Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy 150th Birthday to "On the Origin of Species"

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was first published. It was one of the most important publications in history, setting off a scientific revolution and a theological-political controversy that has not yet abated. Just as the Church vilified and condemned Galileo 400 years ago for the heresy of confirming Copernicus's sun-centered model of the solar system, so Darwin's "heresy" of evolution by natural selection continues to be reviled by theocrats.

The theocrats are stronger in the US than in most other countries, as
the graphic below indicates. According to an article in the August 11, 2009 issue of Science, approximately as many American adults reject as accept evolution (with 20% or so unsure). Of the 34 countries listed, only Turkey has a lower percentage of  acceptance of Darwinian evolution. The fight over evolution is at the heart of religiously and politically motivated anti-scientism and anti-intellectualism movements that have grown stronger in recent decades.

1 comment:

  1. I do not believe that evolution and creation need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I believe that evolution would be impossible without creation. There is a an awful lot of framework which needs to be laid before organisms can begin to evolve (the "two molecules" which started the Big Bang, the concept of life, and the rules of physics themselves must come from somewhere). Let's not be too proud to give credit where credit is due.


I actively moderate comments for spam, advertisements, and abusive or offensive language.