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Janelle Dvorak

Oh God. Calvinism running amok.


I think I covered this in one of my recent posts. I think Gallup’s methodology needs to be revised. They are sampling people by phone. We need to ask ourselves if people who still own landlines are more or less likely to be religious. Is religiosity correlated to age? If it is, then your chances of reaching someone who doesn't believe in evolution may be higher than expected.
Second question is what other data can we use to validate our answer? One possible source of data would be the US census, taken every 10 years. Since you respond to it by mail or by census taker, the chance that you will be missed is smaller. The most recent census data shows that in the category of religion, the denomination "none" Has grown significantly. This is confirmed by other studies that show that non-believers are growing as a group. Check out Richard Dawkins website for more information. It turns out the Internet makes a good gateway drug for kicking the religion habit because it is easy for doubters to find the answers to their questions.
So, I wouldn't make too much of Gallup's latet poll. It may give the religious, like my mother, a temporary feeling of relief, but it's only masking an underlying trend that is going against the poll's conclusions.
As to why believers hang on to the creation myth so ferociously, I think it has to do with the nature of the fundamentalist mind. I think they suffer from an anxiety disorder and a deep, obsessive phobia of death. They must cling to any idea that might lead them to a supernatural power because secretly, I don't think they actually believe one exists. It's a little bit like acrophobics who are secretly afraid they want to fall or fly.
My immediate family is all looney tunes about evolution. As a scientist who has seen the proof of evolution written in our protein sequences, their attempts to convert me to creationism are surreal and laughable. We are incomprehensible to each other.
My real parents were gypsies.

Rebecca Clayton

I've begun to see the 6000-year-old Earth (Archbishop Ussher's calculation--where does the 10,000 year figure come from?) as a useful argument in favor of abolishing the EPA, turning loose the mining and fossil fuel (huh? what fossils?) industries to waste and spoil as they please, and generally stopping concern for tomorrow. The earth hasn't been around that long, and the End Times are just around the corner, when God will come back and change everything anyway. Only God can change the climate, silly environmentalists.

I used to think it was a purely religious matter, the logical extension of the literal truth of the Bible, but now I'm convinced it serves a scary political agenda. I'm sure the Koch brothers benefit from it financially.

Hope I'm paranoid, but afraid I'm not.


It's true that ignorance of evolution has no impact on most people's lives, but it's wrong to consider that unimportant. It's important as a marker. It indicates a general ignorance among the population of all things scientific. In fact, it indicates antipathy towards science and knowledge in general. And that is definitely a bad thing.

Paul Krombholz

There are a lot of creationists, who, if you asked them, "How would you breed cows that produced more milk?" or "How would you breed daisies with larger flowers?", they would come up with a reasonably correct way involving selection of varieties that had more of the desired characteristics.

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