Republicans Firm In Their Convictions–The Flat Earth Philosophy Will Not Die

There is yet another poll out which reduces science to a matter of public opinion. Gallup reports that a majority of Republicans do not believe in evolution. Results are much better for independents and Democrats, but still much lower than I would hope. Several other polls have shown the same finding, and polls have also demonstrated that the United States lags behind most of the world in acceptance of science. This is hardly a surprise in a country where 25% expect to see the second coming this year.

There was some inconsistency in the latest Gallup poll:

It might seem contradictory to believe that humans were created in their present form at one time within the past 10,000 years and at the same time believe that humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. But, based on an analysis of the two side-by-side questions asked this month about evolution and creationism, it appears that a substantial number of Americans hold these conflicting views.

I’m not really surprised by such inconsistencies. The only explanations for disbelief in the basis of modern biology are ignorance or the lack of an ability to critically analyze information and reach coherent conclusions. In many cases both problems are present, which would actually make such contradictory poll findings to be expected among those with this flat-earth mentality.

These findings are important for a number of reasons. They show the necessity not only to block attempts by creationists to block teaching of legitimate science in the school room, but to find ways to better educate the rest of the population. If only we could have more Carl Sagan’s and less of American Idol on television. We must educate people not only about evolution, but of the entire scientific method as a means to determine facts about the universe. Once people believe that basic matters of science are a matter of their own personal opinion and debate, this leaves the door open to futher denialism. Therefore we see the vast majority of Republicans denying the consensus of scientific thought on climate change.

The Republican disconnect with reality goes well beyond science. It took quite a while for many people to realize that Saddam didn’t threaten us with WMD, and that he was not involved in 9/11. Some Republicans continue to hold on to such delusions. Blogging is largely a personal exercise influenced by the beliefs and priorities of each blogger. Many liberal blogs concentrate on political horse races and getting their favorite Democrats elected in the next election. Liberal Values, while still looking at politics, is far more interested in the greater ideological battles of the day. This includes defending liberty over authoritarianism and science over superstition. While long term I am far more an independent than a member of any political party, at this point we have one party which poses a great risk of spreading both authoritarianism and superstition, providing common ground in opposing the current Republican leadership.

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