Sunday, March 8, 2009

Indifference to Darwin



On February 12, 2009, many participated in Charles Darwin’s birthday, aptly named “Darwin Day,” to celebrate his contributions to science and to celebrate science in general.

Darwin’s evolution theory, a process by which inheritable changes in a population are spread over many generations, is the cornerstone of biology, providing vast insight into the history of our world and our species.

America is often criticized as one of the few secular countries where a majority of its citizens do not believe in evolution. Many argue that misconceptions about evolution are to blame, and to be sure, there is plenty of misinformation about the subject widely available on the Web. But recent surveys show that people really just don’t know anything about evolution in general, and frankly, they don’t care.

A Gallup Poll taken an early February shows that 46% of Americans could not name what Darwin was famous for. While 25% of Americans do not agree with evolution, 36% did not care either way. In June of 2007, a USA Today/Gallup Poll asked Americans whether a presidential candidate’s belief in evolution affected their vote. 54% of Americans said it made no difference, while 70% believe that is not even relevant.

As Darwin Day came and went on my campus, there weren’t public argument over the merits of evolution. There were the few that celebrated and then there was everybody else, the people who probably couldn’t care less.

3 comments:

  1. I don't know if you ever find comments on "old stuff" , but in case you might, I say:
    I can maybe believe that near one of the countless stars in the universe,considering all the time that the universe has been around, there might be the possibility of life forming out of random events. But, look at our beautiful moon. What are the chances that such a nursery planet would have a sublimely round, white, luminescent moon appearing to us earthlings about the same size as our sun. HE DIDN'T HAVE TO DO IT! And when I saw the pics of the moons of the other solar system planets, I even more so must say HE DIDN'T HAVE TO MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL. BUT HE DID.

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  2. It's me again. I started a blog discussing the many times over the years that the Christian church have messed up. KInd of apolgizing for it. you could look at it if you want.
    ("APOLOGIA") rethinking1776.blogspot.com
    and
    ("rethinking1776") 1776onmymind.blogspot.com
    p.s. I found you-all 'cuz I listed Peter Himmelman as a favorite, as did you. I heard his stuff on a cd called something like FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS I, an anthology of Chanukah inspired songs.

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  3. joan-

    thanks for posting on the blog. while this particular post was written by one of the other writers here, my brother jordan, i thought i might respond briefly to your comments.

    first and foremost, it's important to remember that evolution is how our species DETERMINED what is and is not beautiful. so a beautiful moon wasn't created beautiful; we developed a conception of its beauty as we evolved.

    and that's the beauty of evolution. it explains the mechanism for this fascinating, complex, beautiful world that we are intelligent enough to try to figure out and appreciate. that's the true gift of intelligence, be it given by god or given by evolution.

    in the end, all this post was meant to do is demonstrate that america isn't anti-evolution, it's mostly made up of people who just don't care to consider the idea of evolution in the first place.

    thanks again for taking the time to comment. glad to see a fellow himmelman fan!

    -stephen

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