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Why telling more people the good news of Darwin won’t help

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Because they already know it and most often for that reason don’t believe it.

Anyway, this just in:

Last week, I wrote about how scientists and their advocates overreact to surveys showing widespread American skepticism of evolution and the Big Bang. Thanks to former TAC intern Robert Long, yesterday I encountered Dan Kahan at Yale’s Cultural Cognition Project detailing the evidence of how certain beliefs about science are absolutely more reflective of cultural identity than scientific knowledge.

While his primary focus is climate change, Kahan takes up evolution as a similar issue, and finds:

if you think the proportion of survey respondents who say they “believe in evolution” is an indicator of the quality of the science education that people are receiving in the U.S., you are misinformed.

Do you know what the correlation is between saying “I believe in evolution” and possessing even a basic understanding of “natural selection,” “random mutation,” and “genetic variance”—the core elements of the modern synthesis in evolutionary science?

Zero.

Those who say they “do believe” are no more likely to be able to give a high-school biology-exam-quality account of how evolution works than those who say they “don’t.”

In fact, he recounts that the National Science Foundation recently proposed removing the true/false evolution question from its survey of scientific knowledge altogether, because they found “giving the correct answer to that question doesn’t cohere with giving the right answer to the other questions in NSF’s science-literacy inventory.” As Kahan continues, “What that tells you, if you understand test-question validity, is that the evolution item isn’t measuring the same thing as the other science-literacy items.” More.

All  the government money shovelled out to indoctrinate people in Darwinism will really do is enrich Darwin lobby pressure groups and the behemoth textbook publishers they are co-dependent with. If that’s how taxpayers and donors want to spend it …

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5 Replies to “Why telling more people the good news of Darwin won’t help

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Those that leave the most offspring leave the most offspring.

    What’s not to believe?

  2. 2
    cosmicrabbit says:

    Personally, I would like to know more than the obvious about evolution (re, Mung: offspring beget more offspring and there you have it: EVOLUTION). If only it were that simple. And maybe it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. But we all know it runs deeper than that as the article indicates re: changing the scientific goal-posts so that they get the correct answer. Personally, I think it is quite ridiculous when you really look at Darwinian evolution and see how flawed it is, that it was ever allowed to be taught in any classroom, and I don’t even have a religious or an atheistic perspective on evolution, I’m just trying to find alternatives (scientifically verifiable ones) to get rid of this all-invasive theory of everything.

    Good article above by the way…

    Anyway, I’ll keep plodding away, trying to present the scientific alternatives as I have uncovered them. More info at
    http://diggingupthefuture.com for anyone interested?

  3. 3
    NeilBJ says:

    The fact that the question is phrased with the word believe implies that a faith question is being asked.

    A better way to ask the question is “Do you accept the theory of evolution?”

    I would say that it definitely takes a lot of faith to believe in evolution, since no one knows how evolution really works or even if it can work as currently described.

  4. 4
    drc466 says:

    The problem evolutionists have is that getting most people to believe in evolution requires one of two approaches:
    1) Keep them ignorant enough that they only have a vague idea of what evolution theorizes.
    2) Hyper-educate them to the point that they lose all common sense.

    Most people with common sense understand that random chance has limits. Like Paley, they know that a watch cannot result from pure random chance. Similarly, if you hold a peacock feather up, or ask them to think about how the eye works, and then say “random chance?”, common sense dictates their answer – “yeah, right”. It is only when you repeatedly, continuously, constantly drill them with pseudo-intellectual claptrap like “methinks it is like a weasel” or the “500 easy computer-simulated steps to an eyeball” that you can blind (see what I did there?) them to the obvious, and get them to yield their common sense. Or, with extensive propaganda, at least get them to publicly agree while privately disagreeing.

    The real problem is that evolutionists have hit the limits of evolution where it counts – in the lab. There will always be room for more just-so stories, more doctoral theses in evolutionary psychology and evo-devo and OOL studies. But what can be experimentally performed in a lab hasn’t much improved since Miller and Urey made blacktop, and so the high priests of Evolution are left writing hymns and preaching sermons rather than performing miracles and fulfilling prophecies. And the congregation is bored and not buying it.

    /soapbox

  5. 5
    ScuzzaMan says:

    @NeilBJ:

    Can I ask you: what is the difference between “accept” and “believe”, in your formulation?

    The way I read it, both seem to be asking the responder to give mental assent.

    And there is little point in simply asking people if they understand the theory, since that is likely to be about as reliable as asking people how well they drive.

    (About 84% of people rate themselves as above average.)

    Belief happens inside the head. It has no necessary relationship to what happens outside the head. Not that we’ve been able to detect, anyway.

    Given what the Yale guy describes, why not ask people to accurately describe ANY theory that accounts for the existence of “Life, the Universe … Everything, really”?

    Because neither “god did it” nor “evolution did it” require any particular acquaintance with science, although both are beliefs.

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