SCIENCE, RELIGION, AND SOCIETY: THE PROBLEM OF EVOLUTION IN AMERICA

It’s been a while since I’ve been busy.  Hopefully I’ll have some more time to write he and out.  I have yet to read this paper, but it’s only 10 pages and published by Jerry Coyne.  The paper is titled: Evolution.  Guess what it’s about.  Here’s a link.  And yes, it’s free.  Go to his blog if that link fails or if you don’t read his blog regularly.  It’s among the best on these topics.  Here’s the abstract:

American resistance to accepting evolution is uniquely high among First World countries. This is due largely to the extreme religiosity of the United States, which is much higher than that of comparably advanced nations, and to the resistance of many religious people to the facts and supposed implications of evolution. The prevalence of religious belief in the United States suggests that outreach by scientists alone will not have a huge effect in increasing the acceptance of evolution, nor will the strategy of trying to convince the faithful that evolution is compatible with their religion. Because creationism is a symptom of religion, another strategy to promote evolution involves loosening the grip of faith on America. This is easier said than done, for recent sociological surveys show that religion is highly correlated with the dysfunctionality of a society, and various measures of societal health show that the United States is one of the most socially dysfunctional First World countries. Widespread acceptance of evolution in America, then, may have to await profound social change.

I’ll try to write later today.  Anyways, it’s 4am.  Oops.

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Why Be Hostile (this does not mean violence) Toward Religion?

Apparently, at least according to Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, atheists have recently committed a terrible, fanatical act. (It’s a terribly ignorant and hypocritical article, so you might not care to suffer through read it.) What did they do? A group of 15 atheists tore up PHOTOCOPIES of the Bible–not even the Bible itself! (Which is still no where near a horrific act!)

PZ Myers elegantly explains how this is absolutely ridiculous. See here. You should read the whole thing as well as frequently check out his blog.

Here are some things he lists that have occurred in the name of religion when asking if atheists have committed these. The answer is obviously no.

  • raping children in our care?
  • hunting for witches in Africa and setting them on fire?
  • rioting over poorly-drawn caricatures of Madalyn Murray O’Hair?
  • stoning women to death for adultery?
  • telling air force cadets to prepare for a righteous armageddon?
  • hypocritical?
  • chopping the hands off thieves?
  • displacing and oppressing people because they live on land Dawkins said was ours?
  • pouring money into California to suppress the rights of gay couples?
  • building compounds and filling them with automatic rifles?
  • lying to children in our educational system?
  • telling women they aren’t allowed to speak at our meetings?
  • flying planes into buildings?
  • chopping bits off baby penises?
  • inculcating shame and guilt in generations of children?
  • ignoring the stewardship of our planet because nature couldn’t possibly allow us to mess it up?
  • denying children medical care because disease is Hitchen’s will?
  • strapping bombs to our bodies and boarding church buses before detonating them?
  • telling poor people they aren’t allowed to use family planning?
  • butchering albinos for body parts we use in our secret ceremonies?
  • legislating death and imprisonment for sexual practices we disapprove of?
  • making women dress up in bag-like tents before allowing them to go outside?
  • dynamiting ancient works of religious art?
  • crusading?
  • chopping off clitorises?
  • demanding special privileges?
  • dismantling the social support network?
  • using our tax-free income to lobby for conservative politicians in our tax-exempt buildings?
  • calling for pogroms and ethnic cleansing?
  • setting our critics on fire?

These bullets are an excellent list of reasons to be so hostile toward religion. Religion has killed and abused millions and millions of people, and it still continues to do so and justify itself with fairy tales.

Oh, and for the hostility aspect. Atheists merely point out the reasons not to believe in a God.  We also don’t want it in the public school system since it is better if people are taught the truth rather than something made up.  When I say hostile, there is no aspect of violence in any way. Atheists prefer to use knowledge.