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Not Only In America – Evolution Science Endangered Worldwide Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Posted by Henry in anti-creationism, anti-ID, atheism, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Europe, evolution, intelligent design, Japan, rationality, religion, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, science, Turkey, United States, world.

The scientific theory of evolution is under attack – and not just in the United States alone – but on a global scale.

Firstly, the result of a study published last year shows conclusively that the adult populations of US and Turkey are the least likely to believe in theory of evolution. The study was conducted over 34 countries which include Japan, US and 32 European nations. A question “Human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.” was asked, in which correspondents could respond with true, false or unsure.

A graphical depiction of the study is re-posted here. Click on it to enlarge it. Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries

Remarkably, but unsurprisingly, only a paltry 14% of the adult US population actually believes in evolution, completely outnumbered by the one-third who firmly rejects the idea.

Turkey, where 99% of its population is Muslim, represents another worrying trend. Using the result of this study, we can probably safe to conclude that the Muslim population, in general, reject the theory of evolution strongly. In fact, looking at the graph, one could also say that the ratio of rejection is quite high in comparison to US and the rest of surveyed countries.

A second article written recently also adds worry that the anti-evolution movement is gathering pace worldwide. It lists a couple of examples of how evolution is being attacked. One case is that in Kenya, a bitter dispute is taken place as the plan of exhibiting a prehistoric human skeleton is being opposed by local religious forces. Another example involves a well-funded Turkish publishing house mass-distributing anti-evolution books to French speaking schools and universities across Europe. The article also shows an example from Russia, and of course, there is the well-known Intelligent Design movement that is currently taking place in the US.

Apart from being attacked geographically around the globe, Pope Benedict, head of millions of faithful Catholics followers, has also recently spoken out unfavourably against evolution (here is my own blog entry on this issue). This is almost a complete reversal of the position the Vatican took during the papacy of the late Pope John Paul II, when he publicly endorsed evolution.

I cannot help but feel the scientific theory of evolution is under attack worldwide. What can we do?

Lately, the plethora of atheist books written have gained soaring popularity, and atheism has being making lots of noises – so much that terms such as “second coming of atheism” and “new atheism” could be read in many articles. Well-known atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens are seen as the leaders of this sudden rise of atheism. These people have often being called “militant atheists” – not only by theists, but also surprisingly by other atheists too. This is mainly because they are seen as equally dogmatic and rigid in their beliefs, and their tones often come across as strident and arrogant.

I think offence is sometimes the best defence. When evolution is under such attack, we need someone to speak out, and actions must be taken. Fortunately, Dawkins, Harris and the like have bravely taken the lead in educating the public and raising general awareness. I think the next step is to have a more systematic way of dealing with anti-evolution ideology – whether at legal courts, class rooms or on the Internet. I am as vague as your are in what I mean by systematic – this is yet to be seen…


1. bassethound - Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You need someone to speak out in favor of evolution? Evolutionists dominate our institutions of “higher” learning and the largely liberal media. Despite this, most Americans are skeptical. Why is this? Probably because many are smart enough to recognize that Darwinian evolution has less to do with real science, and more to do with a hard nosed prior commitment to naturalism and materialism–which is philosophy, not science. For me, it takes more faith to embrace the intelectually restrictive dogma of Darwinism than to believe in a creator God that designed everything around us. I will be more than happy to stand with many others in opposing any pro-evolution crusade.

2. Thinking Ape - Sunday, April 29, 2007

h3nry, I completely agree with your sadness concerning the state of the belief in Evolution, but as for the “militant atheism” situation, I, like others, must disagree. Certainly there must be spokespersons for atheism or simply for areligious evolution, but lets look at this from another point of view. What if you were on the other side, not preaching to the choir. From an atheists perspective, Dawkins sounds great. Unfortunately, he also sounds like the atheist’s version of Pat Robertson or Bill O’Reilly. Dawkins’ crusade against religion does little, if not less, for the atheist movement. There is only one way out of religious fundamentalism: self-reflective hypocrisy leading to internal intellectual conflict. No one can tell a fundamentalist he/she is wrong – that defeats the whole definition of fundamentalism. All the evidence in the world cannot show a fundamentlist of his or her ignorance. Dawkins’, then, merely looks like an elitist a-hole, turning people away from atheism rather than attracting them to it.

Bassethound said: “Evolutionists dominate our institutions of “higher” learning… Americans are skeptical… Probably because many are smart enough to recognize that Darwinian evolution has less to do with real science…”

I am sure they gained this intellectual capacity in their Science 10 biology section or Christian-funded homeschool or private school education. Biases indeed. I spent my entire youth indoctrinated with the anti-Evolutionist rhetoric of Gish and many others, and it was only once the paradigm of superficial religiosity that one can even start to make claims like you do, bassehound.

“For me, it takes more faith to embrace the intelectually restrictive dogma of Darwinism than to believe in a creator God that designed everything around us.”

I am sure you have read and studied so much scientific evidence that you can say such a preposterous and ignorant statement.

3. themaddoctor - Wednesday, May 2, 2007

1. Evolution is an elegant theory that is consistent with the evidence collected. There is nothing contrary in biology yet discovered.

2. The mechanism is obviously demonstrated in un-natural selection by humans in history: Dogs, cats, horses, wheat, corn,…

3. The Genesis creation story is not Jewish. It “evolved” form older cultures. Sumer has creation and even a Flood.

4. Genesis gives two creation stories, not entirely consistent. That includes the creation of woman. So which one is it?

5. The losing battle with Creationsim reflects the rising ignorance in America today.

6. If science and its child technology are the answer to our future, it looks pretty dismal. Biotech is going to be huge. Just not invented here.

4. Creationism Article in The Seoul times « Evolution Space - Tuesday, July 31, 2007

[…] while ago I posted an entry showing how the theory of evolution seems to be not very well accepted worldwide, however there is […]

5. damon - Saturday, February 23, 2008

What happens when two infallible popes disagree? Surely this must mess with the space-time continuum or bring about the end of the world, at the very least? It sounds as though someone has attached a piece of buttered toast onto the back of a cat and throwing it in the air to see which side will land on the carpet, butter side or cat side. The two forces battling it out. At least with the toast/cat conflict we can repeat this a large number of times and a winner can be identified. The tendency for toast to land butter-side down or the cat landing on his feet. Unless of course it just hovers as the two forces fight it out.
Sadly history has shown that when the old man, with the invisible friend and a penchant for wearing dresses with an interesting collection of hats, disagrees with science there are no winners only losers

6. Marc - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“Science flies people to the moon. Religion flies them into buildings.”

7. Anthony the Scientist - Saturday, June 25, 2016

If evolution is true and life is the result of a freak accident (believe it or not, there are folks who actually believe this!) why would a mindless “first simple cell” reproduce itself? Why would it even want to reproduce itself?

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