowler (667000) | about 10 months ago | (#45823947)

Bingo. Quite a few people are answering surveys by choosing partisan answers, even if those answers conflict with their private beliefs, and even at risk of looking like idiots to the wider world.

Re:The conclusion may be wrong. (5, Interesting)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#45824063)

Not only that, but I would bet you what almost any Republican would answer yes to the following series of questions:

Do you believe that certain traits can be inherited?

Do you believe that traits regarding socio-economic fitness can be inherited?

Do you believe in survival of the fittest?

The first is pretty much a given. The second and third tie into the social darwinism that's common in the Republican platform. And yet the logical conclusion of the three is evolution. Peculiar, isn't it?

The whole thing is just politics. Even the religious stuff is just politics - that first point was scientifically proven by an Augustinian (ie. Catholic) monk. It's only when it got to humans no longer being the special soul-endowed divinely-created masters of the universe that anyone had a problem with it, and you can easily interpret all of scripture in a way that fits with evolution (believe me, as a former Catholic who never had a problem with evolution, there's plenty of ways to rationalize it).

The numbers don't add up (1)

lakeland (218447) | about 10 months ago | (#45823849)

There are roughly an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, so 54/64 to 43/67 means the score should have dropped by 3% rather than remain steady.

Re:The numbers don't add up (1)

paxprobellum (2521464) | about 10 months ago | (#45823955)

Yes, but they don't poll everyone. Margin of error, my friend.

How (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823851)

How could they believe in it if they themselves do not evolve (socially, intellectually or culturally)?

I'm losing faith in science, too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823871)

Academia has become proto-business. Great, high risk, public advances for the sake of advancing human scholarship ("because it is hard") have become small private advances for the sake of profit.

There is so much conflict of interest in the scientific community now - such great piles of useless research, driven by a pressure to publish in quantity rather than quality, and to find something quickly commercially realisable that will find private funding. Many postgrads wouldn't have even been admitted to university three decade ago.

With this backdrop, I can see easily why someone not blinded by the religion of the Invisible Hand and not also cognizant of the sea change in science over the last three decades would not know that it was once possible to trust scientific output, even if it is no longer possible.

white evangelical Protestants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823881)

these are often the wackiest of the wackos.. so, no surprise there, either.

Funny thing... (1)

Livius (318358) | about 10 months ago | (#45823887)

Evolution is the observation - that's the part we know is true because we actually observe it in the fossil record and elsewhere.

Natural selection was the part that was theory.

Re:Funny thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823985)

No, you can observe natural selection any time you watch a predator chasing a herd - the slow (or otherwise disadvantaged) die, the fast are selected to continue breeding.

How is that reduction in higher education funding. (1)

jwestveer (1453691) | about 10 months ago | (#45823889)

How is that reduction in higher education funding working out for you-all.

Re:How is that reduction in higher education fundi (1)

Riddler Sensei (979333) | about 10 months ago | (#45824065)

Kwite wel.

Fools (0)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#45823895)

But how many was it again that voted for Obama?

Good survey (1)

BlazingATrail (3112385) | about 10 months ago | (#45823909)

Therefore 1/3 of US are idiots. Good job!

Re:Good survey (1)

dwater (72834) | about 10 months ago | (#45824121)

...but there are *three* thirds. Best to be explicit about which third, don't you think?

Evolution was not discovered by Darwin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823915)

Darwin was not the first to notice that creatures evolve-it goes at least back to Aristotle. He was however the first to suggest "natural selection".

It's just a theory anyway (3, Funny)

fishb0ne (1190195) | about 10 months ago | (#45823919)

Oh, you mean a SCIENTIFIC theory? Then in that case it's a conspiracy of mass proportion. My god trumps your heathen lies.

Re:It's just a theory anyway (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45823983)

Theories are tested laws which have been peer reviewed.

Somebody didn't take any hard science classes ...

Re:It's just a theory anyway (1)

fishb0ne (1190195) | about 10 months ago | (#45824037)

Exactly my point. There is a distinction between a theory colloquially speaking and a scientific theory. Many opponents of the theory of evolution do not understand or refuse to acknowledge this distinction. My post was a poe.

Re:It's just a theory anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824023)

Can you point to where the scientific theory of human evolution is actually defined?

Go on. Now you have me interested.

i've come to realize... (0)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 10 months ago | (#45823939)

That people who espouse evolution is how human beings came to existence will argue with the same zeal and fervor as those who believe God created humans. I just don't see the point in discoursing the subject with either parties - they are both quite unlikely to change their viewpoints - and even if they do, you don't win anything for your efforts. Honestly, it seems to me that the world would be a better place if people understood that what we believe isn't an indicator of our intelligence, it's what we do with those beliefs that truly matter.

Re:i've come to realize... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45823977)

news flash - nobody believes in "discoursing the subject" except for non-native English speakers.

"We are not Men - We are Devo" (Song of the South)

 

Re:i've come to realize... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45824045)

I just don't see the point in discoursing the subject with either parties - they are both quite unlikely to change their viewpoints - and even if they do, you don't win anything for your efforts.

So what I'm getting is that you talked with some people for a short while and for some reason expected them to change just because they had a conversation. But why should they change their views? It's not healthy just to change opinions and beliefs for change's sake.

Re:i've come to realize... (1)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 10 months ago | (#45824113)

So what I'm getting is that you talked with some people for a short while and for some reason expected them to change just because they had a conversation. But why should they change their views? It's not healthy just to change opinions and beliefs for change's sake.

When it comes to matters of theology, I've found that it's difficult for most people to have a healthy conversation about the subject of evolution. There's always an exception to the normal, but humans are emotional and passionate creatures. You can scroll up and read the comments here for some examples what the conversations usually devolve into.

THEORY of Evolution (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823941)

I think there's something a lot of people are forgetting here. It's called the THEORY of evolution for a reason. It's a scientific THEORY. It is not a fact. Facts are different from theories.

Most scientists BELIEVE that the theory of evolution is accurate. If you're reading this on Slashdot, you are probably one of them.

But notice that word: BELIEVE. Belief is not scientific. It is, I dare say, RELIGIOUS.

Hypocritical much?

The real answer: NOBODY HAS A FUCKING CLUE WHERE HUMANS "COME FROM."

The scientists are as much in the dark as religious idiots.

Re:THEORY of Evolution (2)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45824083)

But notice that word: BELIEVE. Belief is not scientific. It is, I dare say, RELIGIOUS.

Dare! But there is the matter of what is more compatible with the evidence we see. Scientists didn't come to believe in the theory of evolution by happenstance.

Percentages don't add up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823945)

67 percent of Democrats believe in evolution seems to imply that 33 percent don't.
54 percent of Republicans believe in evolution seems to imply that 47 percent don't.

One-third of Americans don't believe in evolution would imply that... 100 percent of Americans are Democrats. Fail.

Now, I suspect there are "other" categories in the survey that could account for the discrepancy, but that was left out TFA. Typical sloppy reporting.

Fairly sure we're seeing Deevolution (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45823957)

At this rate, I expect to see hominids with rudimentary tool skills in the Deep South by the end of 2014.

I don't believe either (1)

ruf10 (961050) | about 10 months ago | (#45823967)

It's proven, so nothing left to believe.

Selective animal breeding is common. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45823969)

I was just thinking about this earlier today, the only thing that needs to be said to people who "don't believe in evolution" is that selective breeding has been proven.

Do these people not believe that it's possible to selectively breed horses, dogs, cats and other domestic animals and livestock?

That's the pessimist's viewpoint. (1)

hey! (33014) | about 10 months ago | (#45823981)

The optimist's viewpoint is that 60% of American's *do* believe in evolution.

New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Belie (1)

rickyslashdot (2870609) | about 10 months ago | (#45824015)

RELIGION vs REASON - BELIEF vs ANY amount of verifiable evidence. So sad to see this country, once the leading proponent for free expression and personal freedoms, falling into the same sectarian schism as the muslam world - who, by the way, before the CRUSADES, were very enlightened and tolerant of their neighbors' beliefs and lifestyles. It's SO much easier to fall under the sway of a charismatic gospel leader than it is to actually THINK for yourself. THIS is why I paste the Canadian Maple Leaf on all my luggage when travelling abroad (ashamed to be an American),

Yay! (1)

michrech (468134) | about 10 months ago | (#45824029)

Idiocracy [imdb.com] , here we come!!

"The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections."

Measures Willingness to Express Denial Response (5, Interesting)

retroworks (652802) | about 10 months ago | (#45824039)

Read the article... and the big change is 10% fewer people "believe in evolution" than (expressed) belief in evolution in 2007. Did 10% of Americans REALLY change their views in 5 years?

I think the survey measures something else. Something even more disturbing, perhaps - the growing willingness to express falsehood as a demonstration of political purity. The last Republican primary showed even very educated Republicans willing to state opinions they didn't really hold (and I doubt Democrats are much different in that regard). It's expressed in immigration law reform, in budget reform, climate change... It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong, you show your value as a teammate by expressing the teams' view loudly and forcefully. Did 10% of American change their views about evolution? No. They just taking cues from people who think "denial" is a "philosophy"?

Only 1/3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824043)

As an American, I'm actually glad it's below 1/2.

let's break it down (-1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#45824051)

Nobody was around to witness and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that evolution occurred. We only have suggestive and circumstantial evidence. There was also recently strong evidence that the universe is a simulation. Also, nobody can explain certain codependent gender traits. Consider mosquitoes. To have the females reproduce the way they do, in the same generation there would have to be a matching but completely different mutation that matches in a male and they'd have to mate and they'd have to have multiples of each gender offspring that all survive. The probability exceeds the number of mating pairs in millions of generations by over a trillion to one.

So if liberals use logic and reason and science instead of religion (i.e. lack thereof) to assess evolution, they would find it difficult to prove and deeply flawed. But no, "Christians are wrong because I'm not one" is the entire basis of their argument.

And anyone who doesn't believe in natural selection and adaptation is an idiot.

Interesting (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 10 months ago | (#45824053)

Assuming there are as many republicans as democrats and the average between republicans and democrats is 55% it appears that more than 66% of nonaligned people believe in evolution.

Let's practice a little tolerance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45824115)

Let's practice a little tolerance in the comments here. This is someone's religious belief we're talking about.

Even if you assume the THEORY (theory, theory, oh yea, we can't prove 100% that it's true, that's what that word means, right!) of evolution does not preclude the existence of a supreme being orchestrating it all from the start.

Also, remember that people who do not believe in evolution usually do so because of religious beliefs. There is nothing that shows less intelligence than promptly dismissing someone as "Stupid, moron, low IQ" based on their religious beliefs alone. Learn to respect others, even if you disagree with them.

So a lot of people don't believe in evolution, so what? A lot of people don't believe in lots of things. Science has constantly undergone cycles of calling people crazy, then having to eat crow as those people's "delusions" turned out to be fact.

The facts are:
_Fossils have been found on this planet that date back pretty far back.
_It's possible or likely there was an evolution from those forms to the forms we have and see in nature now.
_No one knows who or what started it all in the first place. The Big bang THEORY, the theory of a sea of ammonia spontaneously combining into life, those are all just theories, just as valid as the theory that a supreme being with higher powers instilled life into matter at the start of it all, then let it run its course of evolution.
_If you can't understand the word theory, you're the idiot, look it up in a dictionary.

That's okay... (4, Funny)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 10 months ago | (#45824129)

That's okay. Personally, I don't believe in Republicans. Indeed, I'm pretty confident at this stage in my life that "Republicans" and "Americans" were things my Dad invented for bedtime stories when I was young to scare the crap out of me and keep me on the straight and narrow.

Yaz

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