Saturday, March 31, 2007

Newsweek ~ God's Numbers Solid in Jesusland

Brian Braiker reports on a recent Newsweek poll of just over a thousand Americans. 91% believe in God but here is where I turned truly troubled:
... Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view. ...
I caught a NPR interview of Richard Dawkins this week as I labored about the place. I was so impressed by Dr. Dawkins' decency, compassion, intelligence, humor, ... I did not catch Francis Collins the next day in NPR's effort to balance the mix yet I certainly wish I had. Perhaps I can get time to listen to him off the internets? As far as Dr. Collins, the following is gleaned from the interview I linked to:
Q - Obviously, you're saying you should not read the Bible literally, especially the story of Genesis.
A - That also seems very threatening to many believers who have been led to believe that if you start watering down any part of the Bible, including a literal interpretation of Genesis One, then pretty soon you'll lose your faith and you won't believe that Christ died and was resurrected. But you cannot claim that the earth is less than 10,000 years old unless you're ready to reject all of the fundamental findings of geology, cosmology, physics, chemistry and biology. You really have to throw out all of the sciences in order to draw that conclusion.
Good grief America! Do you really want to act like folks from Alabama? The GOP (using such tools as Discovery Institute for instance) is seemingly winning this part of the "culture war" where science might matter. While I'm hardly a fan of "intelligent design", or Dr. Collins for that matter, at least there's some measure of reason that he provides. At least he attempts to work with reality instead of choosing to remain simply ignorant. Believing in a 10,000 year old earth is just plain bizarre and yet the numbers, which I've seen in essentially the same pattern in the past, are showing I'm truly in the minority here in Jesusland.
Maybe I need to move to Europe? The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Council on Foreign Relations has a nice effort on religious American being compared to secular Europe that I'll share as I close. I have a good book that I've put off tackling. Peace ... or War!

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