Thursday, January 2, 2014

About That "Evolution" Poll...


"Dartagnan" has an excellent article  that we're reprinting from the DailyKos.com  called, "About That "Evolution" Poll...", and it needs to be read by everyone who thinks Conservative Sheeplets are just as smart as everyone else, and not any more gullible than anyone else:

"Whether it's the product of Obama Derangement Syndrome, a constant force-fed diet of Fox News, or some other hidden, inexplicable cause, a recent poll conducted by the Pew Organization confirms that Republicans are increasingly becoming a Party inhabiting an alternate universe:
"A new Pew Research Center poll shows a widening political gap over theories about how humans came to be, with Republicans growing increasingly skeptical about the idea that humans evolved over time. 
"Over the last four years, the percentage of Democrats who said they believe in evolution has risen by three points, from 64 percent to 67 percent. But the percentage of Republicans who believe in the theory has dropped 11 points, from 54 percent to 43percent.[The poll has been Diaried here, here, and Front-paged here.]
"That's an 11 percent drop over four years--amounting (extrapolated) to millions of people in 2013 who literally believe that Jesus rode dinosaurs. Who literally believe that the human race was dropped into the world four thousand years ago.

"And Republicans are growing more skeptical that humans evolve over time? From the looks of this poll, one would suspect at first blush they may actually be proving their own point.


"CNN suggested the poll's results may be driven by a collective, deliberate rejection of all things scientific. But neither CNN nor the Post try to explain why a vast segment of the population making up what is widely perceived as the most enlightened, most educated, richest country in the world would consciously choose to turn its back on science--in a period of four years. That's the great unanswered question, too easily dismissed by assertions that Republicans are simply stupid or that the party has been taken over by religious fundamentalists.
"[T]he Republican shift was surprising and led the researchers to check the numbers by controlling the data against racial and ethnic divides between the two parties. Even still, Funk said, the divide on human evolution between Democrats and Republican, as well as the changes in Republican beliefs, persisted. 
"'Differences in the racial and ethnic composition of Democrats and Republicans or differences in their levels of religious commitment do not wholly explain partisan differences in beliefs about evolution,' read the Pew report. 'Indeed, the partisan differences remain even when taking these other characteristics into account.'
"Significantly, the poll doesn't try to differentiate (or equate) the actual population of Republicans who reject evolution now to the population who rejected it four years ago. So there's no way of telling whether the Republicans polled in the later sample are the same or 'representative' of Republicans polled in the first. What it suggests, at a minimum, is that the overall population of those who admit to being Republicans now is increasingly skeptical about science. But what is odd is that Pew noted there have been no similar demonstrable shifts in these beliefs by other demographics, including religious ones. So it appears this is a purely political phenomenon: a staple of GOP membership, if you will.

'This would almost be funny if it weren't for the reality: that this is the Party that considers itself qualified to weigh in on economic and other critical issues facing the Nation. That has the power to shut down the government and allow the nation to default on its debts. This is the Party that considers itself qualified to weigh in on the effects of climate change, foreign policy, and the consequences of alternative energy and infrastructure development.

"So what cataclysmic event has so drastically unnerved the Republican Party since 2009, causing them to lose their rational bearings and embrace the irrational and superstitious? What put their human advancement into full-reverse? Was it a religious awakening? A cultural epiphany? A conscious re-affirmation of the divine spirit? A rebirth of faith?

"I would venture that there are two catalysts at work here.

"1)The Black Dude.


"This poll confirms what many of us have realized for a long time--the Republican Party has undergone some type of fundamental mutation since the first African-American was elected President, one that can't be correlated to any other constant. Bill Clinton may have infuriated them with his good looks, and his Teflonesque charisma may have reminded them of the kid they despised in high school who got away with everything, but their fury then was more rational, rooted in feelings of being hoodwinked and lied to. Their rage was a tool to move their party back to its rightful position--to make things right again. At its root the animus to Bill Clinton may have been a product of jealousy among Republican males who felt emasculated and helpless when confronted with such a powerful personality. But it didn't drain their capacity for intelligent thought.

"The elevation of an African-American to a position of total leadership was a different matter. Once this happened, all bets were off. Having relied on racism as a tool for its Electoral success for so many years, the Republican Party is so invested in it that the election of a black President was a staggering blow to the Party's internal mythology. The inferiority of non-white races was an article of faith, akin to an almost religious sentiment and rather than dealing with the implications of its complete and utter refutation, the Party took solace in collective magical thinking, a denial of reality. It's the same denial that impels their obstruction of everything the President proposes. In that sense they have no choice--the rejection of all things Obama is their reflexive mechanism of self-preservation. If a black President could be elected then nothing made sense any more. Everything accepted as rational in the past was fair game for re-evaluation. Including participation in the Democratic process. Including observing the hallowed traditions of government. Including serving the interests of the country at large. Oh, and including science.

"The embrace of pie-in-the-sky Libertarianism, the elevation of deluded fanatics like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, the rise of the Tea Party, all flowed naturally from this internal conflict, this deeply unsettling hole in the Party's perception of itself, because Nature abhors a vacuum.

"2) Fox News.


"Fox News exists solely to serve and shape public opinion towards the interests of multinational corporations including, notably, energy and defense conglomerates, through the promotion of the Republican Party. It encourages race-baiting and seeks to channel financial insecurity and lingering racial resentment of certain segments of the population away from the interests that are actually sapping their futures and instead towards minorities, unions, feminists, environmentalists, and other generally pro-liberal constituencies of the Democratic Party. It has no equivalent in either its scope or reach in the history of American journalism and while it is an object of derision among most of the American intelligentsia it continues to shape the views of millions of people. Fox relies on the ignorance and incuriousity of its viewership in order to achieve its goals. Its caricature Democrats--the Bob Beckels, the Juan Williamses, to name a few, exist to maintain the appearance that it is a legitimate news network.

"The objectivity of science--which knows no bias--is inherently at odds with an institution that seeks to propagandize. Scientific facts that contradict the goals and interests of that institution must be attacked or marginalized, as in its efforts to refute the science of climate change. There are limits--even Fox knows it would be subject to widespread ridicule if it were to publically turn its back on the theory of evolution--a ridicule that would not serve its interests as it would likely discourage viewership. But the effect of a constant propaganda effort on science and rationality cannot help but create a susceptibility to magical thinking on the part of its viewers. Hence the unscientific 'polls unskewed' movement whose end result was to leave millions of Fox viewers flabbergasted at the results of an election that were fairly predictable for some time. It's a very human desire that Fox serves, the desire to retreat from complexity and turmoil. In an economy fraught with both, laying waste to conventional notions of the American dream, it's a perfectly natural human reaction to want to seek solace in absolutes. Fox News gives its viewers an opportunity to do just that.


"It's not that Republicans are unintelligent. Huge numbers of Republicans are strikingly intelligent people. But they're still human beings, subject to the power of cultural biases that were instilled in the society long before they were born, and egged on by a cynical propaganda machine that exploits those biases for its own interests.

"Happy New Year."

********************

It's tragic, but the sleeping giant called racism raised it's ugly head after the 2008 Election, making these seven sentences the most important part of the piece:
"The inferiority of non-white races was an article of faith, akin to an almost religious sentiment and rather than dealing with the implications of its complete and utter refutation, the Party took solace in collective magical thinking, a denial of reality. It's the same denial that impels their obstruction of everything the President proposes. In that sense they have no choice--the rejection of all things Obama is their reflexive mechanism of self-preservation. If a black President could be elected then nothing made sense any more. Everything accepted as rational in the past was fair game for re-evaluation. Including participation in the Democratic process. Including observing the hallowed traditions of government. Including serving the interests of the country at large. Oh, and including science."
Our only criticism of the piece:  "It's  not that Republicans are unintelligent. Huge numbers of Republicans are strikingly intelligent people."

As we've proven time after time, Republicans are Conservatives and Conservatives are Republicans, and neither is intelligent at all - see our label, "Conservatives Are Stupid" at http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com/search/label/conservatives_are_stupid and if you can get through a tenth of the 92 articles therein (this makes the 93rd!), you'll see what we mean...Conservative Sheeplets are as stupid as they are vicious, and the miniscule number of intelligent Conservatives in Congress is dwindling with each election.




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“We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a
few, but we cannot have both.”

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.


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