The Evolution Gap - I Thought it was Bigger!
by LandStander, Mon Jun 11, 2007 at 02:59:46 PM EDT
I like to think that my fellow Democrats are a lot like me. Then a Gallup poll rocked me out of this delusion.
The Evolution versus Creationism debate has a special place in my heart. I spent hundreds of hours in my early teens advocating and defending evolution and abiogensis on various forums and chatrooms all over the mid-Nineties Internet. I had no formal scientific training, nor did most of my opponents. What I did have was a powerful belief in rationality, while my opponents vested their faith in religion. Therein lied the true debate - it wasn't about fossils or genetics or Darwin - it was about science versus faith. It was an epic and noble battle in the mind of a 15-year-old, but one I eventually abandoned with the knowledge that the entirety of the scientific community (and all rational people) were on my side, and that literalist Christianity was on its way to joining the other old fables, to be forever relegated to storybooks and movies. In time, rationality would prevail..... in time...
Then I got a wake up call in the form of a Political Wire report on a frightening Gallup survey. Turns out, I was wrong. Belief in evolution and belief in creationism is almost perfectly split - and has been for the last 25 years!
Ok, no big deal - we all know religious conservatives like to take things literally - like compassionate conservatism, No Child Left Behind, and, of course, the Bible. So I was not too surprised to see that 68% of Republicans do not believe in evolution. Hell, I would assume it would be closer to 80% or 90%. And Democrats, of course, would have almost universal belief in evolution. But that doesn't add up... if two-thirds of Republicans believe in creation... and the country is evenly split... (calculating) No way! Democrats can't believe in creationism, that's just ridiculous!
NOPE - wrong again! Turns out only 57% of Democrats choose evolution over creationism. That's right - 40% of Democrats do not believe in evolution. A 28% gap is pretty sizeable if we are talking about a policy position of a political ideology - but this is a matter of science and facts! Could it be true that 40% of the people I ally myself with, the people I trust to make the right choices in this country, actually believe that evolution is an elaborate scam perpetuated by the same people who brought us longevity, flight and the Internet!?
Gallup brings it all back to politics....
When three Republican presidential candidates said in a May debate that they did not believe in evolution, the current analysis suggests that many Republicans across the country no doubt agreed.
Turns out, a lot of Democrats agreed, too. Guess I'd better head back to the chatrooms, I have some minds to change!