Selling Evolution

Regis Nicoll
Regis Nicoll
2011 24 Oct

On the floor of the Darwinian exchange, traders bark, “Evolution is fact, Fact, FACT!” But it’s a fact that has proven to be a hard sell.

After 150 years of scientific “evidence,” decades of inculcation in public education, and a raft of books, like The Dragons of Eden, The Selfish Gene, and The Blind Watchmaker, only 16 percent of Americans believe that humans developed from an unsupervised process of variation and natural selection. Belief that God had some part in the process has held steady over the last 30 years, at around 80 percent.

But what is becoming particularly bothersome to evolution brokers is the recognition that resistance to Darwin’s Dangerous Idea is not limited to a scientifically challenged public. In a book review on Darwinism, evolution popularist, Daniel Dennett lamented:

"I was disconcerted to overhear some medical students talking in a bar recently. One exclaimed: ‘How could anybody believe in evolution after learning about the intricacies of the DNA replication machinery?'"

When a scientific theory is rejected by scientifically trained individuals, that’s bad, very bad, and Dennett knows it. I’ll bet he had another drink (or two) before leaving the bar that night.

From denial to admission

Afterward, a sobered Dennett reasoned... Continue reading here.