A couple of posts over at Crooks and Liars have really got me shaking my head. What's the point of trying to explain anything to the American public if they are just plain too stupid to understand it?
With three admitted skeptics of modern biology seeking the Republican presidential nomination (Huckabee, Brownback, and Tancredo), there’s far more interest than usual in evolution and politics. USA Today added to the interest late last week with a report that showed two-thirds of Americans believe “creationism, the idea that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, is definitely or probably true.”
Gallup followed up today with some pertinent details — including the partisan breakdown.The problem isn’t just that Americans in general are confused, but rather that the GOP is throwing off the curve.
The majority of Republicans in the United States do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they were generally in sync with the bulk of the rank-and-file Republicans whose nomination they are seeking to obtain.
Independents and Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe in the theory of evolution. But even among non-Republicans there appears to be a significant minority who doubt that evolution adequately explains where humans came from.
Jonah Goldberg offers a new talking point for the GOP: close public schools.
Here’s a good question for you: Why have public schools at all?
OK, cue the marching music. We need public schools because blah blah blah and yada yada yada. We could say blah is common culture and yada is the government’s interest in promoting the general welfare. Or that children are the future. And a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Because we can’t leave any child behind.
The problem with all these bromides is that they leave out the simple fact that one of the surest ways to leave a kid “behind” is to hand him over to the government. Americans want universal education, just as they want universally safe food. But nobody believes that the government should run 90% of the restaurants, farms and supermarkets. Why should it run 90% of the schools — particularly when it gets terrible results?
Let’s do all we can to share Goldberg’s words of wisdom to American families from coast to coast — the right wants to shut down your local public school and privatize education. That ought to go over well.
Stories like this one from our own RevPhat do not bode well for the future. If anything the fight for the minds of today's children and tomorrow's citizens is going even further in the direction of dumbing the country down. As she pointed out, "The bottom line is that the Bible was never meant to be read literally. And the Bible is not a history book. Nor is it a science book." I for one seriously question the 'rights' of parents to shove this kind of propaganda down the unwilling throats of their own children. Worst case scenarios like this one, of the infamous 'Jesus Camp' show how close it comes to intellectual child abuse.
Only a few decades ago America was the most educated country on the planet, an unabashedly secular society that was putting men on the moon. The edge in technology gave the country the unprecedented prosperity it is now losing, having fallen to 36th in education worldwide.
The American public seems to think that they can continue to enjoy the world's highest standard of living while exporting little more than one very narrow interpretation of The Gospel, abstinence only programs, and surplus weaponry. I for one rather doubt it.
TAGS: Evolution, Education, Creationism, Presidential Candidates