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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

THE GOLDEN EVOLUTION (Part 26): WHAT ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF LIFE? (Part C)


The following continues the serialization of Chapter 5 on Religion from SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity:


An NBC News Poll showed, to the question, “Which do you think is more likely to actually be the explanation for the origin of human life on Earth?”


o Evolution 33%

o Biblical account 57%

o Created in 6 days 44%

o Divine presence 13%

o None of the above 3%

o Unsure 7%


In the USA today, almost half of the population (44%) believes that the world was created by God in 6 days! In reinforcement, a 2005 Gallup Poll from USA Today showed that 53% of Americans believed that God created human beings exactly as the Bible describes. But a 2007 Gallup/USA Today poll indicated a 66% figure. Thus, it can categorically be said that more than half of Americans believe that God created us all in 6 days. This bears repeating: more than half of Americans believe that God created us all in 6 days. Finally, Christianity Today reports that 66% of Americans believe that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years. So to repeat again, let me adjust my statement to suggest that up to two-thirds of Americans actually believe that God created human beings within the last 10,000 years.


In October of 2007, I stayed with a colleague of mine in Florida, and noted to him in the Orlando Sentinel that their Department Education had drafted new science standards that for the first time required students to learn about evolution. I asked if this was a misprint, and he responded, no, this state is screwed up. This novel concept will await 2008 for approval and implementation. I felt that I was in a time warp.


I don’t need to go into a state by state comparison, but the trends seem definitely mixed, as, Wired (May 2007, pg 61) reported that:


o a Tennessee Senate resolution inquired on why creationism is not being taught in schools,

o there were four anti-evolution bills in the previous Oklahoma legislative session,

o Kansas approved science-education standards that treated evolution in a scientifically appropriate way,

o Mississippi’s House killed a bill allowing the teaching of creationism,

o Montana’s House introduced a joint resolution supporting a sound scientific curriculum and

o Georgia settled a lawsuit in Cobb County School agreeing in perpetuity not to denigrate evolution.


One would have thought all this was settled in the ‘20’s.


The Council of Europe in 2007 approved a resolution against creationism. While the current concern about the religious principles being applied to scientific understanding is more than a U.S.-only issue, Europe is more united in declaring for evolution.


So, should intelligent design be taught in schools? Yes, of course, but not as a counterpoint to evolution. ID belongs in philosophy or maybe even psychology, but not in a science class. The equivalent would be the teaching of stork theory in a sex education class.


Finally, is natural selection the fate of humanity? Individuals and subsequent families were replaced by groups, for security insured higher longevity, but this controlled order, it might have been determined, could best be enforced through an omniscient God. Well, religion was one escape mechanism we invented to improve the evolutionary process, which, at the beginning was probably too savage and, maybe prone to a dead end. Is that requirement for a God now obsolete? Are we ready to graduate from that Santa Claus mentality?

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The Dow Jones Industrials edged up 13 to 11,019, although at one point today it was down to 10,948. World markets were mixed. Gold dropped $5/toz to $1151 and crude oil slipped below $84/barrel.


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Yet another significant earthquake struck China tomorrow (April 14 already in the Orient), with a Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS) of somewhere between 6.9 to 7.1. Initial reports of this Yushu County quake indicated 300 deaths and 80% of homes destroyed. Yushu is in Qinghai Province, adjacent to Sichuan Province, where an 8 MMS earthquake killed 87,000 in 2008. More tomorrow.

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