Why telling more people the good news of Darwin won’t help
|April 30, 2014||Posted by News under Education, Darwinism, Culture|
Because they already know it and most often for that reason don’t believe it.
Anyway, this just in:
Last week, I wrote about how scientists and their advocates overreact to surveys showing widespread American skepticism of evolution and the Big Bang. Thanks to former TAC intern Robert Long, yesterday I encountered Dan Kahan at Yale’s Cultural Cognition Project detailing the evidence of how certain beliefs about science are absolutely more reflective of cultural identity than scientific knowledge.
While his primary focus is climate change, Kahan takes up evolution as a similar issue, and finds:
if you think the proportion of survey respondents who say they “believe in evolution” is an indicator of the quality of the science education that people are receiving in the U.S., you are misinformed.
Do you know what the correlation is between saying “I believe in evolution” and possessing even a basic understanding of “natural selection,” “random mutation,” and “genetic variance”—the core elements of the modern synthesis in evolutionary science?
Those who say they “do believe” are no more likely to be able to give a high-school biology-exam-quality account of how evolution works than those who say they “don’t.”
In fact, he recounts that the National Science Foundation recently proposed removing the true/false evolution question from its survey of scientific knowledge altogether, because they found “giving the correct answer to that question doesn’t cohere with giving the right answer to the other questions in NSF’s science-literacy inventory.” As Kahan continues, “What that tells you, if you understand test-question validity, is that the evolution item isn’t measuring the same thing as the other science-literacy items.” More.
All the government money shovelled out to indoctrinate people in Darwinism will really do is enrich Darwin lobby pressure groups and the behemoth textbook publishers they are co-dependent with. If that’s how taxpayers and donors want to spend it …
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