Monday, January 03, 2005

Bob Park can't understand why people don't believe evolution

From What's New - December 31, 2004.
It's been 145 years since Darwin published Origin of Species, perhaps the world's greatest scientific discovery. No other idea has connected so many pieces of knowledge. It's now 80 years since the Scopes trial. If any doubts about evolution remain, you might suppose that DNA analysis would sweep them away. We can now measure how closely we are related to every creature on Earth. We share half our DNA with yeast. So genetically similar are bonobos to humans that, but for the inability of bonobos to talk, they might demand a seat in the UN. Yet, in Dover, PA, a town much like Dayton, TN, the school board voted to require that intelligent design be taught alongside evolution. The school board will lose in court, but we must ask ourselves why science has been so spectacularly unsuccessful in explaining such obvious truths to people. [emphasis added.]
I agree that evolution is one of the most profound ideas we have created.

It's a good question why people have a hard time believeing it. Unfortunately, poweful as it is, evolution hasn't provided much insight into why some beliefs are so hard to dislodge. As Jared Diamond pointed out, one of the factors in societes that fail is an inability to re-examine long-held beliefs.

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