Shryke, on May 1 2009, 17.41, said:
He rants for awhile about "Religion mudding the waters about Evolution", which is true.
But none of that explains away the strong correlation between "Education Level" and "I don't know" and the complete lack of a correlation between "Church Attendance" and "I don't know".
The less educated you are, the less likely you are to believe in Evolution. This is not surprising.
What he's arguing, and what the poll actually refutes, is that those that don't know either way are also doing so because of religion. The poll shows that religious attendance has no over-acrhing effect on whether someone answers "I don't know" or not.*
*Technically, there's a bubble in the middle for those that attend church every few weeks. But those that go all the time and those that never go both come out to essentially the same.
People are influenced by religion in America whether they attend church or not. It is easily one of the most significant major cultural influences in the country. You can't not be affected by it. Higher education merely provides a vehicle by which people might learn to think more critically or conversely might attract people already inclined to such things, and thus has the effect of negating some of religion's dumber influences. As for polling correlations, the lack of 'maybe's' in the weekly church goers is explained pretty easily by the 41% of them in the 'NO' category. Not alot of leftovers for Maybe at that point.
76% of Weekly church-goers are No or No opinion. 70% monthly church-goers are No or No opinion. The first BIG dropoff occurs in the seldom/never category. They are 45% no or maybe. That's quite a steep drop. There is absolutely a religious correlation. The poll does not give us the more interesting breakdown, church attendance + education and how it correlates to Yes, nos, I don't knows. It could very well be that not alot of Post-grad's go to church.
This poll quite simply does not provide the information we'd need to absolutely settle this issue. And I don't think any poll actually could. The effects and influence of religion go far beyond the weekly church goers. The effects of their century long smear campaign against evolution reach everyone to varying degrees. If you have no idea what you're talking about and no in depth study of the field, some of their arguments even sound reasonable. I mean the eye is a pretty damned complex thing. How can it really go from nothing to being there? (obviously it doesn't, but that's the disingenuous horseshit they're peddling) And we live in America, home of the free & brave, equal rights and fairness for everyone. And on equality, isn't it more equal and more fair to teach both sides of the controversy? To argue it out instead of dogmatically accepting whatever the scientists give us? Aren't they every bit as fundamentalist as your Pat Robertson's and such?
On its face to the completely uninitiated, this shit doesn't sound too bad. It can have the effect of casting doubts and raising questions amongst the uninformed, even if it doesn't stand up to rigorous (or even lazy) analysis. So you will get FAR more No's and Don't knows than you otherwise would, even amongst those who don't attend church, above and beyond anything that can simply be attributed to bad education.
Fact is most people don't know a weak argument when they see it. They don't know the logical fallacies, the strawmen, the false dichotomies. They don't know that the gap peddling and 'EXPLAIN THIS' ahah's have been debunked and explained a thousand times over. Education can improve these things. But education's job would be so much easier if it didn't have to fight through religious nonsense and misinformation. Nor would education necessarily need to do much of a job if there was nothing opposing it. Bad education and lack of education will always be a problem for everything. Take a poll of 1,000 people, ask who wants a better education system and I suspect 998 (there's always two idiots) say yes. That's simply a natural state of affairs. Education always can be improved, everyone wants it to be improved, but people disagree on just how to do it and/or don't always want to expend the resources to do it.
But disbelieving an established, confirmed, and reconfirmed a thousand times over scientific theory is not natural whether you're versed in the subject or not. Its not unavoidable. It takes an outside force with an agenda. That force is religion. And on that particular instance, it MUST be fixed. But if we take that 1,000 person poll again, more than half are gonna say there's nothing that needs fixing on that point.
yeh but him being right and improving society won't be an ultimately good thing if it means a reduced number of believers. In other words, yes religion has a negative impact on some aspects of society, but it's worth it.
No it isn't.