Thursday, May 05, 2011

Stolen from a Talking Points Memo Comment Thread



bearclaw
4 HOURS AGO
From a poll of American adults in 2007:

"Two-thirds in the poll said creationism, the idea that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, is definitely or probably true. More than half, 53%, said evolution, the idea that humans evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, is definitely or probably true. All told, 25% say that both creationism and evolution are definitely or probably true."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-06-07-evolution-debate_N.htm

In other words, not only did two-thirds say they believe humans were created by God in the last 10,000 years, 25% accept as "definitely or probably true" two irreconcilably conflicting propositions.


Wow. I will try to reconcile the propositions. I like a challenge.

First I will assume that the 25 percenters don't think they would witness a miracle in the past few millions of years, that, like me, they would expect to see the world working along according to the laws of nature if they were transmitted back in time.

Then I guess that they assume that there was major evolutionary change of humans in the past 10,000 years. I don't think there was -- I think the last major change was Homo Erectus to Homo sapiens neanderthensis and that we and Neanderthals belong to the same species (hence what I call them). I am taking one side in an open debate. In any case, paleontologists agree that our ancestors were current form type humans 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. But you can't expect people to know that (you will note I don't try to guess when modern humans replaced neanderthals like I know it was less than 100,000 years ago and more than 20,000 but I'm real bad with dates).

So they think that modern humans replaced neanderthals in the past 10,000 years. Not consistent with the fossil record but not shocking.

They also think that everything which happens is the work of God. This view is perfectly consistent with the fossil record (and all data). It can just mean "I call the laws of nature 'God'." It is not a rare view.

The creation in their present form in the past 10,000 years is creating them out of neanderthal gametes by mutating some genes.

I think the 25 percenters' view can be perfectly consistent with everything modern biologists believe if one replaces 10,000 with a somewhat larger number.

The question is poorly phrased. A clear question would as if God " created humans in their present form, out of clay, within the past 10,000 years." That's what the bible says. Or, to give God a fair chance ask if God "" created humans in their present form, out of either inanimate materials or no materials, within the past 10,000 years."

Now I'm pretty sure that no matter how the question is phrased, there would be lots of evolutionary creationists. Basically my honest view is that the 25 percenters don't want to disrespect scientists or God or The Bible.

But the question clearly is poorly phrased so that it can be interpreted so that the 25 percenters have consistent opinions.

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