If I can be elitist for a moment...  

Posted by doug

Those who know me (and it's fortunately only a few lost souls who do) know that I care a great deal about science in general and biology specifically. And even more
specifically, I care about evolution. I could go on and on about how elegant an idea evolution is, about how there is simply so much evidence for it, but as the authorities are banging on my door right now I'd better hurry this up. Two very interesting polls were done this year. This first is a CBS News poll regarding global warming. And it's fairly good news. You know that thing that can wipe out our way of life, whatzit called.. , oh yeah, our own goddamn stupidity? It turns out that more and more Americans are believing in global warming and its potential to turn our lives into a Dennis Quaid movie. I will quote and give a small sacrifice to the fair use gods:

"49% believe global warming is having a serious impact now, up 14 points since 2001. Another third think the impact of global warming will be felt but not until some time in the future. Few think it won’t have a serious impact.

Now 6/2001
Yes, now 49% 35%
Will in the future 36 41
Won’t have an impact 11 17
Most Americans agree that global warming is a serious problem, but some view it as a more urgent problem than others do. 52% see global warming as very serious – and something that should be one of the highest priorities for government. 37% admit global warming is a serious problem, but do not think it needs to be a high priority. Fewer than one in ten says global warming is not serious."

Yes, yes, that's all very interesting. The other poll concerns evolution. Here, the numbers are much more on the side of dumbassery (and here my spell check went crazy. Did you know ambassadress is a real word? Apparently it's a female ambassador. I always thought female ambassadors were just ambassadors. I am apparently a dumbass). 49% believe in evolution while 48% do not. I've certainly seen much more dismal evolution polls. Still, considering that evolution is a fundamental tenet of science much like, oh I don't know, gravity -- it shows that we do about as well a job of science education as Paris Hilton does as a Nobel laureate.

Why did I compare apples to oranges? I find it funny that global warming, being a relatively new phenomenon, has such a huge profile, while Darwinian evolution, or natural selection, has been around for about almost 150 years and still eludes half of the American population. I think it's because global warming can pop a cap in our collective asses, while evolution makes people worry that they evolved from apes. That's not even anywhere in the theory1. So I propose a massive re-education campaign. I blame religious bullshit. Global warming is non-controversial with respect to the Bible. In fact, you could just say its God's way of soaking up Noah's flood. Maybe evolution should be framed in those terms:

1 Paris Hilton notwithstanding.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 24, 2007 at Friday, August 24, 2007 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 rabid fans

You are so yourself. I love that about you. :)

August 24, 2007 at 11:11:00 AM CST


This summer I went on a date with an asshat who tried to articulate to me why he "didn't believe in" evolution using the rudimentary and essentially backwards understanding of the theory as it was presented to him in the Baptist church.

I was struck dumb, and so was my friend the biology professor, who has the dubious distinction of living and having to teach in Kentucky, home of the Creation Museum. As he put it "I can't believe it was all due to random chance."

I plan to ship him one of those car plaques where the tyrannosaurus is eating the Jesus fish.

August 30, 2007 at 6:12:00 PM CST

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