Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fundamentalists Make Poor College Students

From Pharyngula:

"Science magazine has just published a graph of data taken from a general social survey of Americans that quantifies what most of us assume: a well-educated liberal who is not a fundamentalist is much more likely to accept evolution than a conservative fundamentalist with only a high school education. You can see the trend fairly clearly: here we see the percent believing in evolution vs. fundamentalism, amount of education, and self-reported political views:
The percentage of respondents believing in human evolution is plotted simultaneously against political view (conservative, moderate, liberal), education (high school or less, some college, graduate school), and respondent's religious denomination (fundamentalist or not). Belief in evolution rises along with political liberalism, independently of control variables.

It's not surprising that fundamentalism puts such a strong damper on evolution, but it is surprising that political conservatism would do likewise. That, I suspect, is a consequence of the strong association between the religious right and Republicans in this country, and I have to wonder whether conservatives who reject religion completely are as screwed up as this sample indicates, and if conservatives from other countries would do as poorly.
It's utterly unsurprisingly that idiots who think the Earth is 5,000 years old tend not to believe in evolution. What surprised and depressed me more was this mysterious 14% of liberals with graduate school educations who still can't bring themselves believe in evolution. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? The ones with advanced degrees and no religious zealotry who think Yahweh made us out of dust and Magikal Faerie Juice? Let's call them Species Homo Liebermanus.

I guess when the civil war comes, we'll have to keep a close eye on 14% of "our" number... they're secretly brainwashed morons in disguise.