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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Darwinism, intelligent design, and popular culture: The 10,000 year question

Yeah, the show's back in town. And with most of the original cast, too.

I mean the poll, recently reported by USA Today, that shows that 66% of Americans think that the statement, "Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" is definitely or probably true.

This is wonderful poll question for people who believe that Uncle Sam's alter ego is Santa Claus. I wonder how much public money Darwin lobbies in high science will screw out of US taxpayers in order to try to change their minds - with about as much success as they have had in the past - zilch.

As I pointed out in By Design or by Chance?, the human history that most people would recognize is certainly less than 10,000 years old. Ur of the Chaldees, the city Abraham left in order to wander in the desert, is about 6500 years old. The Great Pyramid is only about 4500 years old. Apart from wordless outliers like the Willendorf Venus and the Cave of Lascaux, we have only the empty speculations of "evolutionary psychology" for the vast stretches of time before then. So real history is relatively recent.

And that is a significant fact. Something happened to human beings relatively recently (less than ten thousand years ago) that did not happen to lemurs, toads, or ants. And it is a mark of the enormously heavy investment that the American materialist elite has made in materialism that it is are at such pains to try to convince everyone else of its peculiar delusion that nothing really happened.

To see what is at stake here, consider the following three propositions:

1. Five million years ago, your ancestors were lemur-like creatures screaming in the trees.
2. You are about 60% water.
3. Your DNA is 98% identical to that of a chimpanzee.

All sensible humans who are not materialists will respond to any one of these propositions, "So?"

Now, any one of them may happen not to be true. For example, because I am a woman, I am more likely to be about 50% water (because fat binds less water than muscle does, and women store proportionately more fat).

But either way, half of me is the same stuff as Lake Ontario. But what does that mean? It means you can replicate that half by pouring yourself a glass of water. So that's the half you don't need to bother about.

Similarly, the fact that our ancestors may have screamed in the trees millions of years ago is actually of vastly less significance than the events of the last ten thousand years. Just as the similarities of our DNA with that of chimpanzees mainly tells you that most of what you need to know about a human being is not in the DNA.

The real reason that most Americans simply don't go along with elite opinion about the origin of human beings is that they are relatively freer than other peoples to dissent from their elite, and they know - as any sensible person who thinks about the matter must know - that the materialist view of human beings is nonsense. And they rightly reject everything connected with it.

Something did happen less than ten thousand years ago that forever separated us from Lake Ontario and from whatever screams in the trees. And I think the solid 66% on the poll question are trying to say that, even though they are forced to fund through their taxes the propagandists of the elite.

My other blog is the Mindful Hack, which keeps tabs on neuroscience and the mind.

If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

NEW!! Evolution in the light of intelligent design - look up intelligent design topics here.

Animations of life inside the cell, indexed, for your convenience.

Anti-God crusade ... no, really! My recent series on the spate of anti-God books, teen blasphemy challenge, et cetera, and the mounting anxiety of materialist atheists that lies behind it.

Catholic Church A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

Collins, Francis My review of Francis Collins’ book The Language of God

Columnists weigh in on the intelligent design controversy A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

Darwinism dissent Lists of theoretical and applied scientists who doubt Darwin

Gilder, George A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

Intelligent design academic publications.

Intelligent design-friendly students should be flunked, according to bio prof Evolutionary biologist’s opinion that all students friendly to intelligent design should be flunked.

Intelligent design controversy My U of Toronto talk on why there is an intelligent design controversy, or my talk on media coverage of the controversy at the University of Minnesota.

Intelligent design controversy timeline An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

Intelligent design and culture My review of sci-fi great Rob Sawyer’s novel, The Calculating God , which addresses the concept of intelligent design.

March of the Penguins A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

Origin of life Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.

Peer review My backgrounder about peer review issues.

Polls relevant to the intelligent design controversy A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

Stove, David O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove’s critique of Darwinism.

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