Gallup Survey: Most Republicans Reject Theory Of Evolution

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

60 thoughts on “Gallup Survey: Most Republicans Reject Theory Of Evolution

  1. 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.

    Whoops, we just lost ‘em.

  2. That was pretty much as well worded of an answer to people who reject belief in evolution as I’ve ever read.  I always mock (and I would to their face) people who say creationism should be taught as science.  It should not, because its not science.  Science requires facts, creationism is theology…and not even good theology at that. 

    So all those that say: “the jury is out on evolution”…umm…no its not you nincompoops, seeing as evolution actually has proof.  A leap of faith, is not proof, no matter how much people would like to believe that it is so. 

    I hear: “Its not nice to pick on people just because they believe in God.” There is nothing wrong with having faith, but being an ignorant turd and denying something in face of facts, is something that I personally consider to be ignorant, and ignorance is equievalent to stupidity, and stupidity should be painful, so therefore there is nothing wrong with picking on stupid people.  If they didnt want to be humiliated, critisized and belittled, they’d work on not being idiots.

  3. MP- that first few sentences I could hear Jon S reading!

    normal, natural, very nonmagical world.

    But surely magic is part of the natural world, therefore can be used to explain stuff.

    In other news, scientists have recently discovered that water is wet.

    For a given value of quantum, anyway.

  4. Mike:

    …ignorance is equievalent to stupidity…

    Not necessarily true. Willful ignorance, on the other hand, is the height of stupidity.

  5. But as someone over on PZ’s site commented, at least a higher percentage of Republican presidential candidates accept evolution than Democratic voters.

    Forty percent is still a frightfully high number.

  6. You have to take into account that a lot of “Republicans” are realy “libertarians”. Bible thumpers only make up about a third of the party.

  7. I think all of this shit is getting redundant. We know republicans are idiots.

    I think I’ll only manage to muster up a “GASP!” when the scientists finally discover the cure of this batshitinsane syndrome.

  8. You have to take into account that a lot of “Republicans” are really “libertarians”.

    Then why are these Republicans / libertarians so homophobic?  I would have thought that libertarians would not be pushing for constitutional amendments that fuck gays in very bad ways.

  9. I would have thought that libertarians would not be pushing for constitutional amendments…

    You thought right, because libertarians within the party are not.  You fail to make some important distinctions and separate out the different folks who tend to vote Republican because of a conservative/libertarian ideology and the social conservatives.

    Then why are these Republicans / libertarians so homophobic?

    Well, you make the classifications up about what is and what is not homophobic, such that all who don’t agree with your agenda fall into such a classification.  Given that, I would have to say I know almost no libertarians that are homophobic, when the proper definition of homophobic is employed.

  10. the proper definition of homophobic

    I think you’re onto something that is a source of miscommunication between people on both sides of the gay rights issue.  It seems likely to me that many people who oppose, for instance, gay marriage are saying to themselves; “But I’m not afraid of gays, I just…”

    Ok, not afraid of gays, just of the effect they might have on society if we treated them like human beings and let them form lifetime partnerships.  Got it – that’s totally different.  We certainly need a different term.

  11. Ok, not afraid of gays, just of the effect they might have on society if we treated them like human beings and let them form lifetime partnerships.

    Dof, I don’t believe there is any impediments to lifetime partnerships.  I believe the issue has to do with recognition of same sex marriages, not same sex partnerships.  I say that because nothing I know of prevents the formation, continuation or dissolution of a partnership. Words and definitions are important as the above clarification makes clear.

  12. Consi, once again you are being deliberately pedantic.  You know perfectly well what prevents the formation, continuation, or dissolution of the partnerships in question, which I identified as “marriage”. 

    Marriage is a legal shorthand for literally hundreds of government-sanctioned partnership benefits that are available only to straight people.  Some of these benefits are at the federal level so moving to a state or municipality that recognizes gay marriage doesn’t solve the problem.

  13. I say that because nothing I know of prevents the formation, continuation or dissolution of a partnership.

    Those are totally inferior to marriage, and Virginia has a constitutional amendment that at least trys to prevent the formation or continuation of a gay partnership.

  14. Civil partnerships in the UK have not lead to the breakdown of society.  Why does Consi always argue against them?  His arguement appears always to be “You can’t get married because its not legal.”

    Change

    The

    Law

    It can be done. It used to be illegal for blacks and whites to marry in some places.  Gosh, and now they can.

  15. This same-sex-marriage thingy is a long way off in Oz.
    Our PM is still living in the 1950s – although …

    A Newspoll poll, commissioned by the Humanist Society of NSW, taken February 2006 said 52 percent of respondents agreed that the government should introduce a law to recognise same-sex relationships (whether through marriage or civil unions was not specified), while 37 percent disagreed.[

    Even the ‘left’ side of politics helped push through a bill making it even harder for Australians to have Absolute Equality of and between the Sexes.
    I find narrow-minded people so hard to understand – most of their opinions are driven by FEAR and or HATE.
    I’m sure many think they’ll be infected by gayism if they give gays equal rights.

  16. Why does Consi always argue against them?

    I don’t.  I have never written against partnerships on this site. 

    You know perfectly well what prevents the formation, continuation, or dissolution of the partnerships in question, which I identified as “marriage”

    You didn’t DOF, which is why I pointed that out.  The two words mean different things and are not interchangeable.

  17. In actuality, the Scientific Community really is out to lunch over the Creationist science debate.  We still can’t decide if it is ham or baloney.  Ham has its supporters because it seems to focus on mass media rather than actually publishing materials.  But baloney has a strong argument with its powerful truthiness.  I think it is more like macaroni loaf.  A nutty combination that is the greatest thing in the world for a very select group of people.

  18. I did’t say all were, but amongst people who vote republican there is about a third that are libertarian.

  19. There is a big difference in social and fiscal consevatives. Boise, Idaho is an example of being a more fiscal republican than social. Around here most people don’t give a rats ass what you do as long as you don’t mess with anyone else.

  20. You didn’t DOF, which is why I pointed that out.  The two words mean different things and are not interchangeable.

    Once again, Consi, you’re splitting hairs.  True there is a paragraph division in which I first mentioned “gay marriage” as the issue and then in the next paragraph referred to that same issue as “lifetime partnership”. But you were distracted by this transition and dove off into a side argument to get out of the way of my original point. 

    By using two different terms to describe the same social phenomenon, I meant to focus on the aspect of marriage as a package of legal partnership alluded to in a subsequent comment.  I think everyone else got it easily enough, so let me repost the original comment in language so very tedious that EVEN YOU can understand it:

    the proper definition of homophobic

    I think you’re onto something that is a source of miscommunication between people on both sides of the gay rights issue.  It seems likely to me that many people who oppose, for instance, gay marriage are saying to themselves; “But I’m not afraid of gays, I just…”

    Ok, not afraid of gays, just of the effect they might have on society if we treated them like human beings and let them marry, which is a specific class of lifetime partnership containing many legal benefits.  On second thought it’s a distinction without a difference.  You could say such people are “homophobic” and refer to their concerns about homosexuality in law, family, society, whatever without necessarily implying they are pathologically afraid of specific homosexual individuals as one might be of snakes, spiders, or heights.  The word “fear” has several dimensions and can be used in different ways.  For instance, one could say; “I fear this restaurant serves unsafe food” and a visit to the kitchen would resolve the issue one way or another.  Just as visiting countries where gay marriage is legal, and seeing if society is truly undermined by the practice, quite resolves the fear that gay marriage would have those effects.  But it is homophobia all the same.

    Boring.  I’m not writing computer code or legislation; I prefer to write in shorter, less convoluted form and hope the reader will manage to locate my main point anyway.  But you almost NEVER do, Consi. 

    You can slice that up any way you want but as far as I am concerned, you’re homophobic.  You’ve proved it over and over in the most annoying way possible, while hiding behind an exasperating pedanticism.  But you’re like a fat man trying to hide behind a sapling.  It doesn’t work, and it’s just sad.

  21. Marriage just a contract that two people sign that says we are going to stay together, and if we don’t this is how our shit gets split up. The gay marriage issue comes down to government telling people they can’t sign a certain legaly binding document, because they have diffrent beliefs than the social norm. The only way that two queers geting married could affect you is if you stick you’re nose in their business.

  22. The two words mean different things and are not interchangeable.

    Which two words are you talking about – Republican/Libertarian or Marriage/Partnership?  I agree that these pairs mean different things, as the following example demonstrates: “Rather than a marriage, Libertarians find themselves in an unholy partnership with a Republican party that many are looking to escape.

    … A nutty combination that is the greatest thing in the world for a very select group of people.

    Is there a point in there somewhere?

  23. I’m not looking to escape I voted for Badnarick in the last election. smile
    The problem is that most people think they only have two choices for president. If more people voted what they really thought, and not for what they see as a winner, we could have a defacto parliment.

  24. Consi: “LMFAO!”

    Happy to brighten your day, Consi cool smile

    Allow me to translate my best understanding of your reply:  “Nuh-UH!!!  Not me!!!  I’m the best friend that gays ever had, except for fighting gay rights tooth and nail every step of the way”  rolleyes

    Or maybe you’re in favor of gay marriage, and you just have a really strange way of showing it?

  25. Or maybe you’re in favor of gay marriage, and you just have a really strange way of showing it?

    It’s called “tough love”, dof.  As I’ve said before, consi’s attitude about homosexuality seems to be “what can’t be cured must be abjured”.

  26. I’ve given a lot of thought to Consi’s demeanor on most subjects. But when rob.adams came in and succintly described everything that Consi could not, I must say it was wonderous and revealing.

    One possibility is that Consi really doesn’t know how to communicate (though he will defend his position ruthlessly), and so often remains in a position where his claims are compromised.

    The other possibility is that Consi is deliberately fighting not to reveal his position, as it is this that allows him leverage in any argument – not to say that he is right or wrong, but merely to cede as little as possible to his opponent. In this, his profession is loudly pronounced, and I’m left wondering if this isn’t a sort of hobby for a man who loves his work. When he takes an argument as far as he can, he simply terminates it on his end, and moves on.

    Neither of these say anything of Consi’s position, of course; just that he seems to like twisting tails for its own sake.

  27. The other possibility is that Consi is deliberately fighting not to reveal his position…

    Yep, I think you nailed it.  Keeps his cards close to his chest.  Fine, until someone

    When he takes an argument as far as he can, he simply terminates it on his end, and moves on.

    calls his bluff.

    Neither of these say anything of Consi’s position, of course; just that he seems to like twisting tails for its own sake.

    If so, Consi is the world’s most sophisticated troll.  I give him more credit for sincerity than that, though I am not sure why I do.

  28. Consi replied to me thus

    Why does Consi always argue against them?

    I don’t.  I have never written against partnerships on this site.

    OK. Simple question. The appropriate legal juristriction for where you live (be it county state, Federal, whatever) holds a referendum on the following

    “Do you agree that same sex couples should be able to make a legal contract of partnership identical to marriage that allows them all the same rights and restrictions as hetrosexual marriage?  YES/NO”

    Which way do you vote?

    (Oh and Consi- as this isn’t an actual law we are trying to make, go with the spirit of the motion, not any perceived legal weakness caused by me writing at nearly midnight.)

    Me, I vote Yes.

  29. Well, DOF, as far as calling Consi a troll, I think I disagree.

    Trolls exist to muddle discussion, to distract it with tangential issues, yes. Consi can do that, and has in the past. They derive pleasure from what they do and I’ve no doubt that Consi does the same.

    But trolls do not further the level of discourse. Consi raises apt questions (if not questions we’ve already been asked), and he keeps a watchful eye on very old discussions, working to keep them relevant for just that moment when one of us voices a double-standard.

    In short, intellectual exercise has it’s own merit, and he typically (not always) invites us to participate in it, whereas trolls start flames for cheap thrills. Consi has consistently separated himself from trolldom in this regard.

  30. Not sure about the relevance of Consi’s observations.  He seems to have a talent for deliberately missing the point in favor of some minutia. Fortunately, most of us are able to communicate with one another perfectly well without requiring language that is perfected to Consi’s standards.

    Now let me do my best Consi imitation: “Troll?  I never said Consi is a troll.  I merely said twisting tails for sport is the definition of trollery.” wink

  31. “Troll?  I never said Consi is a troll.  I merely said twisting tails for sport is the definition of trollery.”

    I laughed shrilly. Well spoken, DOF.

  32. I think we need a new term like orc, or hobgoblin to define this uber trollary.

  33. That’s hilarious…

    I typed in Google:

    giant spider that paralyzed Frodo

    And found: Shelob

    Google images gives us this gem:
    Giant Ass Spider

    So here to forth trolls shall be known as… Shelobs

  34. That’s a Shelob to reckon with, Webs.

    I must admit, however, (is this thread drift?) that Tolkien has always struck me as being rather tendentious in his depiction of nasties: wolves, spiders, reptiles, dark skins…  Maybe it’s time for a more politically correct version of the Ring cycle, with the Hobbits and Elves being darkskinned, Smaug being a hippopotamus, and Shelob being a Dead White European Male.

    Sorry- two beers at 36 C (90 F) will do that…

  35. So here to forth trolls shall be known as… Shelobs

    … only the sophisticated ones, spinning webs (not you, Webs) and paralyzing threads.  The more traditional trolls remain under their bridges, accosting travellers just to hear their reactions. wink

    Shelobs are fearsome indeed!  All hail the mighty Shelob!  Trolls we can just ignore.  What were we talking about, again?

    Zilch, was the beer 36C, or the weather?

  36. DOF, I hope it was the beer.

    A couple decades ago, German pubs had beer warmers. I don’t know who started this newfangled thing about chilled beer…

  37. Well, you know the old saying about why the British drink warm beer… “because they have Lucas refrigerators”  But I can’t imagine why the Germans do.  Bosch makes reliable appliances.

    (Note: not being a beer drinker, it’s all hypothetical to me as I am extrapolating from iced tea)

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