4 in 10 Americans Are Completely Delusional About Evolution

According to a new poll from Gallup, 40% of Americans believe in strict Creationism — that a god created us in our present form under 10,000 years ago.

Amazingly, this represents an improvement over past years when the number was 44% (2008) and 46% (2006).

Meanwhile, the number of people who live in reality is only slightly up from previous years — we’re now at 16%. (Keep in mind, though, that the poll has a margin of error of 4%.)

The 38% of people who hold the silly view that evolution occurs thanks to a god’s “guiding hand” are just guilty of wishful thinking. But if these results are accurate, it puts the number of people who don’t accept what the facts tell us at nearly 80% of the population. We’re among the worst countries in the Western world when it comes to science education in this regard.

It’s also no surprise that there’s a strong correlation between the amount of education you have and whether you accept scientific truth:

The same principal applies to people who attend church — the more you go, the more likely you are to be deluded about evolution. (The poll shows that 2% of Americans attend church weekly but don’t believe a god played a role in human evolution… who are these people? Are they all atheists who go to church for some ulterior reason? Or are there actually Christians who don’t think a god had anything to do with evolution?)

Things like this are why atheists and scientists need to speak out against the nonsense taught in church. Knowingly or not, pastors are lying to you about how the world works. The truth is incredible, awe-inspiring, and more fascinating than anything the Christian god is thought to have done. But religious officials too often try to steer people away from that. As the study shows, many religious Americans can’t bring themselves to accept the truth of evolution without somehow incorporating supernatural involvement.

There is a real war on science in this country. We have to keep writing about this stuff. We have to keep talking about it with our family and friends, in the classroom and over dinner, or whenever the opportunity arises. That’s the only way we’ll ever begin to counteract the damage these religious leaders are inflicting upon science.

I’d love to see a Gallup poll in a couple years that looks like this… can we please make it happen?

(One of these years, I’m going to learn real Photoshopping skills…)

  • S-Y

    Completely delusional, or completely uneducated?

  • Jeff

    This is why Western Europe is laughing at us.

  • Danielle

    Very slow increase, but still an increase. Public education needs more emphasis on science education. I had terrible science teachers and classes (except for my seventh grade teacher, Ms. Glass).

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    I don’t think we can expect large changes in the short term. We need to to work towards long term change. And we are seeing it in these results. One thing I notice about some atheists is a lack of wanting to plan for the long term, they just want religion gone ‘NOW!’ I think we need to think in terms of decades and even generations. Generations are especially important, since one generation tends to be less dogmatic then the last (although it can go in cycles that contradict that).

  • bigjohn756

    Hemant, your fantasy chart looks just fine to me, but don’t hold your breath in expectation of it happening real soon. It seems to me that the biggest reason that people don’t, or even can’t, believe in evolution is that they refuse to accept that they are in any way related to monkeys. Even if you could get them to listen to an explanation of evolution(very unlikely) they couldn’t accept it for the same reason. They think humans are so superior to any other animal that such a relationship must be impossible. Yeah, right! Hubris wins again.

  • ACN

    Unfortunately the increase is nearly within the margin of error, and the present 40% is within the margin of error of “no change” over the past 30 years!

    who are these people? Are they all atheists who go to church for some ulterior reason? Or are there actually Christians who don’t think a god had anything to do with evolution?

    I was one of these people. I was lucky enough to have really bright parents, one of whom was an atheist who got no say in our “churching” and the other who was a missionary child but also a biologist. I was shocked to find out that not everyone at our church understood the fact of evolution and the mechanisms of natural selection and mutation as I grew up!

    There are some atheists who get dragged to church by parents, spouses, children etc. There are also christians who actually think that god had nothing to do with evolution. My observations have led me to believe that the latter can only survive in the most liberal of churches. In other situations, they either modify their beliefs, or leave.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 Donna Hamel (muggle)

    Amazingly, this represents an improvement over past years.

    Baby steps, Hemant. Baby steps.

  • http://twoangryvoices.blogspot.com Aegis

    @Jeff: speaking as a Western European (well, England’s Western Europe as far as I’m concerned) you’re basically right. I wish you weren’t, but there are too many people here who consider Americans to be undereducated, naive, Hollywood-brainwashed stereotypes with a gun in one hand, a cross in the other, a John Wayne movie playing in their heads and one eye spinning like a fruit machine. Or something.

    The problem is, pointing out the number of perfectly intelligent Americans doesn’t tend to do a lot, because it’s too easy to point to the Great Iraq Clusterfuck (as I believe history will come to know it), or the mere existence (ever) of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, America’s support for Israel (who as we’re probably all at least vaguely aware basically just moved into Palestine and started taking people’s land), that awful shite with the weapons manufacturer inscribing Bible references on parts…you get the picture – people can just point to any one of these, or more, and say ‘Look at that! The place is a democracy, and they voted in people who do *that*!’…and they’re right, and that’s the worst part.

    It might be something to do with the youth of the nation (don’t go there, guys, I mean how recently America was founded) – without such a long history of its own, maybe American society is subconsciously trying to enshrine as many things into folklore and long-held tradition as it can, and is pulling some damn fool ideas into the process along with the decent ones? The crap about George Washington being unable to lie is an interesting one (’cause frankly no one unable to lie would ever make it in human society, let alone reach political office). Thoughts?

  • JD

    Social change happens very slowly. Just see how long it took to dump DADT. Or how long it took from emancipation to civil rights. It’s very rare for social views to happen so suddenly.

  • Jeff

    @Aegis,

    I agree (Israel/Palestine is more complicated than that, but whatever). If the few people I care about weren’t here, I’d leave and never look back.

    I’m actually embarrassed when I meet someone from Europe. I met a young man from France a few years ago who was here to do a postdoc in physics. He hadn’t been to the US before. I said, “You know all of those awful things they say about us in Europe? They’re all true!”

    He replied, “Well, in France, we think you’re all obese and eat Big Macs at every meal.”

    I told him, “Actually, that is true!”

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    @Hemant, why do you want there to be more creationists than theistic evolutionists?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    @Hemant, why do you want more people believing in creationism than theistic evolution

    @The Sceptical Scribe — I don’t. But they’re both wrong.

  • jose

    How can that be? Most of the best universities in the world are in America. Maybe education over there works somewhat like healthcare: the best stuff in the world for the richest and shit for everybody else. Anyway the numbers are going up. As Hemant said, it’s an improvement. Whatever you guys are doing, it’s working.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    Oh, I think I understand what Hemant was trying to do with his graph, now. He was making a more realistic prediction, as opposed to one based on 100% wishful thinking. I would have put evolutionists at 100%, but 70% is just as bleak. Sadly, it takes a long time for people to get smart.

  • Nakor

    Frankly, I’d just be concerned with the creationist line. The people who think God had a hand in evolution are, at the very least, not directly contradicting or fighting science. We disagree with them in a religious sense, but at least they’re not trying to undermine proven facts.

    Atheism versus religion is a fight that will take far longer. Not that it isn’t worth fighting, but the creationism fight (theoretically) should be the easier one, and certainly is the more important one if we care about the knowledge and education of the next generation.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    @Nakor: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Theistic evolutionists don’t bother me nearly as much as those who refuse to accept the fact of evolution.

    We need to pick our battles. Never have I been so confident my opponent was wrong, as I have in the evolution-creationism debate. This is a battle we can win.

    God isn’t going to have enough matches for all of us.

  • jose

    Nakor, what science says is a long time ago, some apes fucked. And a few millions years later, here we are (I put it this way to avoid the sterile yet common exchange: “we come from apes”–”no, we share a common ancestor”–”no, we are apes”–”no, yadda yadda”, etc.) The gradual processes working to go from then to now are well studied and none of them involves God.

    Saying God guided the process is denying science. We know how natural selection and genetic drift works, we know how speciation takes place, and God plays no role. So saying that God guided the process is denying science. It’s exactly like saying there are invisible angels pushing the planets around.

  • wright1

    @Aegis: I think your speculation about a connection between America’s more extreme craziness and it’s relative youth has something to it. I think also that it has to do with when in history the US became an independent nation: right before industrialization really took off.

    I think another factor in disbelieving evolution is that most people don’t have a sense of how old the world / universe really is. It’s difficult for most modern humans to realize how profoundly the world has changed in the last 200 years, let alone hundreds of millions.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    In England I know exactly one person who doesn’t believe that evolution is true. She is an idiot. I don’t want to say “believe in evolution” because there really isn’t a belief involved. It is simply the very best explanation available to us for the diversity of life on Earth. Even if it were somehow wrong it would still be the very best explanation available to us.

    Yeah, sorry America but we do laugh at you. Hopefully that sense of shame will help you to change and stop us from adopting such a ridiculous level of ignorance.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    Laugh all you want at my country, but don’t laugh at me specifically. We aren’t all idiots.

  • http://call-me-rick.blogspot.com/ Rick

    I can recommend Donors Choose, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, as one way to help make a change. Here’s a query limited to the keyword ‘evolution’ in the subject of ‘Math & Science’
    http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html?max=50&keywords=evolution&subject4=-4

    Help a teacher make a difference.

  • Heidi

    @Aegis & Hoverfrog: The problem here is that there is not a lot of overlap between the group of people who would actually care that you guys are laughing at us, and the group of people who are Reality Deniers. Reality deniers would just call you Un-American (as if that were some kind of insult to people who actually aren’t Americans) and then pat themselves on the back for their superiority.

  • jose

    It isn’t funny. It’s frightening. Lack of science education is what makes congressmen quote the bible to fight against climate change legislation. What’s next–burning witches? And a lot of what America does affects all countries.

  • Marylynne

    I wonder if a big bunch of the “believe in evolution but God started it” are Catholics. That’s how I grew up – I don’t think for many it is a strong theological conviction; it’s just that the Bible was metaphor and evolution did happen, and there is a God, so just squish them together without much thought.

    Now I’m an atheist in church. At the new member orientation at the UU church I now go to, 2/3 of us said, “I lost faith ___ years ago, haven’t been to church since, now I’m here because (some social need that is met).”

    If we add up those who accept the evidence for evolution whether God kick-started it or not, that’s 54 percent, which is . . .better, still kinda pathetic, really.

  • http://allogenes.wordpress.com Allogenes

    I’m a UU like Marylynne; most of my congregation is non-theistic and the rest are “soft” theists, with a “free, open and poetic” conception of God that does not interfere with their acceptance of scientific methods and the results thereof.
    I agree with Nakor and the Sceptical Scribe, and disagree with Jose, on the “theistic evolutionists.” The ones I know, at least, are not “denying science,” they totally accept the scientific understanding of how the evolutinary process works. Their God-concept is totally speculative or emotional-intuitive (and they’ll usually admit that), totally beyond empirical proof or disproof, and doesn’t get in the way of science at all. Whatever role their “faith” plays in their lives, it just doesn’t occupy the same mental space as their sense of material reality. I see no reason to try to talk them out of it; only to insist, if the question comes up, that we don’t need it and are entitled to live our own lives without it. (I myself have a “Gnostic streak” in my own “belief system,” but that’s another story.)

  • Sinfanti

    It is important to remember that evolution is a very slow and gradual process. It is going to take a very long time for a change as dramatic as the separation of the cranium from the rectal cavity.

  • rdbhcx

    That would be some really worthwhile pharyngulation.

  • jose

    Allogenes, the thing is that evolution works through unguided processes. We know those processes. They are not guided.

    People who believe in theistic evolution think God guided evolution. So they’re denying something we know about how evolution works.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    Unitarian Universalism is a huge crock.

  • Erp

    Theistic evolutionists can range from those who think God did intervene often to those who think God set up the dominoes (i.e., natural laws) and has been watching since and everything between. Personally I don’t worry too much about theistic evolutionists as long as they don’t think scientific evidence for God has been (or is likely to be) found.

    The big worry is the still huge number who seem to be young earth creationists (or old earth with humans as a special creation). Those are refusing to accept most of science and not just biology.

  • Remus

    Damn. I knew the problem was bad, but as Hermant says, this is borderlining to delusional.
    I actually think the third graph is pretty representetive of western Europe, or at least Denmark for sure.

  • ACN

    to those who think God set up the dominoes (i.e., natural laws) and has been watching since

    Strictly speaking, wouldn’t that be the deist position rather than the theists?

  • Eliza

    (The poll shows that 2% of Americans attend church weekly but don’t believe a god played a role in human evolution… who are these people? Are they all atheists who go to church for some ulterior reason? Or are there actually Christians who don’t think a god had anything to do with evolution?)

    As marylynne and Allogenes said, UUs would be among this group. Many are non-theists (atheists, skeptics, humanists, whatever); clearly that’s more than half of the attendees at my UU church. Some are spiritual-nontheists (Wiccans, various flavors of New Age religion), some are deists; few (out West, anyway) are theists.

    People attend to be part of a welcoming community which allows open voicing of inquiry & doubt, with some pretty interesting (and intellectual) people, who want to try to make the world a better place. Also, for many of us, it’s a place for our kids to get exposure to humanistic ethics and to meet other non-theist kids, many of whom are atheist. Oh, and to learn and practice tolerance. :)

  • Colin

    Another way of looking at this is that our camp has nearly doubled in 10 years and would equate to nearly 50 million people, more than most countries have total. It’s not great, but its a start.

    As for the theists/diests who believe in god playing role in evolution, they don’t worry me so much since they are just trying to cling to shredded beliefs of an afterlife for comfort. As long as they accept science and don’t try to “prove” god, then whatever. The tide is changing.

    Also, I am a UU and a large number of us (a majority in many congregations if not most), are atheists like myself. We join to be around other intellectual people and form a sense of community in a world that is otherwise very unwelcoming. I’m curious why @The Sceptical Scribe calls it a crock. Really, I’m curious why you would dump an insult like that without explaining.

  • Non-Litigious Atheist

    Weird… In your fantasy poll projection chart you would apparently prefer that more people to be completely wrong and believe in creationism, than for more people to believe in God-guided evolution, which would only be half-wrong. What’s up with that?

    Is it better for atheism to have the more popular alternative be the more ridiculous one, so that atheism wins by default?

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    @Non-Litigious Atheist: I brought up the same point. Hemant said he didn’t want there to be more creationists than theistic evolutionists, but I think he was attempting at a more realistic prediction.

    @Colin: This is America, and I can share my disgust whenever I feel like it, and without explanation. However, I’ll be kind enough to explain why I said this, since I have time.

    UU churches basically preach liberalism, and nothing more. Everything goes, and “all religions are right.” That’s a dumb thing to say. I should punch the next person who says that, and it wouldn’t be wrong, since punching is my religion.

    Pagans can worship next to Christians who can worship next to Wiccans who can worship next to athiests or whatever. The UU Church claims to have Judeo-Christian roots, but really shies away from preaching anything Christian. I’ve heard that some UU churches even bash Christianity, but I cannot prove this.

    Personally, I wouldn’t feel very welcome in a UU church. I’ve even been criticized for my atheism by a Unitarian Universalist. They claim to be all about tolerance, but do the exact opposite sometimes. What are they all about?

    And a “church” is meant to be a place of worship. I don’t understand what the purpose of a UU church is. To worship with everyone under the sun can have no benefit because there is no common confession of faith – you don’t share anything with those members but pew space.

    If I were a person of faith, I’d feel a lot more comfortable and purposeful by going to the church of my religion. A UU church is not a “church” in the practical sense of the term.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    After having a laugh at the stupidity of the majority of North America I should really take a moment to praise those who actually take a moment to understand the basics of the science. It can’t be easy when this information is repressed by school boards or taught but dismissed by teachers with an agenda.

    After giving it more thought I also wonder what the history denying fundies would make of this. Do they consider it to be a dangerous trend where the “evils of science” are taking root? With 54% of people accepting evolution in some form the loony tunes deniers are in a minority.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    @hoverfrog: Being an atheist in America is hard, so please do take a moment to praise us.

    Don’t buy into the “being a Christian is hard” talk. I hear that everyday. Being a Christian is as hard as being Caucasian. It’s always easy to be in the majority. I would imagine an atheist would be happier in Europe. Like I said, I want to move there.

    I once lived in Germany three years. Too bad I can’t remember how good of a place it was, since I was a toddler during those years.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    our only hope is the free internet. because the truth is that it’s getting worse, and not better, in terms of science education in public schools. even colleges are suffering funding cutbacks, and given the way politics work right now in this country, that’s not likely to improve any time soon. i believe the best we can hope for is that the more curious young people out there discover that there are lots of science-fact websites out there that will answer their questions about evolution, as well as plenty of atheist sites where they can read sound critique of religious belief. but don’t expect them to learn it is their public school or home school environment. teachers are too busy trying to get kids to learn the answers to scripted tests, because that’s what they are forced to do to keep their jobs. and i’m sure most people know what is being taught in most home school environments: not sound science.

  • http://everydayatheist.wordpress.com Everyday Atheist

    @wright1:

    I think another factor in disbelieving evolution is that most people don’t have a sense of how old the world / universe really is. It’s difficult for most modern humans to realize how profoundly the world has changed in the last 200 years, let alone hundreds of millions.

    I often wonder if most people are even capable of comprehending the age of the universe or the earth. As many have noted, our brains evolved in the context of 0-90 year life spans, with the average in the low 30s until recent centuries. We start with a cognitive inability to intuitively understand cosmic or geological timespans. It takes work to overcome this and at least mentally start to grasp such periods. Just the type of work the religious and/or incurious are unlikely to undertake.

  • Claudia

    Am I the only one that’s horrified that fully 22% of people with post-graduate degrees are creationists? Holy shit! I find that almost half of that same group believes in god-guided evolution only mildly less depressing. Really? God guided a blind spot in our eye? How many of these people are men? Have they checked out their testicles lately? Does that shit look planned to them?

  • lamb of dog

    Yes, @Marylynne has it–54% believe in evolution. A lot of them then have to do some semantic gymnastics to make it fit their religious beliefs, but they can see the scientific facts and accept them. Their rationalizations don’t enter into it.

    54% is, as she says, still pretty pathetic, but to say only 16% accept evolution is, at best, mistaken; at worst, it gives theists ammo to say atheists skew the facts to support their cause. Disagreeing is fine, but let’s not become disrespectful toward the xians who are most likely to be our allies in making society more tolerant of non-xians.

  • Godless Lawyer

    Maybe it’s just been too long since I’ve taken a statistics course…

    Why do none of the numbers add up to 100%?

  • lamb of dog

    @Godless Lawyer: Margin of error

  • Trixie

    A problem with the original survey is that the participant has to acknowledge the existence of God in the first place. I’d feel better taking the survey if one option was worded “Humans evolved, but a god had no part in the process” or “Humans evolved by biological processes.” Or maybe I missed that the survey was conducted by a theological group.

  • Scully

    hoverfrog: Yeah, sorry America but we do laugh at you.

    Likewise.

    The Sceptical Scribe: Unitarian Universalism is a huge crock.

    So what? You can take what you find valuable and ignore what you don’t.

    The Sceptical Scribe: I’ve even been criticized for my atheism by a Unitarian Universalist.

    Ah.

  • Randy

    Europe can laugh all they want (and they do have cause in some cases), but remember who they crawl to with their hand out when the shit hits the fan.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    @Godless Lawyer, You asked why the numbers didn’t add up to 100%.

    It is because there was an additional possible response “Other/No opinion” which was not included in the charts. If the percentages for that response were to be included, then the percentages would add up to 100%. The margin or error has nothing to do with the numbers not adding up to 100%.

  • Claudia

    Europe can laugh all they want (and they do have cause in some cases), but remember who they crawl to with their hand out when the shit hits the fan.

    I have to assume you are talking about WWII, where the US indeed helped Europe out of a very tight spot, for which they deserve praise, absolutely. However bringing this up sounds childish and insecure. Europe wasn’t even a part of the subject until you brought it up. Defensive, much?

  • http://happyatheists.com SlickNinja

    There are few things are horridly ignorant as strict creationism.

  • JSug

    I’d love to see a Gallup poll in a couple years that looks like this… can we please make it happen?

    Now who’s being delusional, Hemant? ;o)

  • Claudia

    Europe wasn’t even a part of the subject until you brought it up.

    Comment fail on my part. Either all the comments didn’t load on the first try, or I did some really creative scrolling. Either way, fail. Still, the sentiment holds.

  • Randy

    Defensive, please no. Other than proping up NATO and Europes finacial system what the hell are we doiung over there.

  • Fundie Troll

    The poll shows that 2% of Americans attend church weekly but don’t believe a god played a role in human evolution… who are these people? Are they all atheists who go to church for some ulterior reason? Or are there actually Christians who don’t think a god had anything to do with evolution?

    Most likely the church they attend is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association… :)

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    I’m waiting for a UU to tell me why their cult is a good thing? My arguments still stand.

  • Marylynne

    Sceptical Scribe,

    Your description of UU: Sort of, but you are missing the point. I wonder if you have experience yourself with UU or you are just going by what you have heard about it.

    It is a liberal religious tradition, but there is certainly more to it than that. It doesn’t say all religions are right. It says that not any one religion has the truth and that wisdom and insight can be drawn from many sources.

    “Pagans can worship next to Christians who can worship next to Wiccans who can worship next to athiests or whatever.” This is true. “Shies away from preaching anything Christian, bashes Christianity” – not true. I have heard sermons and readings based on the Bible. It is not the majority of the readings, though.

    -No dogma, no creeds to believe in. They value the individual spiritual journey and the questions much more than the answers. It’s not everything goes – the basic values of peace, justice, equality and tolerance are important.

    - Strong tradition of working for justice. UU has been at the forefront of abolition, women’s rights, civil rights, immigration, and LGBT movements.

    My atheism has been very welcomed in my UU church. You said, “I’ve even been criticized for my atheism by a Unitarian Universalist.” If a single person criticized your beliefs, that doesn’t say anything about UU as a whole.

    “I don’t understand what the purpose of a UU church is. To worship with everyone under the sun can have no benefit because there is no common confession of faith – you don’t share anything with those members but pew space.” I guess you could expand your definition of the purpose of a church. I share values, intellectual discussions, commitment and actions towards justice, enjoyment of the company, a sense of community, and pleasure in the service – lots of things besides a common confession of faith.

    You asked someone to explain why our “cult” is a good thing – I know this isn’t much of a start, but if you are really interested there is lots of info around. Just consider you really don’t have the whole picture. If you aren’t interested and have already made up your mind based on the limited info you have, well, hope that works out for you.

    ML

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Scully

    hoverfrog: Yeah, sorry America but we do laugh at you.

    Likewise.

    There are plenty of ridiculous things going on in Europe that deserve laughing at. One of them is an underfunding in science education and research.

  • http://scepticalscribe.blog.com The Sceptical Scribe

    @Marylynne: Thanks for the explanation. However, I’m still a little bit … uncomfortable. As an atheist, I tend to shy away from groups.

  • brent

    in the last graph I don’t see why the dark green shouldn’t go to zero.

  • Rollingforest

    We shouldn’t blame the Universities for this sad affair. They are doing the best they can with the resources they are given. Belief in evolution is so low because belief in religion is so high, and many aren’t willing to do the intellectual gymnastics necessary to believe both at the same time. The reason why belief in religion is so high in America is, ironically, freedom of religion.

    In Europe for centuries many countries only accepted one denomination as official. So every time the government was corrupt, the church was blamed for being corrupt too. Thus many people began to abandon the church because they hated the government that it supported.

    In America, there is no official denomination, so all of them could claim some independence. People felt that they had chosen their own faith, even if they were born into it, because the government never told them what denomination to belong to. Thus corruption in the government could not automatically be linked to the church (even if in reality it was) and thus more people felt comfortable staying religious.

  • Marylynne

    Sceptical Scribe:

    Got it. I understand and respect your position and opinion, and entirely defend the fact that you feel that way and your right to do so.

    Now, how exactly does “I’m uncomfortable – as an atheist I tend to shy away from groups” translate to “UU is a crock”?

  • Colin

    @The Sceptical Scribe: This is America, and I can share my disgust whenever I feel like it, and without explanation. However, I’ll be kind enough to explain why I said this, since I have time.

    First, I did’t think I was questioning your right to say what you want. I was just respectfully curious. You are, of course, entitled to be critical of UUs or any other thing you want. Just because I asked for a reasoning is not the same as challenging your right to say it or withhold reasoning. With that said, I appreciate your response.

    @Marylynne had a great overall response to your post, so I’d like to just address one thing.

    And a “church” is meant to be a place of worship. I don’t understand what the purpose of a UU church is. To worship with everyone under the sun can have no benefit because there is no common confession of faith – you don’t share anything with those members but pew space.

    Not true at all. We don’t share any supernatural beliefs, but we do share many natural world beliefs that we feel are worth sharing. These include a commitment to intellect, responsible environmental stewardship, integrity in personal conduct, and a commitment to social justice. As for worship, I think its a relic term from the UU past as a very liberal Christian tradition. But if I’m going to worship anything, I can live with worshiping intellect and justice and human potential.

    BTW, if a UU criticized you for being an atheist, please tell them I said to “fuck off”. Some atheists are assholes also, but I wouldn’t say I’d never join an atheist group because of one idiot.

    If UU is not for you, thats cool. And if you still think we are a “cult”, then okey dokey. To each his own. Again, I thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Non-Litigious Atheist

    Hemant said he didn’t want there to be more creationists than theistic evolutionists, but I think he was attempting at a more realistic prediction.

    @The Sceptical Scribe: OK, I’ll give you that. Thinking about it more carefully, when I ask myself where all that influx of evolution without God’ers are going to come from, more would probably ‘convert’ from the God-guided evolution camp than the creationist camp.

  • http://www.noapologizing.wordpress.com KCbob

    Out of the 60+ comments on this board no one mentions that evolution is not fact, not truth, but a theory that has yet to be proven? Am I missing something here? When has evolution cleared the scientific process?

    http://noapologizing.wordpress.com/2010/10/08/missing-link-found/

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Oh dear, someone doesn’t know what “theory” means in a scientific context.

  • http://www.noapologizing.wordpress.com KCbob

    Am I wrong? Help me to understand how evolution is fact if it cannot pass the sceintific method. I am looking for an honest answer here. I used the word theory because of the association of the word theory with evolution (e.g. theory of evolution, evolutional theory, etc…)

    http://noapologizing.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/the-bible-is-it-historically-reliable/

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    No. I shan’t feed the troll.

  • Claudia

    (sorry hoverfrog, I’ll be brief)

    @KCbob, if you are honestly seeking answers (which I quite strongly doubt) please look here and here. If you read both of those articles and have any questions that demonstrate that you have A-indeed read the articles and B-understood the basic notions in them, and have related questions, then I’d be happy to continue the conversation. However if you come back with a re-stating of your previous comments that clearly show you have not read the information on hand, then any further comment will be disregarded.

    Cheers.

  • http://www.noapologizing.wordpress.com KCbob

    Wikipedia, should not and cannot be used for any scholarly reference. Don’t worry I refuse to cite wikipedia for any papers/blogs I write. Wikipedia is not accepted as a valid reference or source for any collegiate classes (bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate). Do you happen to have a peer reviewed article that you would recommend?

    BTW…I don’t think you know me well enough to assume anything other than that my question is as genuine as I pose it to be. Just a thought.

  • Steve

    This is more simple than finding scholarly articles. You don’t know what a scientific theory is. Period. If you can’t even comprehend that, no amount of research will help you. And WP is a perfectly valid place to learn the difference between the colloquial meaning of “theory” (i.e. a hypothesis) and a scientific theory.

    And yeah, you just come across a troll.

  • Claudia

    @KCbob, you don’t have the basic working understanding of evolution or the term theory neccesary for scholarly works on the subject. This is obvious from your original comment. I’m a biochemist, and I can assure you that the wikipedia articles I cited are quite good for comprehending the basics as someone untrained in the field. Once again, if you read them and have specific questions about them, I’ll be happy to try to answer them :-)

  • Paul

    I look forward to the day when the “Evolution without god’s influence” crosses the “god create man” line. It will truly be a year to celebrate. A rough extrapolation shows that it might happen by 2028. I hope to live that long.

  • abb3w

    I suspect the 40% value is in some sense slightly high, as the three choice limit means those with Old-Earth Creationist beliefs might consider the Young-Earth Creationst the “closest” available. A 2002 Cleveland Plain Dealer poll used a five-option question, with YEC, OEC, Intelligent Design, Theistic Evolution, and Atheistic Evolution. The breakdown was approximately 30:15:15:25:15 in Ohio at the time. (While the poll was limited to Ohio, the state is US-median for a number of demographic traits, making it a potentially useful proxy.)

    Note, the 30+15 YEC/OEC matches fairly well to the value for the Creationist response in the Gallup poll, white the 15+25 ID/TE matches fairly well to the Guided response. So, presuming the 2:1 YEC/OEC ratio holds, the national “completely delusional” YEC level is probably somewhere between 25 and 30% these days.

    Which is a little more hopeful… but not much.

  • Billy Danner

    ehhhh i have to go with 1 because 2 is so poorly worded…