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Educated “post-seculars” reject evolution?

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No, we hadn’t heard the term post-secular before either. According to an article in HuffPo,

“We were surprised to find this pretty big group (21 percent) who are pretty knowledgeable and appreciative about science and technology but who are also very religious and who reject certain scientific theories,” said Timothy O’Brien, co-author of the research study, released Thursday (Jan. 29) in the American Sociological Review.

O’Brien and co-author Shiri Noy, an assistant professor of sociology at University of Wyoming, examined responses from 2,901 people to 18 questions on knowledge of and attitudes toward science, and four religion-related questions in the General Social Surveys conducted in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Human beings developed from earlier species of animals:

Traditional: 33 percent

Modern: 88 percent

Post-Secular: 3 percent

One explanation could be that many people have vaguely noticed a number of problems we’ve covered, and it adds up to more questions than the traditional groups would have.

Three things come to mind:

– The “humans are 98 (or 99%) similar to chimpanzees” claim. You know, the one that “terrifies creationists”? The only thing that “terrifies” some of us is that leading pop science writers have flunked an IQ test: If the (disputed) claim is correct, it means that genetics is not much help in identifying key features of life forms. Anyone can tell the difference between a human and a chimpanzee, and it is way more than 1%.

An intelligent person cannot hear this from pop science’s pom poms indefinitely before beginning to wonder about the source.

– We constantly hear flatulence from the science vs. religion crowd about the glories of peer review, all the while hearing more thoughtful people try to address its current wave of scandals.

Evolutionary psychology, a staple of the pop science media, is possibly the most self-refuting proposition in history. If it is true that the behaviour of a gay guy in ‘Frisco today can be explained by theories about stuff that happened on the savannah three million years ago, then no evolution took place. It’s that simple. Evo psych should be called “non-evolutionary psychology” or perhaps “creationism for the atheists in the psych department.” Again, how smart or educated must one even be to see this? (In fairness, many prominent Darwinians dismiss evo psych, as well they should. But it is a good deal of what the lay public hears about human evolution.)

So it isn’t a big surprise if science-knowledgeable people who are not career atheists have started to see that science is about facts and evidence, not about theories and causes. If they are religious, instead of hearing an Evolution Sunday sermon about how we can believe in Jesus and Darwin, they decide to believe in Jesus and pass on Darwin. The post-seculars would make good Salvo readers, actually.

See also: The state of human evolution studies is not encouraging.

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