I stumbled upon an article at another WordPress blog that is very informative (and by all means deserves your traffic more than my lowly blog) on an unusual issue: strange maps. I highly recommend it, I’m a fairly average reader myself. How I found it this time though was that it links to my blog (sort of), which I found very cool, because it’s so relevant to what I talk about over and over and over…
But don’t take my word for it! Check it out yourself.
It’s about the subject of evolution and how it is taught on a per-state basis. The answer to how well it is taught in (most) states shouldn’t shock you. Most states are satisfactory; though this says it’s OK there, this is only partially true because this pertains to general evolution and not human evolution and may or may not talk about especially important parts of evolution, such as the evolution of viruses, which is very critical for people considering the field of medicine.
In the category of unsatisfactory, useless, or absent falls the second most states. Two of them were very obvious to me. Kentucky and Ohio.
It should come as no surprise that a state allowing the travesty of a “museum” known as the Creation Museum in would certainly not be that advanced on the subject of evolution. Being in the center of the unsatisfactory states is probably a plus for them as well. It’s something I figured out in sixth grade science class: evolution isn’t covered. It was covered to some extent, but the word evolution was never used, and no specific examples of human evolution were given. I think the closest reference would be in bacterial evolution (where it still wasn’t mentioned as such)…
But more so (from my perspective) should be Ohio. We go to Ohio sort of often as I have family on my father’s side who dwell there. Ohio has been a battleground for evolution for some time. Usually the creationism and IDiot crowd tries to spout their nonsense there and does get away with it. This is something I had learned in 2006, though, as opposed to sooner. We were in Ohio for Christmas (which I do celebrate, and enjoy!) and my cousin made some off-hand remark on atheism that I didn’t take too kindly to. So I responded that the Bible wasn’t my belief as to a universal truth that they believe it is… Then all hell broke loose. Between the room filled with six or seven of us, I was alone against three others. I think. It may have been four, I’m not entirely sure.
This was my first real experience regarding the hostility towards atheism, evolution, and otherwise within religious circles. I had never really talked in-depth about it, so I didn’t know what to expect. However, what I found was disheartening and not of consequence at all.
They knew as much about evolution as a first grade student would. That’s right, nothing. They wouldn’t give me a chance to talk at all (not that I could say anything with the so-called ‘logic’ going on in that room), so in between trying to talk and listening, I found that the common creationist gibberish was there. The randomness, the primordial soup, the no-evidence, the just a theory, etc. There was nothing I could say, honestly. But the only thing I was sure of is that I didn’t like the misinformation I was hearing.
Later I learned that they had ‘won’ by default. They had told their grandmother that I was spouting nonsense and lost the supposed battle. I let it slide… What else could I have done?
Almost a year later, August, 2007, was a family reunion. I tried to avoid them, and did it well. I didn’t want to be ganged up on, I didn’t want to ‘lose’ again, and just didn’t want to deal with it. Of interesting note is that I did talk to my uncle about Christianity. At first I was having a bit of fun and going along with what he said, quoting Bible and what-not, the peace was cool. But then he started discussing Answers in Genesis (gasp!), and as I tried to explain how criminally wrong their information is, he responded by saying something to the effect of, “oh no, they’ve got it all figured out.”
I was in awe of how insanely crazy what I had just heard was. Really! I feel like quoting this gem from AiG’s wonderful website:
In fact, if evolution were true, there wouldn’t be any rational reason to believe it! If life is the result of evolution, then it means that an evolutionist’s brain is simply the outworking of millions of years of random-chance processes. The brain would simply be a collection of chemical reactions that have been preserved because they had some sort of survival value in the past. If evolution were true, then all the evolutionist’s thoughts are merely the necessary result of chemistry acting over time. Therefore, an evolutionist must think and say that “evolution is true” not for rational reasons, but as a necessary consequence of blind chemistry.
[the idiocy, circular logic, and distortion continues ad infinitum.]
If you understood that, please do tell me. Please. Also, please find a way to explain it that doesn’t make my eyes become crossed and my head start to pound. Thanks!
I’m never ceased to be amazed by two things:
- How low Answers in Genesis can go.
- How strong public resistance is to evolutionary theory that they would search for anything that agrees with what they have to say.
For myself, I’m going to be an evolutionary biologist… Err… Professor in that field! The only bad thing about wanting that job is the public resistance to evolutionary biology in every form. So much so that I’ve seen people being taught to question their teachers when evolution is brought up to ask why evolution is taught as a fact if it’s just a theory, or even weirder, to mimic Ben Stein and ask where life came from in the first place.
Christians (mainly, not always) review Expelled and give it positive ratings, and they’re the only ones giving it high ratings.
The thing is, the movie is trying to rewrite history to completely eliminate the role that religion played in Nazi Germany, while making it seem like evolution was behind it, and completely forgetting the countless millions of lives that have been saved thanks to discoveries brought on due to evolutionary knowledge. So as I said, people go to great, great lengths to find something that agrees with whatever they believe, even if it rewrites the very history many know we shouldn’t forget just to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
That’s scary. I can never overstate just how scary, because it’s really, really, REALLY scary.
What’s even more scary is if they managed to succeed to cast so much public doubt on evolution that scientists funding was so low they couldn’t do anything of use. What if they replaced evolution in schools with ID? Then you’d probably see how big the IDiot crowd is when we’re all being killed by infectious diseases that IDiots can’t stop.
There’s a lot more at risk here than someone’s personal beliefs… like millions upon millions of lives. I’ll repeat: it’s scary.
Yet these people are all around us. Most of the United States is anti-evolution, anti-intellectual, and doesn’t realize what is at stake. But that’s not their fault. They need to be educated on evolution to see how it is applicable in every day life. They need to be taught that we didn’t come from monkeys. We’re the ones who need to do it. If someone has even a basic understanding of how evolution works and how it’s given us practical uses in day-to-day life, it’s their job to teach everyone they can, by whatever means required… Just make sure you’re not… erm… wrong.
This battle is a crazy one, but not one that even needs to happen. Many people call it religion and science fighting a new type of war… But it’s not. It’s ignorant religious people fighting an old war against anything that threatens their literal beliefs. Science just happens to be in the way most since it, by nature, is about getting closer to understanding the world we live in by way of understanding how nature works.