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Happy 200th Birthday!

Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago today. Yet many Americans do not believe in evolution. Really, it is not a question of believing, it’s more a question of understanding. What many people don’t understand is that evolution is a FACT. It happened and is happening now. Darwin’s “theory” of evolution is simply the best explanation we have at this time.

Steven Jay Gould explained that evolution is both a fact and a theory. “And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other, yet to be discovered.”

So while we can debate a theory, the facts are indisputable. Yet a scary percentage of Americans still deny the basic fact of evolution.


Chart source, National Geographic News

This chart depicts the public acceptance of evolution theory in 34 countries in 2005. Adults were asked to respond to the statement: “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” The percentage of respondents who believed this to be true is marked in blue; those who believed it to be false, in red; and those who were not sure, in yellow.

This is not a true or false question folks! The human brain is evolving way too slowly in some people!

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4 thoughts on “Happy 200th Birthday!

  1. Nicholas says:

    Wow…that chart is unbelievable. Embarrassing. 🙁
    I blame it on the Protestants!!

    Reply
  2. Cindy says:

    Well ya, the Evangelicals are the worse. But I think most religions stand in the way of reason. I also think our education system is part of the problem. But whatever the cause, it is embarrassing.

    Reply
  3. Nicholas says:

    Funny you mentioned “most religions”! (hehe — that post of mine was clearly just an attempt to stir up trouble…haha)

    The Vatican is actually hosting a conference on evolution in honor of this anniversary and taking it as an opportunity to assert the compatibility of Darwin’s ideas with Christianity AND to criticize intelligent design:

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0900635.htm

    Of course, the Catholic Church has never condemned Darwin or banned any of his books, and the Pope said fifty years ago that his theory on evolution was probably right — before evolution was widely taught in American schools.

    Reply
  4. Cindy says:

    I say “most” because I try not to over-generalize. Regardless of what religion you choose, most of the world will disagree with you;-)

    Reply

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