Religion Politics And Reason

24 03 2008

A Gallup Poll produced some very interesting numbers. I will provide some of the more interesting data points and graphs here but I encourage you to read the article for a more complete view of this survey.

When Americans were asked the single question “Do you believe in evolution?” the simple statistical response was 49% believed in evolution while 48% did not. But it’s WAY more interesting than that. When challenged to answer more targeted questions they found that 24% of Americans believe that both the theory of evolution and the theory of creationism are probably or definitely true. There’s a grid that breaks it down on the Gallup site.

Influence of Religion and Politics:

The graph shows the relationship between church attendance and response to the straightforward question of belief in evolution.

The group of Americans who attend church weekly — about 40% in this sample — are strongly likely to reject the theory of evolution. The group of Americans who attend church seldom or never — also about 40% — have the mirror image opinion and are strongly likely to accept the theory of evolution.

Republicans are much more likely to be religious and attend church than independents or Democrats in general. Therefore, it comes as no great surprise to find that Republicans are also significantly more likely not to believe in evolution than are independents and Democrats.

I would assert that this data implies that a majority of religious people (and Republicans by statistical correlation) appear to have impaired critical thinking skills in regards to the sciences related to evolution. Please, feel free to explain to me how my conclusion is incorrect.

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8 responses

26 03 2008
Chris

I get so tired of the “Do you believe in Evolution?” questioning.
Evolution doesn’t require “belief.” It is science. There are no beliefs in science, only evidence.

It’s like saying, “Do you believe in Geography?”

27 03 2008
ruth salazar

Supe, when you have to resort to a graph, such as this one…sure, you proved something..but something that is pretty obvious without “proof”..we all know that Republicans tend to be more into church and that Democrats tend to be more liberal…and lean towards science and evolutionary thinking. What one believes in is a personal choise. Folks are bothered by what others believe..mainly because it conflicts with their own thoughts and naturally they think they are the only ones who are right..bully for them! I am just sick of everyone trying to “prove” something to people..the more you all try to prove that you are right…the less credible you become!
Seriously, you need to give it a rest…your proof, evidence, and rambling is getting old and redundant…you are strating to whine like the ones you are always putting down….

27 03 2008
SuperJesus

@Ruth: Just because you don’t like the answer evidence points to does not make it less credible. Despite the fact that you seem unwilling or unable to accept the point I’m trying to make here does not mean that others will not take pause and consider that what I’m suggesting might be true. It is my hope that people will who blindly follow without questioning will perhaps be inspired to permit themselves to doubt their articles of faith and think for themselves.

28 03 2008
desiree

I can’t help but notice that although Ruth is sick of everyone “trying to prove things” as she puts it and wants you to give your ramblings a rest because they are getting old and redundant, she can’t keep herself away from constantly reading and responding to your old and redundant, less than credible whining.

Also, how does someone become less credible because they are trying to prove their point? Would this remark also apply to the preachers who are reading the same old and redundant shit over and over every Sunday from writings that are thousands of years old?

I think, in reality, Ruth is really wildly fascinated by you and your Super J bad boy behavior! She’s hooked on you like crack.

I have a very bad feeling I’m going to be getting some theological wrath after that remark, but I can’t help it. It’s been a while since I put my two cents in. Bully for me!

I really just want some cake!

xox ~ d.

30 03 2008
bluecollarastronaut

Your conclusion is flawed because it’s a non-sequitur.

You already have a preconception about what is “right.” You’re assuming that those who disagree, and about whom you’ve only been able to generalize with a chart color, political affiliation and/or religious devotion lack critical reasoning skills for the sole reason that they disagree with you. That’s not a rational argument, and it sounds very much like dogma to me šŸ™‚

As an aside, I do think people are lazy when it comes to critical thinking, and I think people have forgotten just what science is…

30 03 2008
SuperJesus

@bluecollar: If by “right” you mean “evolution is real and creationism is not” then you are correct that I have a preconception. It is a well founded preconception that has 150 years of corroborative evidence from multiple scientific disciplines behind it, but a preconception all the same. Since Creationism/Intelligent Design has no evidence whatsoever so I remain unpersuaded that my preconception is invalid. I remain open to new contradictory evidence if you have any to share.

So you understand, I don’t mean to overly generalize about these groups of people, I’m just posting the results of a survey. I would not imply that religious people or Republicans have no reasoning skills at all, simply that they appear to exhibit a severe impairment when it comes to certain proven topics when they inconveniently contradict church doctrine. It is not relevant that people disagree with me, but it does support of my thesis when one considers that these people are actively disregarding the literal tonnage of evolutionary evidence and instead offer a simple story from the Bible as a viable alternate solution.

Just because you think Creationism is true does not automatically render my argument a non sequitur, however you do run the risk of placing yourself into the “religious/Republican” group that proves my initial assertion.

24 04 2008
Tom

Evolution does require belief. Evolution hasn’t been proven. There isn’t one example of evolution haven taken place nor does it appear to be happening today. There are many skeletal remains of animals that look similar that look as if they may be related but from different time periods, but it can’t be proven. The ‘gaps’ that have ‘been filled’ by archaeological discoveries do not really show a progression of a species because–the skeletons tend to be found on the other side of the world. Did you know that there is no single place in the world that when you dig down into the earth will you find every geological era? There are always several missing.

Also, the reason that animals in a species tend to look similar can be explained very simply–God created a ‘model’ that worked, why should he change it?

24 04 2008
SuperJesus

Sorry Tom, just because your church says evolution hasn’t been proven therefore God did it isn’t a compelling argument.

There is so much evidence that I cannot fit it all into this humble little blog, but I’ll meet you halfway. You can download and read THIS BROCHURE from the National Academies Press or you can even go to this NAP page to register to download the whole 88 page book in pdf format for Free. Put your Bible down for a change and try reading something that might broaden your mind.

I can lead you to the information, but alas, I cannot make you think.

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