Maybe this is why we lost:
Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence. The rest say they don’t know enough to say. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago. A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.
Via Taegan Goddard. I think this speaks to one of two things: 1) the shocking incompetence of science teachers nationwide or 2) the disturbing degree of religious extremism in this country. I wish I believed the former, but I lean towards the latter. While it’s a stretch to compare this to the extremism of al-Qaeda, it’s more than fair to compare it to the religious beliefs that bred al-Qaeda. There’s no doubt in my mind that Biblical literalism is to Christianity as Wahhabism is to Islam. This extreme literalism only leads to religious, gender, and sexual bigotry. It leads to the creation of a main enemy in the eyes of its followers. Today, it’s gays and lesbians; tomorrow, it could be Jews, women, or non-Christians altogether. This is very similar to the initial victimization of women in Muslim society, then of non-Muslims, and now hatred of the West. If we aren’t careful, there could be an American Hezbollah.
P.S. If you want to be more depressed, Kevin Drum reminds us that 25% of the U.S. believes that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Strangely, this has Biblical basis as well; that’s why Galileo was persecuted. However, there is nothing in the Bible to justify 78% of Americans not knowing what a molecule is, 55% of Americans not knowing what DNA is, or 52% of American thinking that humans once lived with dinosaurs. The second is probably due to the fact that DNA wasn’t incorporated into most high school biology curricula until well after it was discovered in the 1950s; the third is probably due to The Flintstones. And the first one, well, that’s probably due to the incredible bore that is chemistry class.