On the origin of ignorance

From the Sunday Herald via the estimable John Pieret, about creationists:

According to a survey conducted recently, 75% of British people don’t get Charles Darwin. Astounding. That’s three from four. That’s most of the two-legged beings you are liable to meet. That’s almost everyone at the check-out. That’s most of your blood relatives.

It should come as no surprise, however. Reportedly, these folk harbour “doubts” as to natural selection. They incline instead towards myths with a comforting whiff of refutation and brimstone. They are otherwise persuaded, despite a ton of evidence. People, as ever, believe what they want to believe.

Perhaps, though, they also demonstrate, at a monkey-never-typing-Hamlet stroke, that there might be less to this evolution business than the brochures claimed. Chimps will be chimps.

Speaking as a monkey’s uncle’s less popular nephew, I don’t mind. If I have read Darwin half-way right, employing both opposable thumbs to prop up the book, natural selection depends on a majority always missing the point. Then we kill and eat them.

But they tell me, while approving miracles, canonising the extra-holy, opposing stem cell research, and abortion, and birth control, and gay people, and bad words, and the simple ability to think independently, that natural selection is only a theory. Only.

As the man said, natural selection in action.

(If I seem to quote Pieret a lot, it’s because he finds this stuff faster than my Google News traps.)