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Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-do-not-think-that-word-means-what-you-think-it-means dept.

2155

Stern Thinker writes "In a 2005 poll covering 33 countries, Americans are the least likely (except for Turkish respondents) to assert that 'humans developed ... from earlier species of animals.' Iceland, meanwhile, has an 85% acceptance rating for evolution." The blurb on the site for Science magazine is less circumspect about the findings: "The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the United States."

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The Perceived Threat of Science (5, Insightful)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912508)

The current administration has been quite effective in keeping this issue in the public eye and billing it less as an issue of science and more of a threat to society. The issue has taken on the sentiment that if the concept of evolution becomes widely accepted then faith is voided and we enter moral decay (which is obviously wrong, thanks Bush). But it's definitely how a majority of Americans feel. Science threatens their faith.

Jim
http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- Exercise for the rest of us.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (4, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912606)

Science threatens their faith.

On a related note, did you hear that the Bush administration now says that bird flu is nothing to worry about? More to the point, for bird flu to be a threat to humans, it would have to evolve, and everyone knows evolution is just a theory!

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (1)

daniil (775990) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912640)

Worrying about Bird Flu is so 2005.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (4, Funny)

rackhamh (217889) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912690)

Worrying about Bird Flu is so 2005. ... but that whoooshing sound of a joke flying over someone's head NEVER gets old!

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912611)

"Science threatens their faith"

You say it as if it doesn't, but it does. Science inherently threatens any form of ill-founded blind belief, and seeks to find support and evidence for all ideas. While I say this is not inherently incompatible with faith in general, it seems to be incompatible with most people's faith.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (1)

russellh (547685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912676)

You say it as if it doesn't, but it does. Science inherently threatens any form of ill-founded blind belief, and seeks to find support and evidence for all ideas. While I say this is not inherently incompatible with faith in general, it seems to be incompatible with most people's faith.
Not for scientists themselves, at least not historically. Science could be incompatible with the faith of the ignorant, I can agree with that.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (-1, Troll)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912707)

blind belief

Maybe I'm wrong. I remember from college science class. Isn't evolution still based on a blind belief that someday in the past, life just magically began with a strike of lightning? Don't they still struggle to define what "life" is too? So although religion is a blind belief, in essence so is science?

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (2, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912633)

The issue has taken on the sentiment that if the concept of evolution becomes widely accepted then faith is voided and we enter moral decay (which is obviously wrong, thanks Bush).

If that's the case, then it tells that most Americans are more likely to believe what they find desirable to believe, rather than the truth. That's a scary notion, when you consider that the USA has by far the largest military in the world, and that the overall actions of the USA are mostly driven by American public opinion.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912634)

Science threatens their faith.


And if science threatens your faith, perhaps you ought to re-examine your beliefs. Science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive things. It's really just a handful of overly-dogmatic religious sects (read: fundies) that need science to be wrong on evolution (and a number of other things, for that matter), in order for their religious beliefs to be right.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (2, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912645)

I don't understand how it matters what people think?

If evolution is the truth, then when you die you'll find out: You'll decay and turn back into dirt to help evolve the next super humans.
If creation is the truth, then when you die you'll find out: You'll find out that when you die, life really isn't over, and you keep living.
If something else is the truth, then when you die you'll find out.

What does it matter what people think now, because thinking isn't going to change what happens.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (1)

JavaBrain (920722) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912662)

A good answer to this sentiment, is to examine the predicted "moral decay" of Iceland and other countries who accept evolution more widely than the US.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (1)

lixee (863589) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912675)

Behold the wrath of the FSM, blessed be His holy noodly limbs!

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (4, Insightful)

manno (848709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912701)

The thing that cheeses me off the most is that this is a theological issue. It's the age old argument of literal vs. interpreted reading of the bible. It's a theological argument that has been going on between sects of Christianity for centuries. Yet they have managed to make it into a political argument some how. The literal interpretation doesn't just go against the scientific community, but also the beliefs of other Christians like Roman Catholics. It simply doesn't belong on the political stage.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (4, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912703)

Devil's advocate.

Your average non-scientist citizen is not likely to go and check all the sources to verify that, yes indeed, evolution is the most likely explanation for the diversity of species. So, to demand that this average citizen believe in evolution is to demand the same leap of faith as for that citizen to believe in creation. Either way, some "expert" is telling this citizen what to think about something s/he doesn't understand.

Why don't these polls include an "I don't know, I don't have time to check the facts, and it really doesn't matter in my everyday life" option? I think that would be the best response for a thinking non-scientist.

Re:The Perceived Threat of Science (4, Insightful)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912711)

Science threatens their faith.

It's sad that most Christians base their faith on The Bible and not the teachings of Christ. This is the same problem Fundamentalist Muslims are suffering from...they confuse the Qur'an(and subsequent mistranslations and commentaries) with the spiritual message of Mohammed. Both Mohammed and Jesus promoted love, tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding. None of which is in conflict with science(the pursuit of truth).

If the direct teachings of these prophets were the focus of religious organizations(instead of using scriptures to control their followers through fear), science would be embraced by the world religions rather than shunned by it.

Well (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912514)

Perhaps people who don't belive in evolution *haven't* evolved, and are still apes.

Note that is hopefully obvious... (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912516)

...the idea among Americans that humans didn't "evolve" from earlier forms of animals isn't new, and definitely hasn't changed markedly since 2000.

I'd hope that would be obvious to most people. The figures are mostly unchanged for decades, so the assertion that this is because of "widespread fundamentalism" and the "politicization of science" seems to be somewhat of a politically motivated assertion in itself.

Note that about one third of Americans reject the concept of evolution. It's unfortunate that even if people do want to have a religious or spiritual belief, they can't reconcile it with fairly firmly established scientific truth.

Further note that "fundamentalist religions", as the study refers to them as, are also not new in the United States. A lot of people would like to think that these people have sprouted up from nowhere in the last 6 years, but that's simply not the case.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912575)

> they can't reconcile it with fairly firmly established scientific truth.

Evolution isn't a scientific truth. It's a theory.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (4, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912608)

Evolution isn't a scientific truth. It's a theory.

Changes of species over time is a fact, in the sense that we've observed it. Explanations for how this occurs and what paths it has taken in the past are theory, and a very well established and emperically backed theory at that. Still, I'll accept this as a useful instance of pedantry.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (3, Insightful)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912635)

So is relativity. It's still considered the best explanation of the dynamics of moving bodies.

people love to get hung up on semantics that they really don't even understand. the truth is that the Theory of Evolution is as much fact as the notion that the earth revolves around the sun. there is no contradictory evidence and mountains of overwhelming supporting evidence.

if there wasn't some unsubstantiated book that contradicted the concept of evolution, you'd believe it in a second, just as you believe the earth revolves around the sun.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (0)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912655)

You're wrong. Evolution is a fact. We have a theory to explain how it happens. You're not likely to understand any of that, so it's appropriate to laugh at you, call you names, and otherwise recognize you as an ignoramous.

Now mod THAT insightful, put it in your pipe, and smoke it.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (2, Interesting)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912612)

"It's unfortunate that even if people do want to have a religious or spiritual belief, they can't reconcile it with fairly firmly established scientific truth"

You make an interesting point but maybe it is proving the counter point. If you asked me; is the following statement true 'humans developed ... from earlier species of animals.'? I would say "I don't know, but probably", would this put me down as an evolution denier? I think it is certainly the most plausable answer but I'm not going to say that it is FACT because it isn't, you even mention that when you use "fairly"...
I would need to get a better break down of how responses were classified (but the article is subscription). But this could just be people who are not arrogant enough to think they have all the answers

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912614)

the idea among Americans that humans didn't "evolve" from earlier forms of animals isn't new, and definitely hasn't changed markedly since 2000.

While I don't have any link that can back me up, I do seem to recall some articles that referred to how the United States is a much more religious society than most European countries. I am not sure why that is so, but if it is true, then I think that would explain, at least in part, why Americans tend to rejet evolution more than other countries

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912664)

It's unfortunate that even if people do want to have a religious or spiritual belief, they can't reconcile it with fairly firmly established scientific truth.

On the contrary, it's unfortunate that people have a religious or 'spiritual belief'. The rejection of reality for the teachings of the cult leaders is entirely self-consistent and internally logical. You're missing the point if you think that the particular flavour of hair-splitting rhetoric employed by one sect or another to reconcile reality with their particular flavour of insanity makes a difference. Know your enemy: ignorance and superstition.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912670)

A lot of people would like to think that these people have sprouted up from nowhere in the last 6 years, but that's simply not the case.

Why must you always troll? Since most people probably don't know that you phrase all your statements as a troll, I figured I better step in here and save us from your typical bullshit:

Yeah, great, these people were always here and they always disagreed with science. That's not what anyone is saying here. What we are saying is that because we have an administration in place that has taken it upon themselves to blur the lines between Church and State and to make the evolution/creationism fight a top priority.

Because this is now a top governmental priority (instead of important shit like reducing the trade deficit, national deficit, and the cost of the foreign wars -- both in human life lost and the millions of dollars we don't have that we are spending on it daily) it's become more important to point this shit out.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912673)

"It's unfortunate that even if people do want to have a religious or spiritual belief, they can't reconcile it with fairly firmly established scientific truth."

Guess someone forgot that Science doesn't deal with truth or falsehood, or absolutes for that matter.
Science is about theories, that are to be constantly checked and rechecked.
Can theories be reliable Yes, but they are never 100% otherwise it would loose its theory status.

Science stops and religion begins when you believe something based on sparse evidence and dogmattically teach it and hang onto it. Evolutionist need to go back to science, and an start considering other explanations for the existance of Life on earth.

I find it surprizing that so few consider the possibility of us all being the Genetically engineered test subjects of some super intelligent Extra Terrestial life forms.

What is depressing is that... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912679)

...the numbers in the UK have risen from 12% to 33%, in large part because of American fundamentalism. The numbers do fall, fortunately, as education improves. Nonetheless, the British are deeply concerned that they will simply run out of skilled scientists as a result of a lack of understanding of how data should be collected, analyzed and scrutinized.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912700)

Religious fundamentalists have probably existed for as long as there has been religion. The issue now is that fundamentalists are exerting a much greater influence over the national political body than they ever did in the past, which I believe is not what the founding fathers of America wanted.

Re:Note that is hopefully obvious... (5, Interesting)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912705)

It's certainly been around since 1620.

One little-regarded fact is that the Pilgrims got to North America after the Jamestown colony started. The Pilgrims were such a pain in the gluteus that even the Dutch, the Dutch mind you, kicked them out. At the people of time Jamestown were leading a near subsistence living; the markets for cotton and tobacco would become important later. And here came a ship of fools whose beliefs were basically intolerant communists and religious radicals, bringing nothing to help the colony economically, and would expect to be fed. Oddly enough, when the Jamestown colonists heard this, they bribed the Mayflower captain to dump them off where all the cod fishing was going on up north.

(For the record, I am descended from some of those Jamestown colonists.)

And let's not forget the grand European tradition of sending their religious loons to North America; the results of this should be obvious.

Current National Leadership? (0, Troll)

DSW-128 (959567) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912521)

Well, when you look at the current leadership in this country, you can see why we don't put much stock in evolution - it apparently hasn't happened yet. (Now, where's that seperated at birth picture of the monkey and GWB?)

Re:Current National Leadership? (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912588)

> Well, when you look at the current leadership in this country, you can see why we don't put much stock in evolution - it apparently hasn't happened yet. (Now, where's that seperated at birth picture of the monkey and GWB?)

That's not evolution, it's de-evolution.

They tell us that
We got our tails.
Evolving back
To little snails.
I say it's all
Just wind in sails.
Were we once men?
We were DE-VO!

Yeah, I filked it in another thread [slashdot.org] , but it's just as appropriate in post-9/11 America. Mothersbaugh spoke the truth: We are DEVO.

In an unrealted poll.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912522)

...Americans reported least evolved humans on planet.

Funny how that worked.

Well...a little of both? (-1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912528)

I mean, yes, I believe that all biological creatures on earth have evolved, and still evolve. But, I'm not sure I buy the starting place. I have a hard time thinking humans came from apes. I think we started as a primative human, but, not that far.

But, who knows...I guess I often think of something I heard someone say: "If humans evolved from apes...why are there still apes?"

:-)

Re:Well...a little of both? (3, Insightful)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912571)

But, who knows...I guess I often think of something I heard someone say: "If humans evolved from apes...why are there still apes?"

Simply because evolution doesn't work that way. Just because a mutation occurs and creates a branch in the evolutionary tree, doesn't necessarily mean that the ancestor must die. A balance can be achieved among the mutated branch and the original species.

Re:Well...a little of both? (5, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912572)

"I guess I often think of something I heard someone say: "If humans evolved from apes...why are there still apes?"

Maybe you should think a little more.

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

ketamine-bp (586203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912582)

the answer to your question is simple. natural selection hasn't put apes into eternal sleep (yet). living demands a degree of fitness but with good environment the degree of fitness necessary to allow survival is low.

Re:Well...a little of both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912587)

its a lovely little joke, ha ha, but displays the fact that you really have no real grasp on evolution or how it works.

we did not evolve from apes. both humans and current apes evolved from a common humanoid apelike creature.

its a bit like asking, if we all have greatgrandfathers, why are there still second cousins?

Re:Well...a little of both? (5, Informative)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912609)

because you don't know the very first thing about evolution.

humans did not evolve from apes. humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor.

apes are just as evolved as humans. evolution does not have a goal. apes are not trying to become human. everyone is just trying to survive in their environment as best as they can.

Re:Well...a little of both? (5, Informative)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912610)

Ahh, but humans didn't evolve from apes; they shared a common ancestor [bbc.co.uk] (who no longer exists). Nowhere in evolution does it state we descended directly from apes, current day or otherwise.

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912619)

Ape? I assume you meant to say "Complex Protein" or "Primordial Soup" or something like that. Of course we didn't evolve from apes, though we probably did have a common ancestor who was neither human nor ape but possessing some qualities of both. It's not like apes aren't evolving as well.

Re:Well...a little of both? (5, Funny)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912628)

It's called a fork in development. Consider OpenBSD and FreeBSD.

Re:Well...a little of both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912630)

The answer to your question is fairly simple. There are still apes because they still fill a niche in their ecosystem. Humans evolved to fill a different niche than that occupied by their ape or ape-like ancestors. The emergence of one species does not require the elimination of its parent species.

If the parent species always had to be completely replaced by the latter, than the entire planet should logically be populated exclusively by eukaryotes. For that matter, the only extant species of animals should be mammals. But you shouldn't even have to go as far as your local zoo to see that is not the case.

After all, prokaryotes still outnumber eukaryotes by orders of magnitude (just check your own digestive tract for a good example...)

Re:Well...a little of both? (2, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912632)

Because nothing is perfect for all places and all times. Apes were better suited to their conditions, humans better in theirs. There are still fish in the sea because they are far better swimmers than tortoises. There are still non-flowering trees because they are vastly superior survivors of forest fires.


However, apes are less mobile and are therefore do poorly on savannahs - where humans first appeared. They can't swim, so are less able to spread than the more versatile beings who split from them.


Tortoises exist because fish are really poor at climbing around on land. There are flowering trees because there are plenty of wooded areas where fires are improbable to non-existant.


Evolution is not a replacement scheme, it is a code fork where the fork is optimal for different conditions.

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

jenesuispasgoth (518053) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912646)

I have a hard time thinking humans came from apes.

Well, if you're uncomfortable with it, don't worry : humans started out of tiny little thingies in water (unicellular stuff, you know).

I guess I often think of something I heard someone say: "If humans evolved from apes...why are there still apes?"

Well, picture it that way : why not only one species for each branch that occurs ? Why not one single kind for cats, dogs, etc. ? The answer is always the same : different kind of evolutions, different abilities to survive, different places where to survive. I guess an ape is much more apt to survive to living in the jungle barehanded than a human being is. And because one species is more adaptive than another doesn't mean the other one can't survive anyway, as long as the ecosystem it lives in still exists.

Re:Well...a little of both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912689)

Well, if you're uncomfortable with it, don't worry : humans started out of tiny little thingies in water (unicellular stuff, you know).


So humans evolved from slime? I look at some of our leaders and think "they haven't evolved that far really".

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

DAharon (937864) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912647)

No one is saying that we evolved from apes that exist right now. The theory is that we shared a common ancestor. "If birds evolved from reptiles, then why are there still reptiles"?

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912654)

Well we didn't evolve from apes. Us and Apes evolved from a very similar ancestor which no longer exists (although there is no reason one species must become extinct for a new one to evolve). The apes comparison is a common misconception, although our ancestors did closely resemble apes, so its easy for most people to relate to. Your quote that you heard is about as intelligent as claiming "If adults grew from children... why are there still children?"
Regards,
Steve

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912657)

The same reason there are different breeds of cats. Or both cats and cheetahs. It's a big planet, we got room.

Re:Well...a little of both? (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912677)

You don't seem to understand some of the basic concepts of evolution.

We DIDN'T evolve from apes, at least not modern apes. We and apes have common ancestors from which we both evolved separately. The chimp isn't your grandpa, he's your cousin, in other words. We can trace back several species - even multiple genuses of humans before we get back to where we would have joined up with chimps and gorillas evolutionarily. Gorillas, for instance, did not come from Australopithecus Afarensis, but we did. Our common ancestor is somewhere back before Australopithecus. And notice that, no, there aren't those anymore.

Not that one species can't evolve from another and both still exist. What if a group of, say, tropical mountain goats moves to a different mountain range, one that's not tropical? They'll either die, or adapt to the different climate. A hundred thousand years later, they may no longer be able to mate with the tropical goats, nor survive in the tropics. But the tropical goats are still there in the tropics, doing just fine.

Re:Well...a little of both? (4, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912681)

Because apes are pretty good at being apes.

A "daughter species" doesn't necessarily kick the parent species out of its niche. That's common when the environment changes but doesn't eliminate the old environment, or when the old environment splits into to different parts. Humans evolved from tree-dwelling apes who ventured out into the encroaching grassland. That selected for apes which walked on their hind legs at the expense of prehensile feet, but the trees were still there and apes live in them to this day.

Go into an ape's niche and you'll find yourself massively out-competed. You'd make a lousy chimpanzee.

Sometimes a daughter species does compete with, and outcompete, the parent species, and drives it into extinction. We appear to be working on that pretty vigorously. In a century or so the answer to the question "Why are there still apes?" may be "There aren't." But it doesn't really change the answer: new species come all the time without destroying the old ones.

Remember that from the evolutionary point of view, humans aren't "better" than apes, any more than apes are "better" than fish or fish are "better" than amoebas. Each one fits into a niche without driving out the older species. It's only our bias that puts us on the top of an evolutionary ladder.

It's not really survival of the fittest. In fact, that which survives, survives. And when the environment changes, it stops surviving.

You don't understand evolution. (1)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912713)

No evolutionist who knows what he is talking about would ever claim that humans evolved from apes. The correct phrase is humans AND apes have a COMMON ancestor.

Humans are humans, apes are apes, and monkeys are monkeys. You can tell monkeys from apes and humans by their prominent tails.

It is very sad that some textbooks do include a phrase along the lines of humans ascended from apes. Inclusion in a text book does not make it an accurate statement.

Humans and apes evolved separately from a common ancestor. Apes went their way, and we went ours.

Please keep this in mind when you are discussing evolution with friends and foes. Humans and apes share a common ancestor. If we can get this across, we will have won a battle in this long fought war over ignorance.

Note that the poll only covered Japan and Europe (5, Funny)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912529)

I can't believe I'm trying to defend America's honor by pointing out that we may still be better than Burma or Pakistan. :(

Re:Note that the poll only covered Japan and Europ (1)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912682)

New poll! Are Americans intelligent? No says MrSquirrel!

I am an American, and it makes my gut wrench to think about this. People here are scared about fundamentalist muslims... when they need to look around and realize they're being controlled by the fundamentalist christians. Can't we just get all fundamentalists together so they can talk about their differences... then set the building on fire and bar the doors.

ugh (2, Insightful)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912535)

in this day and age, we're still experiencing the same thing Copernicus faced 500 years ago. Will we EVER learn a thing?

evolution is as much fact as the earth revolving around the sun. it doesn't take a genius to understand that--some basic damn education in school would help!!!

[/outrage]

Re:ugh (2, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912607)

Okay. Devil's advocate.

Only a tiny minority of Americans will ever use the fact of human evolution in their lifetimes. Indeed, the vast majority of the American public will never deal with science directly in their working lives. So what difference does it make what they believe?

Re:ugh (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912663)

Question: Would the average American deal with more science in their working lives if they were capable enough?

Re:ugh (4, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912668)

Well, if people vote someone into office based mostly on the candidate's belief that evolution is false, then it would have a direct impact on the daily lives of all Americans. Now if everyone would simply vote for candidates based on relevent issues (like, oh I don't know, healthcare/education/etc) we would be fine.

Re:ugh (1)

btlzu2 (99039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912687)

ignorance, for one. ignorance itself i find intolerable.

religious extremism, for another. we know where religious extremism takes us. i could make a case for even moderate religious people *enabling* the beliefs of fundamentalists by providing a rational face on top of a completely irrational system of belief.

wasted time, for yet another. why waste time following a ton of beliefs made up by less-enlightened, ancient man when you could be contributing to more important causes?

and finally, the concept of "i'll never use this so why should i learn a little bit about it" smacks of a 13 year old kid in 7th grade willfully closing his/her mind. :)

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912695)

> evolution is as much fact as the earth revolving around the sun.

Evolution is a theory. Some basic damn education in school would help you, apparently.

Grammar (0, Offtopic)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912536)

Shouldn't it be "Did Humans Evolve? No, Say Americans" ?
Second grade english grammar

Re:Grammar (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912650)

Sounds like one of the grammatical errors I make when I'm editing a sentence -- especially a sentence typed into a tiny edit box in a browser. For example, I might have written "Did Humans Evolve? No, Says America." Then I might decide I don't like anthropomorphizing the country, and change it to say "Americans", but forget to change the verb to agree.

Re:Grammar (1)

mrn121 (673604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912665)

Americans says that badly grammar is well, say a new survey.

Praytell! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912542)

Some claim politization. I say Americans are simply observant. Take a look around in America lately, would you believe evolution?

Ob Snipe (1, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912544)

Given that evolution suggests selective improvement through change over time, I'd says that the grammatical skills of the Slashdot editors are evidence against that theory...

Perhaps they're right! (4, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912549)

I, for one, consider George W evidence that we some of us have evolved very little from monkeys.

Re:Perhaps they're right! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912660)

I, for one, consider George W evidence that we some of us have evolved very little from monkeys


Dear sir,

As a monkey, I find the suggestion that we might have common roots with such a disgusting creature deeply offensive.

Re:Perhaps they're right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912691)

Good one!!!! Very witty!

To paraphrase South Park... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912562)

They t'k 'r genes!

Checking with Dr Zaius (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912564)

"Ape evolved from man, not the other way around!"

Sigh (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912565)

Yea yea, we suck. Who were the last people to accept Coninental Drift? Americans. We don't believe in global warming, we don't believe in evolution, but 50% still believe we found WMDs in Iraq. If we couldn't brain drain scientists from other countries, we'd probably still be living in caves.

I just don't get it. What is the deal with people never changing their minds, or letting in new information? Most people aren't stupid...I'm sure the average person in Iceland isn't any smarter than the average american (Kansas excluded). It could just be the religious thing; a lot of european social democracies are much less religious than we are. I mean, I understand we're not a pro-intellectual country, but there is a huge difference between not rhapsodising about your elite scientific tradition, and being completely averse to new knowledge.

You can't even blame it on modern schools...We have a tradition of this type of mental blindness going back more than a century.

Well, that one is junk science (0, Flamebait)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912595)

"We don't believe in global warming"

That particular one, unlike the others, is junk "science".

Re:Sigh (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912613)

because, despite a lot of noise to the contrary, the US is a very, very religious nation.

Re:Sigh (2, Funny)

diodeus (96408) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912627)

Yeah, the last to accept the Metric system too. Nyah!

Bad example. (0, Flamebait)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912652)

"but 50% still believe we found WMDs in Iraq"

Actually, more than 500 have been found (each one being of the type the inspectors were looking for prior to the US invasion, each one specifically prohibited by the various agreements and resolutions in the wake of the first Gulf War, each one containing the prohibited WMD materials, each one still dangerous even if degraded and partially diminished over time, each one that was supposed to have been declared and logged prior to the US invasion...and each one proving "No WMD in Iraq" as a complete lie). Given the facts, it should be 100% who believe this.

Re:Sigh (2, Funny)

mantissa128 (900471) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912671)

You think YOU have it bad. Canada's not even in the list. So tiresome to be left out, as usual, from a list of countries... sigh.

LOL@USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912579)

Worst. Educational System. Ever.

Re:LOL@USA (1, Insightful)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912666)

Worst. Educational System. Ever.

I think it's more like

Best. Propaganda System. Ever.

The Truth is Out There (-1, Troll)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912580)

Come on, we have the evidence right in the White House.

Check out the evidence! [gwjokes.com]

Blinded (1)

Salzorin (985348) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912583)

I've been anti-science ever since SHE blinded me with it. And don't even get me started on technology.

Slow but sure death of rational thought (1)

Kyoushu (695652) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912597)

This kind of thing actually terrifies me. I feel like I'm being fought into a corner by a group of lunatics, not joking.

Shocking (2, Interesting)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912605)

That's pretty shocking. That 15% of any country would not believe in evolution I mean.

Illness (2, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912618)

Belief in a supernatural being that created you and the rest of the world and now runs it is, without doubt, a species of mental illness. Or cf Goebell's famous comment about "the big lie". Dennett argues that non-human animals aren't properly conscious because they have no speech (simplifying /massively/). I'm getting more and more extreme in my old age but these days I'm starting to think that you and I (dear atheirst read) /are/ the post-humans; the majority of the human race (regardless of the US quotient) seem to be profoundly different from you and I.

I've just read Chomsky's 'Imperial Ambitions', by the way, does it show? :)

Politicization of science isn't an issue there? (0)

J. T. MacLeod (111094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912623)

Wasn't it the politicization of science what convinced every one of human evolution from apes in the first place?

(Please note that micro-evolution is not disputed by any great number.)

Re:Politicization of science isn't an issue there? (3, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912702)

No, it wasn't. It was the evidence.

A survey I would like to see. (1)

sirrube (622137) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912624)

I would like to see a survey that surveys the type of people that answer these surveys.

such criticisms... (0)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912626)

As much sense as the theory of evolution may make, it really is important to remember that it is still a theory, and a theory in the Oxford Dictionary meaning ("a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something"). It hasn't actually been proven, so it's not entirely fair to expect people to abandon ideas that are very central to their religious beliefs just because other people say they should. Stepping back a moment from any loaded terms like "Christian" or "Conservative" or "Fundamentalist", which many /.ers seem to associate with "stupid", "backward", "obstinate", and looking simply at religious, one would think we could all lend each other at least a modicum of respect for such a thing.

Re:such criticisms... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912688)

As much sense as the theory of evolution may make, it really is important to remember that it is still a theory, and a theory in the Oxford Dictionary meaning ("a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something"). It hasn't actually been proven

So is, and neither has, the theory that the Earth is roughly spherical and orbits the Sun once a year.

Who the hell did they poll? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912636)

I don't remember getting polled.

Did Americans Evolve? No, Says Humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912639)

Stern Thinker writes "In a 2005 poll covering all countries apart from 2, humans are the most likely (except for Turkish respondents) to assert that 'Americans developed ... from earlier species of idiot.'." The blurb on the site for Science magazine is less circumspect about the findings: "The acceptance of evolution in America is lower in Japan or Europe- anywhere apart from the United States , largely because of fundamental politicization of science in the United States."

Rants (4, Informative)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912658)

Why wasn't the Science article [sciencemag.org] linked to, rather than a newspaper?

The article is about the US, Japan and a whole swack of European countries (presuming that I can include Turkey as European). Okay, but what about the rest of the world?

Where is the "OK, this is lame" selection?

demographics (1)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912659)

What I find surprising is how many people who really SHOULD know better get sucked into this creationism/intelligent design thing. My brother is a Medical Doctor who took biochem as his undergrad and has made serious attempts to debate me on the merits of I.D. Unbelievable.

I quickly devolve to base humour and send him to http://angryflower.com/goinaf.gif [angryflower.com] and http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=200 [vgcats.com]

Eventually poll percentage will become larger (1)

Jon Luckey (7563) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912669)

As the current crop of pre-teens matures to the age when they are polled, then the percentage of americans beliving in evolution will in increase.

Question: Do you believe in Evolution?
Answer: YES. How else can you get your pikachu changed into a riachu!

What's with Slashdot and Evolution anyway? (4, Interesting)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912672)

And according to this study 64% [cnn.com] of respondents believed that aliens have contacted humans.

Many, many people all of the world do not 'get' science. It has nothing to do with religion. This happens all over the world.

Proof (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912674)

The roughly third percent of the US population who do not believe in the evolution of humans cited themselves as proof...

How biased is THAT... (1, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912678)

Judging from the list of countries [nytimes.com] where the poll was taken, they generally focused on "Western" nations and completely avoided many countries that would probably appear more fundamentalist than the U.S. or Turkey. Imagine the results if we tried the survey in Iran, Bangladesh, or most other so-called "Third World" countries.

Oh wait, we're trying to show that we're the most clueless Western nation, not the most clueless nation overall. Sorry. I forgot that for a moment.

Damn damn (1)

valkabo (840034) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912684)

Damn damn dirty americans!

Didn't they see the movie?! apes came from MEN! BUT! Only after men came from apes..

Christ.

Arrrgg...please don't lump me in with zealots (4, Interesting)

billmaly (212308) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912685)

For the record, I'm conservative, I voted Republican in 2000 and 2004. Yes, it's all my fault, let's move on.

I'm against the idea of abortion but think it should be legal. I don't like flag burning, but I think an amendment against it is a silly idea. I don't care about gay marraige, it shouldn't be banned, but before we allow it, we need to take a careful look at all the societal and economic consequences.

All that said, I am also decidedly NON religious and think that Creationism and Intelligent Design are fairy tales for children. PLEASE do not color me and all the other conservative red stater's in with the religious right. They're not connecting with reality, and I feel bad for those people who continue to blindly follow the paths of organized religion (which has done OH SOOOO much good for the world over the last several years). <sp<sp>We don't ALL live in Je$u$land (perhaps geographically, but not mentally), and some of us choose to follow science, watch the Discovery Channel instead of Pat Robert$on, and sleep in on $unday morning rather than gathering to worship at the altar of Chri$t.

Thus endeth my rant. Thanks for listening. Go Darwin.

No wonder the USA can't win (1)

cannuck (859025) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912693)

Who is running the schooling system in the USA? Naturally it's the NeoCons - "keep them dumb and pregnant". No wonder the USA hasn't won a war in 60 years. No wonder the USA can't win the World's Men's Basketball Championship (FIBA). No wonder ...........

wrong title... (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15912710)

"In a 2005 poll covering 33 countries, Americans are the least likely (except for Turkish respondents)..."

So actually it should be: In a 2005 poll covering 33 countries _Turks_ are the least likely... Just that the Americans score low doesn't mean they won..

B.

70 percent of Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15912714)

70 percent of Americans think George Bush is doing a poor job as president.
The other 30% believe Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church on Sunday.
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