38
   

U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution

 
 
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:25 pm
http://i.livescience.com/images/060810_evo_rank_02.jpg

Quote:
A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.

Among the factors contributing to America's low score are poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians, the researchers say.

“American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close,” said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University.


http://www.livescience.com/health/060810_evo_rank.html

That the US would score poorly is no surprise, what surprised me the most about this study is that in the last 20 years the US has actually seen a decrease in the numbers of people who accept evolution (from 45% to 40%).
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 38 • Views: 55,988 • Replies: 376

 
dlowan
 
  4  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:31 pm
@Robert Gentel,
"Poor understanding of biology"....is biology not well-taught, or not much taught in US scho0ls?

Is this really the result of poor biology knowledge, or of the determined anti-science campaign by the christian right?
Below viewing threshold (view)
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:49 pm
Most persons I have known reject evolution, or only grudgingly accept the evidence. Of course, most of them have been poor and southern, for what that might explain.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 06:57 pm
Oof, 40%? Cringe.

The surprise to me is that ireland is on top. Thinking... they are taught that evolution is god's design? I've read a lot about ireland but don't really know it. Would be interested in comments on that from people who do know it.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:17 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Oof, 40%? Cringe.

The surprise to me is that ireland is on top. Thinking... they are taught that evolution is god's design? I've read a lot about ireland but don't really know it. Would be interested in comments on that from people who do know it.


EdgarB, I don't think I know anyone who doesn't get evolution. Well, online I do, but in everyday life, no.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:32 pm
@ossobuco,
Not Ireland, Iceland (which makes a lot more sense).

The graphic came pretty small and that's hard to read but the Scandinavian countries do as expected on the chart.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 07:55 pm
I've been trying to get data on the US state by state, and haven't found it yet...but this page has some interesting comparisons re education, gender etc.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm

Here's an article discussing the graph in the first post:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060810-evolution.html

And, of course, there's a strong type of religion connection:

http://www.livescience.com/health/060810_evo_rank.html


dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 08:06 pm
@dlowan,
Hmm...I am also seeing a trend in discussions of this data

(eg http://news.msu.edu/story/1087/ )

to note the politicisation of evolution in the USA, suggesting that conservative politicians are more likely to make anti-evolution part of their rhetoric, in order to gather in the more christian fundamentalist vote, which, according to the discussions I am reading, is not generally a factor in Europe.

That's an interesting religious/political/visibility of discourse loop that, I think, links the US and Turkey.

0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 08:10 pm
@gungasnake,
Like the pet rock and chia pet, eh, GS?

The ignorance you expound serves as a shining example of just why the US ranks so low.
gungasnake
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2008 08:21 pm
@JTT,
Quote:

The ignorance you expound serves as a shining example of just why the US ranks so low.


Still the best description of the situation I've come across.....



The big lie which is being promulgated by evolutionists is that there is some sort of a dialectic between evolution and religion. There isn't. In order to have a meaningful dialectic between evolution and religion, you would need a religion which operated on an intellectual level similar to that of evolution, and the only two possible candidates would be voodoo and Rastifari.

The dialectic is between evolution and mathematics. Professing belief in evolution at this juncture amounts to the same thing as claiming not to believe in modern mathematics, probability theory, and logic. It's basically ignorant.

Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that you assume nobody is defending it because they believe in it anymore, and that they are defending it because they do not like the prospects of having to defend or explain some expect of their lifestyles to God, St. Peter, Muhammed...

To these people I say, you've still got a problem. The problem is that evolution, as a doctrine, is so overwhelmingly STUPID that, faced with a choice of wearing a sweatshirt with a scarlet letter A for Adulteror, F for Fornicator or some such traditional design, or or a big scarlet letter I for IDIOT, you'd actually be better off sticking with one of the traditional choices because, as Clint Eastwood noted in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

God Hates IDIOTS Too...

The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.

Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.

For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.

In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.

All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.

And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.

Now, it would be miraculous if, given all the above, some new kind of complex creature with new organs and a new basic plan for life had ever evolved ONCE.

Evolutionism, however (the Theory of Evolution) requires that this has happened countless billions of times, i.e. an essentially infinite number of absolutely zero probability events.

And, if you were starting to think that nothing could possibly be any stupider than believing in evolution despite all of the above (i.e. that the basic stupidity of evolutionism starting from 1980 or thereabouts could not possibly be improved upon), think again. Because there is zero evidence in the fossil record (despite the BS claims of talk.origins "crew" and others of their ilk) to support any sort of a theory involving macroevolution, and because the original conceptions of evolution are flatly refuted by developments in population genetics since the 1950's, the latest incarnation of this theory, Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge's "Punctuated Equilibrium or punc-eek" attempts to claim that these wholesale violations of probabilistic laws all occurred so suddenly as to never leave evidence in the fossil record, and that they all occurred amongst tiny groups of animals living in "peripheral" areas. That says that some velocirapter who wanted to be a bird got together with fifty of his friends and said:

Quote:

Guys, we need flight feathers, and wings, and specialized bones, hearts, lungs, and tails, and we need em NOW; not two years from now. Everybody ready, all together now: OOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....


You could devise a new religion by taking the single stupidest doctrine from each of the existing religions, and it would not be as stupid as THAT.

But it gets even stupider.

Again, the original Darwinian vision of gradualistic evolution is flatly refuted by the fossil record (Darwinian evolution demanded that the vast bulk of ALL fossils be intermediates) and by the findings of population genetics, particularly the Haldane dilemma and the impossible time requirements for spreading genetic changes through any sizeable herd of animals.

Consider what Gould and other punk-eekers are saying. Punc-eek amounts to a claim that all meaningful evolutionary change takes place in peripheral areas, amongst tiny groups of animals which develop some genetic advantage, and then move out and overwhelm, outcompete, and replace the larger herds. They are claiming that this eliminates the need to spread genetic change through any sizeable herd of animals and, at the same time, is why we never find intermediate fossils (since there are never enough of these CHANGELINGS to leave fossil evidence).

Obvious problems with punctuated equilibria include, minimally:

  • It is a pure pseudoscience seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). In other words, the clowns promoting this BS are claiming that the very lack of intermediate fossils supports the theory. Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could SEE them, they wouldn't BE witches...) This kind of logic is less inhibiting than the logic they used to teach in American schools. For instance, I could as easily claim that the fact that I'd never been seen with Tina Turner was all the proof anybody should need that I was sleeping with her. In other words, it might not work terribly well for science, but it's great for fantasies...

    http://concerts.ticketsnow.com/Graphics/photos/TinaTurner.jpg

  • PE amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...

  • PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millions of years.

  • PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life.

  • For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.


The sort of things noted in items 3 and 5 are generally referred to as the "gambler's problem", in this case, the problem facing the tiny group of "peripheral" animals being similar to that facing a gambler trying to beat the house in blackjack or roulette; the house could lose many hands of cards or rolls of the dice without flinching, and the globally-adapted species spread out over a continent could withstand just about anything short of a continental-scale catastrophe without going extinct, while two or three bad rolls of the dice will bankrupt the gambler, and any combination of two or three strokes of bad luck will wipe out the "peripheral" species. Gould's basic method of handling this problem is to ignore it.

And there's one other thing which should be obvious to anybody attempting to read through Gould and Eldridge's BS:



They don't even bother to try to provide a mechanism or technical explaination of any sort for this "punk-eek"


They are claiming that at certain times, amongst tiny groups of animals living in peripheral areas, a "speciation event(TM)" happens, and THEN the rest of it takes place. In other words, they are saying:

Quote:

ASSUMING that Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happens, then the rest of the business proceeds as we have described in our scholarly discourse above!


Again, Gould and Eldridge require that the Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happen not just once, but countless billions of times, i.e. at least once for every kind of complex creature which has ever walked the Earth. They do not specify whether this amounts to the same Abracadabra-Shazaam each time, or a different kind of Abracadabra-Shazaam for each creature.

I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that? What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?


hamburger
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 11:25 am
@Robert Gentel,
i noticed with PLEASURE that canada didn't even make it into the graph .
that gives me the chance to go one-way-or-the-other - depending on what friends i speak to - and i do have them on both sides .


but :



Quote:
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many adults in Canada believe the theory of evolution is correct, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 59 per cent of respondents think human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

Conversely, 22 per cent of respondents believe God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years, while 19 per cent are not sure.



canadians go whichever way is more convenient - GRIN !
hbg
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 11:56 am
@dlowan,
Hmmm.. Australia isn't even on the list. Why is that?
McGentrix
 
  5  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:00 pm
@gungasnake,
Ugh.


Quote:
Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point


That's terrible. I am saddened to see people actually believe this kind of thing.
hamburger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:16 pm
@McGentrix,
Quote:
Hmmm.. Australia isn't even on the list. Why is that?



it shares the same fate as canada - just a colonial outpost .
hbg
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:18 pm
@McGentrix,
You familiar with the story about the experiments involving fruit flies??
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:18 pm
@McGentrix,
Read the article, it was basically a study comparing the US to European countries and Australia isn't in Europe.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:22 pm
@hamburger,
Here are Canada's numbers:

59% evolution/19% unsure/22 % creation

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2008/CN/311_polling_creationism_in_canada_8_8_2008.asp
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:25 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
Read the article, it was basically a study comparing the US to European countries and Australia isn't in Europe.


i was asleep at the wheel - should read the article or studied the graph carefully - obviously , i did neither .
at least it made me look up canada's position and gained some knowledge .
hbg
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 12:27 pm
@Robert Gentel,
i did post that in my first reply (and take full credit for being so smart - GRIN)
hbg
 

Related Topics

New Propulsion, the "EM Drive" - Question by TomTomBinks
The Science Thread - Discussion by Wilso
Why do people deny evolution? - Question by JimmyJ
Are we alone in the universe? - Discussion by Jpsy
Fake Science Journals - Discussion by rosborne979
Controvertial "Proof" of Multiverse! - Discussion by littlek
 
  1. Forums
  2. » U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution
Copyright © 2018 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 12/14/2018 at 03:20:08