“Even 25 percent of Americans with graduate degrees believe dinosaurs and humans romped together before Noah’s flood,” Pollitt writes.
She sadly concludes that rejecting evolution is a clear indication of American inability to think critically.
The ignorance of creationist thinking is still promoted by some state legislatures.
The Tennessee legislature, 87 years after the infamous Scopes trial in Dayton, Tenn. —like the Bourbons — has learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
It recently enacted a law protecting teachers who invite challenges to evolution. (Scopes was a high school biology teacher who taught the truth of Darwinian evolution.)
Four in 10 Americans believe in creationism. Roughly 97 percent of Americans believe in God or some “higher power.” This is a God-drenched nation. Yet people who believe in God believe in a lie. They have a failure of nerve and/or intellect.
German-born Frenchman Baron d’Holbach published the atheist’s bible, “The System of Nature,” in 1770. He called religion “a mere castle in the air,” a phantom, a theology that is “a tissue of fallacies and contradictions.”
D’Holbach noted that mankind is bound “in the chains of religious fiction, improbable tales, ridiculous fables, impenetrable mysteries and puerile ceremonies … Every revealed religion is filled with mysterious dogmas, unintelligible principles, incredible wonders and astonishing recitals.”
Most people reject the truth: God is a creation of the imagination. All religions are inventions of mankind.
Yet belief is comforting. Most people need those chimeras and miracles. As Kurt Vonnegut says in “Cat’s Cradle”: live by untruth and be happy.
Six million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust. “Where was God?” broadcaster Ed Murrow asked on seeing the horror of Buchenwald. Murrow did not answer his anguished question. But the answer is obvious: God is a myth.
Atheists are not the devil incarnate. Indeed, atheists are more Christian than Christians. Christians often do not practice what the gospels preach. Atheists do.
Christian zealots blow up abortion clinics, kill an abortion doctor. The United Methodist Church defrocks lesbian ministers. Matthew Shepard is crucified on a fence in Wyoming “to save the soul” of a homosexual.
Perhaps the finest “sermon” in the Bible concerns “a woman taken in adultery.” Jesus declares in John 8:7: “He that is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her.”
No critical thinker can believe in miracles, resurrection and original sin. No critical thinker can believe in the trinity, the incarnation, transubstantiation, the divinity of Jesus, immortality and reincarnation. No critical thinker can believe in heaven and hell, the devil and an afterlife.
Some bankers argue that they are doing “God’s work” by sustaining the free-market system. Yet Matthew 6:24 is anti-capitalist to the core: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Most people look at God and religion from the point of view of Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.”
Precisely. Reason must trump faith.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.