We all know it is possible for people to hold two contradictory ideas in their head at the same time. Evolution and creationism are a case in point. Apparently in a recent USAToday/Gallup Poll, a majority of my fellow citizens responded they believe both are likely explanations for life on earth.
Two-thirds in the poll said creationism, the idea that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, is definitely or probably true. More than half, 53%, said evolution, the idea that humans evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, is definitely or probably true. All told, 25% say that both creationism and evolution are definitely or probably true. (USAToday)
Most people are not as dumb about evolution as the three evolution denying Republican presidential candidates (Huckabee, Tancredo, Brownback) seem to think they are. Huckabee has sort of figured this out and is trying to walk back his earlier claim he doesn’t believe in evolution. In fact most people do believe in evolution, even if they also believe in some creation myth they were taught as a babe. Those who said a candidate’s opinion on evolution would affect their vote, two to one said denying it would make it less likely they’d vote for the person. Denying evolution is a loser, even in supposedly god-fearing America:
Nearly three in 10 in the new poll said they’d be less likely to vote for a candidate who rejects evolution; 15% said they’d be more likely, and 53% said it would make no difference. Huckabee says the issue is not relevant to a White House race and seven in 10 in the poll agreed with him.
Thirty percent is a sizable chunk of the electorate. Like most people I, too, am able to hold two contradictory ideas in my head. One is that over half of the poll respondents believed in evolution is good news. The other is that over half of the respondents believed in creationism is dismaying news.
The glass is 53% full, 67% empty and 25% WTF?