US Trails World In Accepting Evolution

A survey published in Science finds that the United States ranks 33 out of 34 countries studied on acceptance of evolution. At least we beat Turkey. (Hat tip to Stranger Fruit via The Lippard Blog and Panda’s Thumb.) Still doubt we are in danger of becoming a theocracy?

Update: Since I originally posted this on Thursday, there has been increased coverage. LiveScience unsurprisingly finds this to be due to a combination of ignorance of basic science and the spread of fundamentalist religious beliefs. The problem is worse in the United States due to American fundamentalists interpreting the bible more literally:

The analysis found that Americans with fundamentalist religious beliefs—defined as belief in substantial divine control and frequent prayer—were more likely to reject evolution than Europeans with similar beliefs. The researchers attribute the discrepancy to differences in how American Christian fundamentalist and other forms of Christianity interpret the Bible.While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say.

“Whether it’s the Bible or the Koran, there are some people who think it’s everything you need to know,” Miller said. “Other people say these are very interesting metaphorical stories in that they give us guidance, but they’re not science books.”

There is further discussion at Pharyngula which puts the blame on the Republican Party.

Kos Gives Kerry Credit

You know the old saying. Dog bites man is not news. Man bites dog is news. In this case, Kos bashing Kerry is not news (although it may be something worth responding to). However, Kos saying something favorable about Kerry (beyond the 2004 Presidential campaign) is news.

Today Kos was listing things Democrats have done in which Republicans convinced the mainstream media would lead to the end of the Democratic Party. He even gave Kerry credit for one:

When Kerry filibustered Alito, that was supposed to be the end of Democratic chances in the midterms. Republicans celebrated. Democrats ran for the hills (most notably Joe Lieberman)

Kerry Was Right On Terrorism

The Carpetbagger Report shows how today’s announcement on the terrorist plot shows that Kerry got it right on Terrorism. They recalled how Bush bashed Kerry back in 2004:

“Kerry said, and I quote, ‘The war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering law enforcement operation.’ (Audience boos.) I disagree. I disagree….. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and supporters declared war on the United States of America — and war is what they got. (Audience applauds.)

The Carpetbagger Report quotes Will Bunch in noting that, “Most of the big victories in “the war on terror” have been racked up by cops, not by soldiers. Why, it’s almost as if terrorism is a law-enforcement problem — and less of a threat when it’s handled well in that fashion.” As The Carpetbagger concludes, “Today, however, helps highlight exactly what Kerry was talking about, and what Bush derided as nonsense to considerable Republican applause.”

I’ve been putting “oldies but goodies” posts under the fold which pertain to the main post, but I just don’t have time right now to past in all the old “Kerry was Right” posts.

Update: Here’s what John Kerry had to say about the terror plot:

Washington, DC – Senator John Kerry released the following statement on the thwarted terror plot:

“We are all incredibly grateful and fortunate that British authorities were able to prevent these attacks before more innocent people could be killed by these ruthless murderers.

“This is a stark reminder that the war on terrorism is global, and extends far beyond Iraq to our very shores. Terrorism is the biggest threat to Americans’ security, and this event exposes the misleading myth that we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here. In fact, the war in Iraq has become a dangerous distraction, and a profound drain on our financial and military resources.

“Nearly five years after the attacks of 9/11, we are not as safe as we can and must be. Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. The 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to secure our most vulnerable infrastructure remain virtually ignored. And, homeland security funding has been cut for cities like Boston and New York.

“It’s clear that staying the current course in Iraq is not making the American people any safer at home or abroad, and has hurt our fight in the war on terror. We need to put the focus back where it belongs, and make America as safe as it can and must be.”

On to Iran?

Just when the news form the middle east is bad enough, Michael Hirsh of Newsweek warns that this could escalate into a conflict with Iran. Israel may see this as their last chance. “By most intelligence estimates, unless Iran is stopped it will learn how to master the uranium fuel cycle at its Natanz facility in a matter of months, making it able to secretly produce bomb-grade fissile material when it pleases.” Hirsh does provide for an alternative:

There is still time for cooler heads to prevail on the Israeli, American and Iranian sides. First, Iran is a long way from a weapon. The International Atomic Energy Agency has found no conclusive evidence that Iran intends to use its know-how to build a nuclear bomb. IAEA director Mohammed elBaradei has said that the Iranians know that mastering uranium enrichment is a “deterrent” in and of itself and that “they don’t need a weapon, it sends a message,” as he put it in a speech in 2004. Other officials familiar with Tehran’s thinking have said that an attack from the United States or Israel would have the opposite effect from what was intended: it would tilt the debate inside Tehran toward a certain conclusion that only a bomb could provide adequate deterrence. The only answer, other than military confrontation, may be a broad diplomatic effort led by the United States, one that would seek to forge a “grand bargain” with Iran covering everything from the nuclear issues, Iraq, and trade, as well as a regional security pact that would address Hizbullah and Israel.

While some believe that a diplomatic solution is possible, the intransigence of one of the key players may prevent it. Hirsh writes that “Bush has refused to consider this, and hardliners in both Jerusalem and Washington are increasingly skeptical that diplomacy can work.”

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How Nerdy Are You?

Tracking back the blogs which link to you often leads to all sorts of interesting stuff. After checking out this site, I found a test which revealed my nerd score. Personally I think that anyone who posts the score on their blog should get bonus points. Here’s my result:

I am nerdier than 41% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I do appreciate the links I’m getting from other blogs. A couple of days ago, when this blog was just started, I had a Technorati score of over one million. That placed me with the blogs where people only blog about their cat, and their cat is their only reader. After a few links I moved up to the zone with those blogs by girls who blog about their bad dates. If the links keep coming in, I’ll be back up with the real blogs.

That nerd score doesn’t look too bad, but if you want to make anything out of it, think twice. After all, I’m Spider-Man. That story, and another oldie blog post with a stupid on line test, is below the fold.