Creationism Is Not Ignorance


A recent Gallup poll  published in the Huffington Post show that 46 percent of all Americans are creationists. I this something to be concerned about?

A lot of people view creationists as uninformed people that can and should be enlightened with education. For them, this poll has to be devastating. This because it shows that the percent of creationists among college graduate is…46 percent – exactly the same as in the general population.

How can this be? Shouldn’t education have at least some impact on this issue? I think there is a misconception about creationists as being ignorant and stupid. As for stupid, it may well relate somewhat to intelligence since creationism can be an easier attitude to adopt, depending on your social environment But, as I argued earlier, Right-Wing Authoritarianism – which no doubt overlaps creationism – is inheritable and not easily affected by outside influence. That’s not ignorance, that’s personality.   And by the same logic so is adherence to scientific thinking since it is the diametrically opposite attitude.

Still, someone’s view has to be incorrect and it can’t be the sciency one, right? Not necessarily. I think the creationists do have a point. If there is a God, the logic and empirical data He, She or It has supplied us with in order to formulate the theory of evolution may well be a test of our faith and nothing more.

An atheist would no doubt find this stupid and claim that we don’t need to assume that God exists. But isn’t that just making the assumption that there is no God? As an agnostic I would say that no one can tell whether there is a God or not, and for that reason there is no way of telling which of these assumptions is better than the other. So which assumption (if any at all) you choose is not a result of having figured something out. It’s a matter of who you are as a person. And spending money on enlightening people isn’t going to work.

Personally, I do believe in evolution. But I don’t kid myself it’s ultimately anything more than a belief.



6 Responses to Creationism Is Not Ignorance

  1. “How can this be? ”

    Religious indoctrination. It trumps education and science almost every time.


  2. Staffan says:

    Science tells us that religiousness is a heritable trait. And you also have to take assortative mating in account, making it even more likely for religious parents to get religious children regardless of social influence. But indoctrination is probably a factor too – as it no doubt is in atheism as well.

  3. Jason Alan says:

    I find that number to be quite high. I don’t think I have met anyone except for the people that have occasionally come to my door to preach who believes in creationism. Even the Christians I know don’t believe it. Evolution may only be a theory, but it is more than just a belief. Beliefs do not have to be based on any evidence. Evolution at least has SOME evidence.

    • Staffan says:

      True, it’s different that way. What I meant is that evolution can’t say anything about whether God exists or not. My belief in evolution consist in a feeling/intuition that life evolved in the way Darwin and others have described it rather than created by God. But that’s metaphysics and not science since any omnipotent creator would have created logic and data as well. That’s a different domain of thought.

      I also think 46 percent college graduates sound a lot given that most people who are really into science will probably not be creationists and they will probably have college degrees. Then again, that may be a small minority.

      • Jason Alan says:

        And I do think that creationists are ignorant, whether by choice or not. They either don’t know of, or refuse to see the mountain of evidence supporting evolution. Whoever believes that the earth is only 6000 years old certainly has their head somewhere that it doesn’t need to be.

  4. Staffan says:

    Or he views the evidence as a test of faith?

    And let’s not forget that ignorance is abundant in most groups in society. If you tell an evolutionist that IQ has a heritability of about 70 percent and is exremely resistant to social influence a whole bunch of them flatly deny it. When Norman Mailer got psychopath Jack Abbott out of prison on the assumption that he was simply a victim of circumstances he acted out of pure ignorance – and loads of other hot shot intellectuals cheered him on. Which incidentally costed an innocent man his life a few weeks later. I could go on for some time with examples like this. The people who laugh at creationists for being ignorant are often just as ignorant themselves.

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