Friday, January 20, 2012

Choices on Evolution

While reading the NPR website, I noticed that the subject of "belief" in the Theory of Evolution resurfaced in a blog on their front page.  Blogs like this rarely shock me since living in North Texas has made me callous toward the programmed response of those that consider themselves religious.  Many people here are so scientifically illiterate, that you can't even have an adult conversation about topics in Biology or Chemistry without the discussion devolving (pardon the pun) into a human reenactment of the three wise monkeys.  In other words, if you want to watch a normal, functioning adult turn into a rage comic, just mention Evolution around religious people in North Texas.

But if there's one thing that really gets my mind churning, it's the question asked by the NPR blogger: "Why Do So Many Have Trouble With Evolution?"  Thus, in an attempt to keep myself focused on the subjects about which I'm deeply passionate, I've decided to hop on the bandwagon and put in my two cents.

The blogger references a poll that was done by Gallup in 2009 which demonstrates a link between a low education level, or a consistent attendance in church, and rejection of the Theory of Evolution.  I remember the poll simply because it provided evidence for something that most people in the South with a background in science already knew.

Most undereducated people are staunchly religious, and thus are immediately opposed to the Theory of Evolution.  This makes perfect sense to me because the less a person understands about the world around them, the more likely they are to believe the fairy tales from an educated and charismatic religious leader.  (I mean, they have had a couple thousand years or so to perfect their story to make it believable.)  Now, when dealing with people that are educated, those that remain opposed to the Theory of Evolution generally have no background in science, and they are active members of a church.  Again, even an educated person may not know or understand the mountain of evidence in favor of Darwin.  But that's not necessarily the issue here.

You see, religious people with enough education to understand the implications of the Theory of Evolution are forced to make a choice.  If their god didn't create a man and a woman in our current form, then that means they never sinned against god (no original sin), then there's no reason for a sacrifice (no baby Jesus), and suddenly... they don't know how to handle themselves as they watch religion fall to ashes.  So what does this person do?  Do they study more, do they simply ignore it, or do they double down?

Now I'm not talking about those people that come back with ignorant comments like, "I ain't come from no monkeys."  These people are puppets for their Pastor and simply do not have the faculties to understand the significance of Darwin.  I'm talking about the religious and educated apologists that say things like, "That story in the Bible is just a metaphor..." or, "Why couldn't god have used evolution after creating the universe?"

Frankly, I don't think for a second that moderately bright, educated, religious apologists have a hard time with Darwin at all.   Why do people have a hard time with Evolution?  Because they understand that if the Bible is wrong about Adam and Eve, then everything surrounding their iconic symbol of sacrifice is nothing but fantasy. 

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