The essay stimulating this blog emerged from the Darwin Bicentennial year, when surveys of “educated lay people” in Switzerland revealed that only 20% had any clarity of thinking about Darwin’s theory of evolution. About half explained it in a circular way, another 20% implied some form of Lamarckism and the remaining 10% talked about evolution being a flow towards complexity. These responses evidence “poor understanding” and two major reasons are suggested to explain the observations. The first is “The theory of evolution is counterintuitive” and the second is “The theory of evolution opposes most people’s worldview”. The worldview issues are of considerable importance to the issues considered here. It is worth asking: what is a Darwinian worldview? and why do most people have a different worldview? The first paragraph of the essay is significant for its candour:
“Early teaching of the basic principles of science by qualified teachers, together with the creative involvement of scientists, will help the general public to appreciate what the theory of evolution calls for, namely a worldview based on reality rather than on mysticism and dogma.”
OK, so Jacques Dubochet, the author of the essay, is linking Darwinism to a worldview based on reality, and most of the general public, even those that are educated, have worldviews based on mysticism and dogma. At least this tells us where he’s coming from.
For more, go here.