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

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:02 pm
@Foxfyre,
You make no sense, I never said anything about any argument being stupid in this thread. I said the people and the beliefs are stupid and that I don't want to argue with their beliefs on this thread.
Foxfyre
 
  0  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:05 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Nor do I. But I guess I hoped you were attacking the argument and not the person. My mistake. Again, do have a good day.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 03:12 pm
@Foxfyre,
The belief is stupid and I don't want to argue it here and "attack arguments" at all, there are plenty of other threads for people to bang their heads against that brick wall of idiots. How many times are you going to exit? Probably until you get the last word about it so have at it. I'm not going to argue your beliefs with you on this thread and maybe if you get the last word in you won't have to understand that.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:10 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I couldn't find figures for Oz..has anyone seen them?

I'm obviously using wrong keywords.
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:26 pm
@dlowan,
All I was able to find is this:

Quote:
...survey of 1535 people, conducted by the Australian National University...

The survey showed that about 45% of Australians doubted, or were not sure, if humans evolved via natural selection, as opposed to about 55% who thought this was definitely or probably true.


http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4340Relevance7-5-2000.asp

But I'm not sure how reliable that is. But I did find a larger image of the graph in the my first post along the way.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/14/science/sciencespecial2/15evo_lg.jpg

Should be easier to read.
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:28 pm
@dlowan,
Though this looks damn bad:

Creationists and their critics in Australia: an autonomous culture or 'the USA with Kangaroos'?

Ronald L. Numbers

Abstract

No country outside the United States has given creationism a warmer reception than Australia, which has spawned an internationally successful creationist ministry and at times even welcomed creation science into the classrooms of state-supported schools. A half-century ago, however, when organized anti-evolutionism first appeared in Australia, it attracted virtually no attention, and for over three decades thereafter it remained isolated on the far margins of Australian society, too obscure and impotent to warrant public concern. As late as 1984 one of the best informed students of Australian fundamentalism predicted that `because of the different national traditions and educational systems, the [creationist] controversy is not likely to become as intense in Australia as in USA¿.The following decade proved him a false prophet. The most intense creation-evolution debates in the world have occurred on Australian soil, and Australian creationists have insinuated themselves into the religious, scientific, educational, and political life of the country. In this brief history of creationism and anti-creationism in Australia during the past half-century or so, I highlight two distinctive (though not unique) characteristics of the Australian encounter: the efforts of both sides to tar the other with a `made in America¿ brush and the contribution of anti-creationists to the success of the creationists. Paradoxically, by hounding and ridiculing creationists, the critics significantly boosted the visibility and viability of creationism in Australia.

Historical Records of Australian Science 14(1) 1 - 12

Full text doi:10.1071/HR02002



http://www.publish.csiro.au/?paper=HR02002



A side note:

http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/aevdnun.htm

And they're organised:

http://www.conservapedia.com/Creation_Ministries_International


I had no idea they were so powerful here.

This has been an eye-opener.





dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:29 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Thank you...better than I did.


And more.

http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/oz.html


Good grief.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:30 pm
@dlowan,
Yes, Australia became the second biggest stronghold for creationism in the 80's.

Here is a good time line:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/religion/revolution/low_bandwidth.html
dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:35 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I am appalled.

I knew these people existed....I have them as clients from time to time...but I suppose I thought their power confined to Queensland, which is kind of our Alabama...or is lampooned as such..like all such stereotypes it is unfair.
gungasnake
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 08:09 pm
@Robert Gentel,
>U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution...

What about the US lagging the world in grasp of Naziism and acceptance of Aryan supremacy? Any ideas as to what to do about that or how to deal with it??

0 Replies
 
yitwail
 
  3  
Reply Sat 30 Aug, 2008 03:32 am
as usual, i'm a latecomer to an interesting topic, but in the article quoted at the top of the thread, i am especially interested in the finding that Americans lag the Europeans in understanding of basic biology such as genetics, apart from uncertainty about evolution. As far as i know, creationists don't reject genetics, so religious ideology doesn't explain the gap completely.
Quote:
The researchers also single out the poor grasp of biological concepts, especially genetics, by American adults as an important contributor to the country's low confidence in evolution.

“The more you understand about genetics, the more you understand about the unity of life and the relationship humans have to other forms of life,” Miller said.

The current study also analyzed the results from a 10-country survey in which adults were tested with 10 true or false statements about basic concepts from genetics. One of the statements was "All plants and animals have DNA." Americans had a median score of 4. (The correct answer is "yes.")
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Aug, 2008 03:00 pm
@yitwail,
certainly an interesting thread - even though i'm taking the whole subject not overly serious .
i imagine different people/scientists will want to put their own slant on it .
perhaps a bit like political polling ; if it suits the partyline , it's given a THUMBS UP , if it doesn't , it must have some flaws .

observation : ireland and finland about equal on the scale , but finland lower than denmark-sweden-norway , certainly interesting to look at , but what now ? . (going to check what the BBC news reports from the world around us)
hbg
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 06:00 pm
Creationists interpret genetics as a static feature that signifies nothing about the interrelationships among species and higher taxa.

They can stare at genomes of humans , mice, and clams and not see the similarities and developmental potential that each genome presents.
Creationists also take basic chemical and physical features of the planet and ignore what they accurately predict.

I cant say Im sorry for the ignorant masses of the US who dont understand or refuse to understand how evolution is so eloquently underpinned. I can only hope that my students can see the accuracy of evidence and act intelligently armed with that understanding. As far as the Alabamians and the gungasnakes of the US, I hope they can say "You want fries with that?" with verve that makes us all happy.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Sep, 2008 06:04 pm
@dlowan,
I'm glad you put in "or is lampooned as such"

I tried hard to fine some religious demographics by state, but the best I could do was;

"South Australia was the state with the highest rate of volunteering for religious organisations - 8.3% of the adult population"

www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/46d1bc47ac9d0c7bca256c470025ff87/0ECDDB3623373203CA2570DE00145894?opendocument

0 Replies
 
blloydb
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 10:59 am
Yay for the US!! Whatever their reason for questioning Darwin's theory, they have good reason to question it. It is full of holes and the more we learn the less convincing it is - irrespective of your religious belief. In fact, people cling to the theory with the religious fervour of a devotee. And like religious zealots they refuse to look at the rationality of their convictions - thats the great irony of Darwins theory - it is proclaimed as the only rationalist view, when in fact you have to suppress questions, knowledge and rational to accept it.
Eorl
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 05:26 pm
@blloydb,
I could be going out on a limb here, but did you have an alternative in mind? Does it happen to involve the much more rational concept of...magic?
farmerman
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 05:33 pm
@Eorl,
He is obviously of the same ineducable gaggle of dimwits that gave us the likes of gungasnake.
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 06:31 pm
@farmerman,
It occurs to me that perhaps religion is an inoculation against education.
0 Replies
 
blloydb
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 06:50 pm
@Eorl,
The facts on the ground are these: There previously existed on Earth life forms that no longer exist. Many of these species appear less developed than those that exist today. That's what we know. The rest is conjecture. Bloody good conjecture at times, but not always. Darwin made some brilliant observations concerning variation within species, but his theory lacks rigour, supportable evidence and falls victim to that which religious proponents are accused of - a sweeping statement that covers everything yet explains nothing - Why is life as it is? Because God chose it./ Because Natural Selection chose it.

Darwin placed 'chance' and 'choice' together in his theory - all life formed from a single cell through the process of undirected mutation (chance) through natural selection (choice). This is both scientifically and philosophically problematic and it has never been reconciled, just overlooked. If I were to give you a box of metal pieces and I asked you to toss them on the ground. How many tosses would you need to form an outboard motor? What if I cut all the pieces to size? Would you need a week of tossing? A month? A billion years? It is not logically possible to create an outboard motor by chance, no matter how often you toss. Such is the argument of the bacterial flagellum and the rotary motor which drives it. It could not logically be created by chance. Biological systems bring up the same argument - the visual system is only useful in its completed state. Why retain the first retina cells without a lens, without an optic nerve? The system only becomes useful in its entirety, therefore natural selection choses to retain these first cells because it has a master plan - a blueprint of the visual system. This implies intelligence and contradicts chance. Molecular biology is questioning the validity of Darwin's over arching theory that all life sprung from chance.

Undirected mutation is another problem. We have a 10-15 thousand year record of animal husbandry - Directed Mutation. In all of those years we've been able to make woolier sheep and fatter cows, but we have never been able to change one species into another. In fact all animal mutations end in death, illness, disability or inability to reproduce. Life is incredibly adept at maintaining stability and in repairing itself. Mutations are never for the betterment of any species. In all of these years we've never been able to provide evidential support for one species mutating into another.

These are just a couple of many problems with Darwin's theory, and should you wish I could continue. Darwin's theory needs to be overhauled and if so rejected for one that better fits the evidence.

Newton was brilliant, but his theory was incapable of explaining important aspects of our universe. Einstein developed physics to the next level, and when his theories were no longer sufficient, quantum physics was developed, and the quest continues. However, the theory of evolution seems to have been blockaded at Darwin. Any criticism is treated as if it is from some right-wing Bible thumping creationists, when in fact criticisms come from legitimate scientific enquiry. If Americans question the legitimacy of the current view of evolution as set out by Darwin, then I support them. If there is a God, then so be it. Whatever, or however life was created, I would like to know, regardless of its implications. We are only now becoming aware of the incredible complexity of life because of our advancements in nano-technology. To dismiss it all as the result of some violent planetary accident belies what we are truly discovering. I am not a Christian, I am curious human who is not afraid of finding whatever truth is out there. I think Darwin's theory is no longer a scientific theory, but rather a philosophical stance - a godless faith in the creation of life. Everyone choses their own faith. Yet the premise of this topic is the validity of a scientific theory not the validity of someone's faith. I don't want to start a debate on faith - it will go nowhere. But if you wish to talk about science, I'm your man - well woman actually.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2009 10:29 pm
@blloydb,
blloydb wrote:
The facts on the ground are these: There previously existed on Earth life forms that no longer exist. Many of these species appear less developed than those that exist today.

There is also a vast and clear transition in morphology which is perfectly aligned with evolutionary theory, geology and genetics.

blloydb wrote:
That's what we know. The rest is conjecture.

If that's your criteria for conjecture, then everything is conjecture. Even the trees in our parks which are over a hundred years old can only be conjectured to have grown from seeds because nobody alive today ever saw them grow. Your criteria for reasonable knowledge is unreasonable, and certainly not scientific since a majority of scientific knowledge is based on deduction.

blloydb wrote:
Darwin made some brilliant observations concerning variation within species, but his theory lacks rigour, supportable evidence

Actually it's the most rigorously well supported theory in modern science today, bar none. Nothing in biology makes sense without it.

blloydb wrote:
Darwin placed 'chance' and 'choice' together in his theory - all life formed from a single cell through the process of undirected mutation (chance) through natural selection (choice). This is both scientifically and philosophically problematic and it has never been reconciled, just overlooked.

Evolution is not only possible, but inevitable given the forces in play. It is the opposite of problematic. By the way, you also left out another major part of the process which is reproduction.

blloydb wrote:
If I were to give you a box of metal pieces and I asked you to toss them on the ground. How many tosses would you need to form an outboard motor?

Your example does not incorporate any form of selection, which as you pointed out above is part of the theory. Your example also fails to recognize that in biology there is no starting goal to produce an engine, so every random stage of complexity is merely selected against it's relative ability to reproduce. A very poor example to use as an analogy given that it's missing both reproduction and selection.

blloydb wrote:
We have a 10-15 thousand year record of animal husbandry - Directed Mutation. In all of those years we've been able to make woolier sheep and fatter cows, but we have never been able to change one species into another.

We also have a long history of plant husbandry (Directed Mutation) which has resulted in a new species which never existed before: Corn. Originally corn was a form of grass, but much smaller and very different in appearance. Corn is an artificial species. Animals just reproduce more slowly and in smaller numbers. 10 to 15k years just isn't enough even with artificial selection occurring.

blloydb wrote:
These are just a couple of many problems with Darwin's theory, and should you wish I could continue.

So far they've all crashed and burned, pretty dramatically.

Yes, please continue.
 

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