Vancouver Sun writer Douglas Todd is appalled at the latest Darwin numbers from Canada which show that the theory of evolution is not exactly being embraced in the Great White North:
The Canadian school system is failing to properly educate citizens about evolutionary theory — especially about the diversity of evolutionary theory. With all the media attention given last week to Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the release of his earth-shattering Origin of Species, you would think evolution would now be embedded in the Canadian psyche.
But it turns out Canadians are almost as ignorant as Americans about evolution. An Angus Reid poll recently showed that only 58% of Canadian accept the well-tested theories of evolution based on Darwin's research.
A whopping 24% of Canadians told pollsters they believe in Creationism, which translates as the belief the Biblical God supernaturally created the world 6,000 years ago. In other words, such people believe humans once walked with dinosaurs. (Maybe I need to say the obvious: The vast majority of scientists say this is NOT true.)
"Almost as ignorant" as Americans? Sorry, Doug. Americans win again. Polls prove that Americans are even more ignorant than Canadians. Which is cool because America is number one — even at being dumb!
A new Gallup survey reveals that only 39% of Americans believe in the theory of evolution. That's 20 points below Canada.
And you think 24% of Canadians believing in Creationism is "whopping?" Think again, loser! According to a new Pew Research poll, 44% of Americans think the world was created by God in six days, just like the Bible says, and that all life passed into existence about 10,000 years ago, just like in the Flintstones. Again, a 20-point winning margin.
And America's prowess at ignorance is even more impressive than that, however. Among U.S. college graduates, only 55% believe in evolution, which is still less than Canada's overall overage of 58%. In other words, even our elite is out of it. You think you educational system stinks? Hah, eat our dust!
And it gets even better. It turns out, according to Pew polling, that some pretty large chunks of American citizenry don't really know what either evolution and Creationism are, even when pollsters explain it to them in detail. Get this: 26% of Americans think evolution and Creationism are both true.
According to Pew:
Most Americans say they are familiar with creationism and evolution, but recent polling suggests that there is some confusion about the meaning of these terms. In an August 2005 Gallup poll, 58% of the public said that creationism was definitely or probably true as an explanation for the origin and development of life, but about the same number also said the same about evolution. Since creationism and evolution are incompatible as explanations, some portion of the public is clearly confused about the meaning of the terms.
A 1999 Fox News poll of registered voters offered respondents the explicit option to say that both Darwin's theory of evolution and the biblical account of creation were true: 26% said both were. More recently, a July 2005 Pew Research Center poll found that a substantial 35% minority of those who accept creationist accounts of life's origins nonetheless oppose removing the teaching of evolution in public schools in favor of teaching creationism; 14% of those who accepted natural selection favored teaching creationism instead of evolution.
It's good to know that the Great American Peckerwood still lives and is kicking Canadian butt.
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