Charlie, a Gallup poll and... Republican conspiracy?

Dopers, my first OP. (eeep!)

I do not believe in conspiracy theory. I find it harder to believe
a government could EVER pull off a conspiracy… too many cooks.(!)

But here we are, on CD’s 200th birthday. In America, our latest Gallup poll
from CNN Headline News reports that 4 out of 10 believe in Evolution.

I thought this number to be actually good at first, until they compared it to
education level. As most of us know, the higher the education (postgrad),
the less likely we wean towards Intelligent Design, the bible, etc.

The majority of republicans do NOT believe in the theory of Evolution.

Republicans seem to cut education funding the quickest, as it is here in CA
with Gubanator.

So it seems:
Republicans are saying, “We don’t buy the Evolution story, and, oh, by the way,
we’re rich and successful. Why question anything?”

I think this is entirely mush. Republicans DO believe the theory, but just don’t want
to invite questions into the mix. If successful republicans promoted the need
for evidence, studying, etc, they would lose a huge foothold come election time.
They would seem… (gulp) democratic!

Is this even possible, even subconsciously, that the repubs do this?
Or does the theory reign, proving the devolution of the republican party?

Seriously, Dopers, what do these numbers tell us?

Nah. Forget it. Please delete, mods.

For one thing, is Lincoln now referred to as “CD”?

For another thing, there are many reasons why someone would want to cut funding for public education. Most have nothing to do with evolution.

No, no Abe here. Forget my post. Pointless. “Forgiveness, please!”

Charles Darwin.

The elite of either party are an intelligent and discriminating bunch. Getting elected to serve as a representative of one of these parties is, however, a tightwalking between getting financial support from the elite and not alienating the stupid majority while doing so. As such, people who get elected are going to be people who lean more towards stupid positions than the other educated followers of that party’s doctrine.

For instance I’ll bet you anything that if you poll the SDMB (which is mostly populated by the liberal elite) on gay rights that you’ll get strong support for full rights. If you go down to the welfare office and poll people, even though they vote Democrat, they’ll be pretty suspicious of the ho-mos.

So the same thing with the OP. Should you classify a party based on what position the people at the party think tanks are saying? Or should you classify it by what the majority of the voters say?

I think there is some misunderstanding here. It’s possible to believe in both intelligent design and evolution. “In the beginning God created evolution,” so to speak. People around here act like there are only two versions of things: either Adam & Eve creationism or atheist evolution, and that just ain’t so. My guess is that a significantly large proportion of the populace doesn’t take the creationist version literally, but still thinks it strains credullity to believe that some primitive lifeform just sparked spontaneously, and, rather than simply dying out as one might expect from such a freak occurance, actually managed to reproduce and keep reproducing and evolving new and useful things like eyes and teeth and so forth just because.

It has been said that evolution is adaptive, not creative. I think that when many people say they don’t believe in evolution, what they’re really saying is that they don’t believe evolution took things from a single-celled organism that somehow spontaneously erupted and reproduced and eventually brought us to where we are now. (And to digress a bit, who’s to say that God didn’t set it up that way even if it did?) So in a certain sense, it’s turtles all the way down when it comes to fact that evolution, in the sense that evolutionists portray it, still does not disprove the possibilty of God’s existence and/or that evolution alone is responsible for life on this planet as we know it today.

A few months ago I read that Schwarzenegger was cutting funding for all state agencies 10% across the board. (In other words, that education wasn’t taking any greater hit than any other aspect of CA government.) I realize that things have gotten even more dire in the meantime, but is CA education now being cut more than other goverment agencies?

Well, since the OP has requested that mods lock the thread I guess there is no point in going into a long debate at this point.

I’ll just agree with Starving Artist’s post by and large…he hit the high points IMHO. The main thing about CA is that, as SA said, they are having major budget issues and are cutting a LOT of programs atm…among them is education. So, no…I don’t think this is a conspiracy by the Repubs to keep the people stupid and thus believing in the evils of evalushun.


Nothing to forgive. There’s nothing about your OP that stands out as being any more egregious than any number of the other “conservatives/Republicans are teh suxxorr” threads that predominate around here. So welcome to your first OP experience; it’s all good, and and at the very worst it’s no different than most of the others around here.

So cheers, have a good time, and wait to see what your OP brings. Again, there’s nothing about it out of the ordinary…including your erroneous conclusions about Republicans. :wink:

But that’s not what evolution emphasizes. Science is less certain about the spontaneousnous part than it is about the change over time part. Now there’s a rule in science that says you don’t resort to magical thinking, but it’s getting ahead of ourselves to complain about abiogenesis when so many people still reject the idea that life evolved at all.

Laypeople such as ourselves are free to speculate that there may have been intelligent design guiding the course of evolution–and I do. But if you’re doing science, you maintain the presumption that there are natural explanations and you contunue to look for evidence for them. But the evidence for evolution itself–and an Old Earth–is overwhelming, and Young Earth, Biblical creationism is right out.

You are correct, of course. But we’re not talking about the scientific community; we’re talking about the way laypeople respond when asked if they believe in evolution. The way that the argument is generally framed, both here and elsewhere, is that Biblical creationism or atheist evolution are the two primary choices, and then when people answer that they don’t believe in evolution (albeit without explaining that it’s creationist evolution that they’re talking about), atheists and liberals are prone to try to portray them as creationists and discount them as troglodytes, when the truth is considerably more complex than that.

See, the classifying gets tricky for sure. Based on the Gallup results, I tend to think
the less educated look at successful republicans and blindly think like they SAY they do
in republicanland.

I think if we did the poll you mentioned asking welfare lines and SDMB if
President Bush is a smart man, we’d get the same result.

IMO, if Reps said, “Evolution is a major part of education”-- or something vague like most politicians-- they would invite people to ask too many questions on their spending, foreign policy,
taxes, etc. This would invite the informed to question their political faith as well as their religious faith. In short, republicans fear knowledge from the minions.

Well, I was thinking no one would be interested in my OP because I didn’t see the
debate on the Evolution Quiz (interesting, check it out). But since there’s interest…

As far as SA’s point on Adam & Eve Creationism vs. Atheistic Evolution–
good point, but I wasn’t going there. Evolution definitely does not prove god’s existence or not.
However, Evolution MIGHT prove we didn’t come directly from an omnipotent blueprint. Hell, it DOES prove it.
Of course, there’s the argument that god wanted it that way, still going back to the “god did it” scenario.

CA’s education has been in a downpour since before I moved here 11 years ago.
When I was in college back east, I tutored student who were accepted to college
but lacked things like Algebra, Biology, Geometry, etc. You can graduate from HS here
without courses like these, so the CA grads take the courses that are required
before being allowed to participate in their undergrad college programs.
Since I’ve moved here, 11 high schools have closed, classrooms more overcrowded.

Yes, education is cut by everyone, but it just seems like republicans will do it more often,
letting the families find outside resources to get their kids into a subject or activity that was recently cut from their school.

Little hijack here. Serious question, no snarkiness:

Stipulating for the moment that many of the SDMB are liberal, what makes us collectively “elite”?

Is it just that we are affluent enough to have internet access and time to read the SDMB?

Agreed. It is the laypeople. The truth is more complex than that.

I think that the laypeople lay the foundation to the responding political party.
If you start a party, you say, “who do we get to support us? Who is available?”
Those who live a life that is less outspoken, the republicans swarm them.
Most of the die-hard republicans I know (a lot of bosses, parents included) usually
speak of them with statements like, “Don’t worry, they know what to do.” Or, “They know how the money should work.”-- vague statements. Vague as republicans.
Vague as Creationsim. Vague as religion is. (!)

(Note: I’m independent politically. Not really a big fan of either of our two parties.)

Never assume anything here on the SD. :wink:

I’m not really getting into that with my own answer…I was more agreeing with SA concerning the conspiracy theory angle. Personally I think Evolutions proves that that evolution of species took place and doesn’t really get into the whole god question. It’s a scientific theory not a theist expression and it doesn’t claim to address the theistic aspects of anything.

Well, a couple of things. If we are talking about A Republican in California (you mentioned Arny) then I think this is a specific instance…and also that the Govenator is being forced to cut a LOT of things INCLUDING education…due to massive deficits in CA (Californian’s basically wanting everything, right now, regardless of how feasible it might be…sorry to John Mace if he’s still around). If you are talking about Republican’s in general I’m going to need a cite that they cut education more than Democrats. AFAIK education spending increased during Bush’s term and he actually added on to programs like No Child Left Behind and eRate. Now, you might not agree that these were worthwhile programs (I certainly don’t), but the point is that SPENDING increased…at least that’s my recollection.

One caveat…a lot of Republican’s are opposed to FEDERAL education programs on philosophic grounds. They don’t like the Department of Education and think it’s a waste. But this isn’t because of evolution or some desire to keep people ignorant.




I blame myself for putting 2 ideas in the OP, it is just that being the 200 anniversary of Darwin I thought it was important to mention not only ID and creationism, but also that there is a marked difference between Republicans and Democrats and it remains a huge problem in the USA IMHO.

However I thank you for starting a thread on the controversial poll.

The current efforts of ID proponents in the classrooms of America is an item that is hitting teachers directly, and the problem is magnified when a party is almost controlled by willful ignorants. It just so happens that the majority of people that do not believe in Evolution call themselves Republicans, and that would not be a problem if it was only their belief; unfortunately some Republican leaders, that should know better, have decided that more than just pandering is the way to go when referring to science class and the evolution “controversy”.

Currently the wave of “teaching the controversy” is the only thing they can do, but seeing it in action I have to say that this is succeeding only in teaching kids that creationism or ID are at the same level in science when this is not the case at all.

Essentially. People who have the education and free time to sit around debating morality, economics, and sociology of issues are going to be the leaders of the intellectual foundation of the party, even though the true following of those beliefs becomes diluted the further out from that core you get.

I really don’t understand what you mean when you say that.

Aren’t you aware that Richard Nixon’s aides and the Attorney General were convicted of conspiracy? Nixon himself was named an “unindicted co-conspirator” by the Justice Department." He received a pardon from President Ford as soon as Ford became President. Sort of a “just in case” pardon. Ford remains the only POTUS never elected.

That conspiracy is in the history books and one that all Americans could bear witness to.

Why didn’t President Bush ask for input from his Cabinet about whether or not we should go to war with Iraq? Could it be that a small group within his Administration conspired to go to war?

Is it possible the Bush Administration conspired to see that torture was used on certain prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere?

I’m not wanting to argue any of these points with you. I’m just wanting to make the point that conspiracies are not completely outlandish and they don’t have to involve everyone in a government.