Creationists vs. Evolutionists: An American Story
Author: Robert Wright
Source: The Atlantic
About half of Americans--46 percent, in the latest Gallup Poll--believe human beings weren't created by evolution.
Over at the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan says this is a grave problem. "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."
Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum says Andrew should calm down. "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."
As the narrator of the old Certs commercial used to say: Stop! You're both right!
I agree with Kevin that it's not a big problem--at least, not a big inherent problem--that America is divided over evolution. There's only one policy arena where the two Americas naturally clash--the science curriculum of public schools--and even there they manage to avoid clashing most of the time.
But I do think that in recent years disagreement over evolution has become more politically charged, more acrimonious, and that the rancor may be affecting other science-related policy areas, such as climate change.
My theory is highly conjectural, but here goes:
Read more at the Atlantic