BY KENNY BELFORD
The Pew Research Center has just released a new poll. While the poll itself wasn’t a political poll, there certainly are political revelations found in it. The poll centered on evolution, and revealed the respondents views on the topic.
The poll surveyed 2,000 Americans and overall 60% stated a belief in evolution. When divided by political affiliation, 67% of Democrats believed in evolution, compared to only 43% of Republicans.
The poll results also revealed that the number for Democrats was up 3%, and represented an 11% drop among Republicans from a 2009 poll on the same topic.
Frequently I’ve expressed the comment that we’re going through a dumbing down process in America, and an anti-science view is on the rise. A significant number of Americans seem to also devalue advanced education, and fact denying is at the highest I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.
There may be a reason for the significant downward shift in acceptance of the anti-fact and science stance of Republicans. As the Tea Party gained in numbers, elected members of that group have made so many absurd claims, and stated objectives so far from logic it’s entirely possible they’ve skewed the poll results.
As an example, if a group of 100 has 30 in the group that are just plain loony, that equals a percentage of 30%. If the loony faction proves to be too much of an embarrassment for the other 70 members, many might choose to not remain associated by name with a pack of fools. So if half of the original 100 stop claiming membership to the group, that would change the percentage of loony people up to 60%.
It’s safe to say that the 57% of Republicans that want to deny facts, and are anti-science, well … they’re 100% wrong. There was a time when a total consensus around the entire planet held the view that the world was flat. Tea Party members may still subscribe to that notion, either literally or figuratively.
Several years ago a Tea Party member in Oklahoma engaged me in a conversation about evolution. He explained that his pastor had taught them that man and dinosaurs existed at the same time. That’s a view also held by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
He went further and stated that the earth was only 6,000 years old and was encased in an ice crystal globe up in the atmosphere. Something happened to shatter the ice globe and it produced the first rainbow, and that’s what caused the dinosaurs to die off.
He had no explanation about what caused the ice globe to shatter, but I’m thinking it must have been toxic flatulence from unicorns.
– Kenny Belford lives in Tulsa, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer