Sunday, February 15, 2009
Darwin's birthday slid past uncelebrated
Charles Darwin is my homeboy...
I found this a couple days ago while trolling the news sites.
A new poll released just in time for Charles Darwin's 200th birthday found that only 39 percent of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution," and just 24 percent of those who attend church weekly believe in that explanation for the development of life on Earth.
The Gallup survey, released Wednesday, found a quarter of those polled do not believe in evolution, and 36 percent said they don't have an opinion either way.
The Gallup poll of 1,018 American adults found strong ties between education level and belief in the theory of evolution.
"Among those with high-school educations or less who have an opinion on Darwin's theory, more say they do not believe in evolution than say they believe in it," Gallup found. "For all other groups, and in particular those who have at least a college degree, belief is significantly higher than nonbelief."
Just 21 percent of respondents who had up to a high school level of education believe in evolution, compared with 74 percent of those with postgraduate degrees.
So, it’s safe to say, the more educated you are, the more you believe Darwin?
Believe what you want, but I’m pretty damned convinced that evolution happens. Things grow & evolve.
Case in point: the dead bird in front of my office.
One Friday morning I came in to work and found a dead bird in the parking lot. It was a woodcock, and it looked like it had just fallen out of the sky and landed with a flop, with no visible signs of trauma. I left it there for the local turkey vulture, since buzzards gotta eat too. Over the ensuing weekend, the ants and the buzzard made short work of he remains, and I actually forgot about it until a week or two later when I found the skull bleached in the sun. All I could think about was how much it looked like the skull of a dinosaur, most notably a pterosaur.
Lots of scientific study has shown just how birdlike the later dinosaurs were. It’s pretty much accepted in the paleontological community that today’s birds evolved from dinosaurs. A light film of down first kept them warm, and light hollow bones allowed them to later fly with actual feathers. The so-called “terror birds” were the T-rex of the post-dino prehistoric days. They more or less became today’s ostriches.
Look at an ostrich skeleton. Now add a tail. Dude, that’s a dino…like a Gallimimus or Struthiomimus. A leggy, running dino that became a leggy running bird.
Why do whales have vestigial hip bones from where their rear legs used to be? Whale front flippers have fingers in them too. I’m sure you already knew that, right? Whales started off as something that was like a primitive cow or elephant, and started swimming, and went from there. If we didn’t derive from some monkey offshoot, why do chimps have 98% of our DNA?
Look, I’m not saying that there wasn’t some form of Creation. But please don’t deny that things evolve based on environment and natural selection, either.