The devolution of rational thought

I guess we all just showed up one day (from The New Yorker):

While 54 percent of the members of the more God-fearing party believed “humans and other living things have evolved over time” in 2009, only 43 percent do now, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. The rate of Democratic belief in the concept went up slightly, from 64 percent to 67 percent. Meanwhile, only 60 percent of American adults believe in evolution, regardless of political affiliation, so you can’t blame it all on the increased prominence of Rick Perry.

It’s a good thing we have places like the Creation Museum here in Kentucky to straighten stuff like this out. I think this is the best part of its “man lived with dinosaurs” exhibit.

(That joke never gets old.)

Beauty and the evolutionary beast

Ordinarily, I don’t pay any attention to what contestants in beauty pageants say, but I was reading the Washington Post and saw this story about one of the questions the Miss USA contestants had to answer in their interviews:

Should evolution be taught in schools?

I’m really at a loss here. I saw the question and thought it was a no-brainer. And instead I find I’m out of touch with the vast public opinion. And like it or not, these women most likely do represent the majority of Americans.

I don’t see the teaching of evolution as something you have to balance out with creationism. I don’t believe everything just appeared 10,000 years ago. I don’t think you can even come close to equating extensive scientific research with religion.

But with the exception of a handful of contestants, the overwhelming response is evolution and creationism have equal weight and the answer is to put them both out there and choose the answer you prefer.

Evolution is a theory in the same way gravity is a theory. If your religious beliefs teach you something different it doesn’t matter. Physical reality is science based. But if you look at the full clip above, less than a third of the 51 contestants support evolution without reservation.

Now I understand why the Creation Museum in Kentucky isn’t seen as a colossal joke in most of this country.

(I should point out that the contestant who gave the best answer in support of evolution was the person who won the pageant.)