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.