According to CBS News, a recent Gallup Survey shows that 68% of Republicans “Disbelieve Scientific Explanation of Creation”:
A Gallup poll released Monday said that while the country is about evenly split over whether the theory of evolution is true, Republicans disbelieve it by more than 2-to-1.
Republicans saying they don’t believe in evolution outnumbered those who do by 68 percent to 30 percent in the survey. Democrats believe in evolution by 57 percent to 40 percent, as do independents by a 61 percent to 37 percent margin.
As Jon Stewart might say, “Republicans, meet me at camera three”.
OK, Republicans, we understand that you’re devout. We understand that you love God. That’s simply beautiful, it really is. Regardless of that, you have to stop cherry-picking the facts. Evolution is a fact, just like some of those other facts that are somewhat less controversial, like Heliocentrism. OK, this is less controversial now. The church no longer arrests and executes people who believe that the sun is at the center of our solar system because there’s just simply such an abundance, a cornucopia if you will, of observational evidence, that no rational person would claim otherwise.
The same is true for the facts of evolution: That species emerge and change over very long periods of time. That some species that used to exist, no longer exist. Further, it is a fact that humans appeared relatively recently in the history of our world.
The facts are irrefutable. They are written in the very bedrock of our planet. They are there for everyone to see, everywhere: older species in strata below newer species. Never an exception. No human jawbones have ever been found in a Tyrannosaurus nest. No dinosaurs after 65 million years ago. No Australopithecenes after about 2 million years ago. No homo sapiens before about 500,000 years ago. None. Anywhere.
Now, while you can certainly take a religious position on the explanation of evolution, you cannot take a religious position on the existence of evolution. In other words, you can certainly disagree with the leading scientific Theory of Evolution, which explains how such facts as we observe everywhere in the world came to be (and does so quite nicely, thank you very much), but you can only disagree with the facts of Evolution to the same extent that you can disagree with the fact that the sun is at the center of the solar system, or that Pasteurization helps preserve foods, or that DNA codes genetic information for all species on earth.
We need to remember that, as Stephen Jay Gould said, there’s a difference between a fact and a theory, and Evolution is both:
Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.
If you’re planning on rejecting the Theory of Evolution, you know, the scientific mechanism that Darwin proposed almost a century and a half ago, you have to follow the rules. The rules are simple. Come up with a better explanation for the Fact of Evolution. Just make sure it doesn’t require anything beyond what we can expect from our normal, natural, very nonmagical world.
Crossposted from Smugbaldy.com