Monday, June 11, 2007

Retrocessive Intellectual Evolution

By Cernig

This has to be one of the saddest things I've read all week:
The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.

Independents and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in the theory of evolution. But even among non-Republicans there appears to be a significant minority who doubt that evolution adequately explains where humans came from.
It is sad because it is entirely symptomatic of the lazy thinking that infests too many issues. It has become de rigeur to ignore nuanced or complex positions in favor of simplistic narratives and a very narrow, linear notion of causation. It's part of the Homer Simpson trend in society, where education and the ability to think clearly about complex issues is actively discouraged and denigrated by many. Politicians, in particular, seem to have caught on to this idea as a means to playing to the lowest common denominator - in other words, grubbing for votes.

There's no doubt in my mind that such a current is more advanced in conservative circles (global warming, the war on terror, tax cuts, welfare, abortion, gay rights, etc), but as this survey shows liberals can be guilty too.

Proof positive that evolution doesn't have to be "forward" it can be a backwards step too.

Update Just when I think I've seen everything there is to see in blind-faith conservative stupidity, one of John Cole's commenters provides a link to Blogs4Brownback, a blog that supports the Kansas Republican senator as presidential nominee. There, you can find such stupifyingly wonderful examples of the genre as "Heliocentrism Is An Athiest Doctrine".
What’s even worse than the debate raging in American schools about the teaching of the soulless doctrine of evolution, is the non-debate over an issue that rational Americans have foolishly conceded to the secular among us: the issue of Heliocentrism, or the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

...However, for both moral and theological reasons, we should always bear in mind that the Earth does not move. If it moved, we would feel it moving. That’s called empiricism, the experience of the senses. Don’t take my word for it, or the evidence of your own senses, Copernicans. There’s also the Word of the Lord.
and another post in which one of the bloggers there re-writes a CNN report on a space shuttle mission to be more "accurate" - i.e. that the mission is somewhere in the Nevada desert rather than in space. I had a look at some of the other blogs written by the authors and their friends and it isn't a parody site.

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