Jun. 4, 2012
Well, it's a true claim: monkeys are more intelligent than 46% of Americans.
Did you notice that the "Humans evolved, with God's guidance" %, is getting smaller? WTF? They don't like the word "evolution", even if you add the qualifier "with god's guidance"?
The only blip of good news is that in 30 years, the % of people who say humans evolved and god had nothing to do with it, went from 9% to 15%. Some monkeys are getting smarter :-)
Jun. 4, 2012
Other nations are always envious of us Americans so they rush to demonstrate that monkeys are smarter than them too!
Publishers set to remove examples of evolution from high-school textbooks.
KLAUS HONAL/NATURFOTO HONAL/CORBIS
Mention creationism, and many scientists think of the United States, where efforts to limit the teaching of evolution have made headway in a couple of states1. But the successes are modest compared with those in South Korea, where the anti-evolution sentiment seems to be winning its battle with mainstream science.
A petition to remove references to evolution from high-school textbooks claimed victory last month after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) revealed that many of the publishers would produce revised editions that exclude examples of the evolution of the horse or of avian ancestor Archaeopteryx. The move has alarmed biologists, who say that they were not consulted. “The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge,” says Dayk Jang, an evolutionary scientist at Seoul National University.
The campaign was led by the Society for Textbook Revise (STR), which aims to delete the “error” of evolution from textbooks to “correct” students’ views of the world, according to the society’s website. The society says that its members include professors of biology and high-school science teachers.
The STR is also campaigning to remove content about “the evolution of humans” and “the adaptation of finch beaks based on habitat and mode of sustenance”, a reference to one of the most famous observations in Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. To back its campaign, the group highlights recent discoveries that Archaeopteryx is one of many feathered dinosaurs, and not necessarily an ancestor of all birds2. Exploiting such debates over the lineage of species “is a typical strategy of creation scientists to attack the teaching of evolution itself”, says Joonghwan Jeon, an evolutionary psychologist at Kyung Hee University in Yongin.
The STR is an independent offshoot of the Korea Association for Creation Research (KACR), according to KACR spokesman Jungyeol Han. Thanks in part to the KACR’s efforts, creation science — which seeks to provide evidence in support of the creation myth described in the Book of Genesis — has had a growing influence in South Korea, although the STR itself has distanced itself from such doctrines. In early 2008, the KACR scored a hit with a successful exhibition at Seoul Land, one of the country’s leading amusement parks. According to the group, the exhibition attracted more than 116,000 visitors in three months, and the park is now in talks to create a year-long exhibition.
Even the nation’s leading science institute — the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology — has a creation science display on campus. “The exhibition was set up by scientists who believed in creation science back in 1993,” says Gab-duk Jang, a pastor of the campus church. The institute also has a thriving Research Association for Creation Science, run by professors and students, he adds.
In a 2009 survey conducted for the South Korean documentary The Era of God and Darwin, almost one-third of the respondents didn’t believe in evolution. Of those, 41% said that there was insufficient scientific evidence to support it; 39% said that it contradicted their religious beliefs; and 17% did not understand the theory. The numbers approach those in the United States, where a survey by the research firm Gallup has shown that around 40% of Americans do not believe that humans evolved from less advanced forms of life.
“The ministry just sent the petition out to the publishing companies and let them judge.”
The roots of the South Korean antipathy to evolution are unclear, although Jeon suggests that they are partly “due to strong Christianity in the country”. About half of South Korea’s citizens practice a religion, mostly split between Christianity and Buddhism.
However, a survey of trainee teachers in the country concluded that religious belief was not a strong determinant of their acceptance of evolution3. It also found that 40% of biology teachers agreed with the statement that “much of the scientific community doubts if evolution occurs”; and half disagreed that “modern humans are the product of evolutionary processes”.
Read the rest here.
More about South Korea
Since 1981, the Korean Association for Creation Research has grown to 16 branches, with 1000 members and 500 Ph.Ds. On August 22–24, 1991, recognizing the 10th anniversary of KACR, an International Symposium on Creation Science was held with 4,000 in attendance. In 1990, the book The Natural Sciences was written by Dr. Young-gil Kim and 26 other fellow scientists in Korea with a creationist viewpoint. The textbook drew the interest of college communities, and today, many South Korean universities are using it.
Since 1991, Creation Science has become a regular university course at Myongji University, which has a centre for creation research. Since that time, other universities have begun to offer Creation Science courses. At Handong Global University, creationist Dr. Young-gil Kim was inaugurated as president in March 1995. At Myongji University, creationist Dr. Woongsang Lee is a biology professor. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology is where the Research Association of Creation Science was founded and many graduate students are actively involved. In 2008 a survey found that 36% of South Koreans disagreed with the statement that "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.".
The interesting part of this graph is the simultaneous rise of nutcases and decline of loonies in 2010.
Strange, I've never heard of l'esprit de l'escalier.
Mind you, I'm Québecois, not French.
I love Age-otori, Tingo and Gigil =)
Gigil sounds like our faire des giligilis that basically means ceding to that urge.
A word from Kevin Drum
I'm not especially trying to pick on Andrew Sullivan here, but today he echoed a meme that I now feel like I've heard a million times and that really, really needs some pushback. He's responding to Gallup's latest survey about evolution, in which 46% of Americans say God created humans in their present formsometime in the past 10,000 years:
This chart is a useful tonic to anyone feeling optimistic about bringing the country together....I'm not sure how many of the 46 percent actually believe the story of 10,000 years ago. Surely some of them know it's less empirically spported than Bigfoot. My fear is that some of that 46 percent are giving that answer not as an empirical response, but as a cultural signifier. That means that some are more prepared to cling to untruth than concede a thing to libruls or atheists or blue America, or whatever the "other" is at any given point in time. I simply do not know how you construct a civil discourse indispensable to a functioning democracy with this vast a gulf between citizens in their basic understanding of the world.
Come on. This 46% number has barely budged over the past three decades, and I'm willing to bet it was at least as high back in the 50s and early 60s, that supposed golden age of comity and bipartisanship. It simply has nothing to do with whether we can all get along and nothing to do with whether we can construct a civil discourse.
The fact is that belief in evolution has virtually no real-life impact on anything. That's why 46% of the country can safely choose not to believe it: their lack of belief has precisely zero effect on their lives. Sure, it's a handy way of saying that they're God-fearing Christians — a "cultural signifier," as Andrew puts it — but our lives are jam-packed with cultural signifiers. This is just one of thousands, one whose importance probably barely cracks America's top 100 list.
And the reason it doesn't is that even creationists don't take their own views seriously. How do I know this? Well, creationists like to fight over whether we should teach evolution in high school, but they never go much beyond that. Nobody wants to remove it from university biology departments. Nobody wants to shut down actual medical research that depends on the workings of evolution. In short, almost nobody wants to fight evolution except at the purely symbolic level of high school curricula, the one place where it barely matters in the first place. The dirty truth is that a 10th grade knowledge of evolution adds only slightly to a 10th grade understanding of biology.
Now, I think evolution should remain in high school texts anyway. Why? Because it's true. Biology is a science, and evolution is one of the pillars of modern science. For me, that's a cultural signifier every bit as much as a literal reading of the Bible is for 46% of the country. But you know what? I could spend an entire day arguing politics and economics and culture with a conservative and never so much as mention evolution. It's just not that important, and it doesn't tell us much of anything about our widening political polarization. We should keep up the fight, but at the same time we shouldn't pretend it has an epic significance that it doesn't. I'm not optimistic about anyone or anything "bringing the country together," but not because lots of people choose to deny evolution. Frankly, that's one of the least of our problems.
Here is someone who disagrees with Kevin Drum
Ryan Cooper disagrees:
I say a lack of wide understanding of evolution is hurting the country, most obviously in the form of antibiotic resistance. Industrial feedlots grow their animals stewed in powerful antibiotics to shave their operating costs, which isleading to bacteria evolving past them and resistant infections cropping up in humans. It’s a classic case of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs, which are tough to overcome in any case, but an understanding of evolution makes the situation immediately and alarmingly obvious, while disbelief can cloud the situation. Witness hack "scientists" at Liberty University, who publish work quibbling with the details of the evidence and thereby muddy the conversation. I’m not saying that’s the only factor, but surely if 80 percent of the country had a strong understanding of evolution, it would be easier to horsewhip the FDA into outlawing antibiotic use in non-sick animals.