Evolution and the American South?

Does anybody in the American South accept evolution? You know Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Does anyone where you’re from know that stereotyping is bad?



I do, although some in Texas don’t consider us “South”.

Millions of Southern Americans accept Darwin, Galileo, the Big Bang, civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and other radical notions.

Shucks, Hillary Clinton got more than a million votes in Alabama and Mississippi, so the subversives are everywhere.

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Heck, we even got universities down here!

Some of 'em ain’t even Bible colleges, or cosmetology schools.

Brendan, your mum called and asked you to pick up some milk on your way home from being a pain on a messageboard!

I can introduce you to some people from New York City who believe in biblical inerrancy, young earth, Intelligent Design, and the Rapture. One even believes that it is illegal for TV to show anything that isn’t true, and therefore believes every conspiracy documentary she has seen (but hasn’t caught a Nova yet I guess). I know another who is an anti-vaxxer. One of her kids has a unilateral hearing loss from a bout of Hib, a vaccine-preventable disease, and all she does is thank the deity for “saving” the hearing in her kid’s other ear.

Much as I hate to admit it, I also know some Haredi and Chassidic Jews who believe in biblical inerrancy and reject evolution-- well to an extent. They do believe that the original creations have sometimes changed forms, but that was part of G-d’s plan. They will admit that people bred dogs from wolves, to be useful to people, and compare it to humans making bread from wheat, as an example.

Yeah, isn’t that scum Ben Stein from NYC

*Not on account of being Jewish, but for being a slandering shitstain.

It’s the second sentence that makes the post, there – as if somebody is (a) shooting his hand up enthusiastically halfway through, and then (b) slooowly lowering his hand upon hearing that, in point of fact, “Lamarck’s theory of evolution” is off-limits.

Most of the Clinton voters were black,and Trump voters white, and I blame evolution squarely for the multiplicity of races.

What on earth are you thinking, to ask such a question?

I have an old book by two Southern writers, Josiah C. Nott and George Gliddon, one a physician and the other a former Vice-Consul to Egypt. The huge textbook, Types of Mankind, 1854, is based on the work of the progenitor of the multiregional hypothesis, Samuel George Morton (1799-1851). The theory claims that humanity originates from different lineages, a theory highly useful to the Southerners.

The illustrations in this ‘scientific’ work are gross with many drawings of negroes and baboons or monkeys juxtaposed, the artist taking great care to make them as similar as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if this textbook was being used in Southern schools and colleges up to the 1950s and beyond.

Here’s an example of the illustrations, or caricatures rather.

It’s small wonder that racism thrived in the South for so long and still thrives.

I can’t find any website with the exact statistics, but polls have been taken in recent years that show that, yes, a smaller proportion of people in the southern U.S. believe in evolution than in other parts of the country. That doesn’t mean that all of them or even necessarily the majority of them do. There are a lot of things that tend to predict an American’s belief in evolution/creationism/intelligent design/etc. Church attendance, educational level, age, and region of the country in which the person lives all have some influence on what they say they believe, and you can probably find various other ways of classifying people like sex, race, sexual preference, income, etc. that have some small influence on what people believe about this subject. Polls like this generally show that nothing - yes, absolutely nothing - invariably predicts what people believe or what they do or who they vote for or anything else about their behavior. Excuse us for being so snide, Nadnerb, but you have asked the question in a strange way. Yes, there is a smaller proportion of people in the South than in other regions of the country who believe in evolution. No, of course there is a significant proportion who do believe in it.

You have to remember that people go where they are accepted, though. Not everyone who lives in the south was born and bred there, and a huge number of New Yorkers are “New Yorkers by choice.”

So when people answer surverys about attitudes toward things like evolution, and give their state or region, it’s usually the place they currently live, not the place they are originally from.

Just as an example, there are cities with unusually high percentages of gay people. San Francisco is one. Bloomington, Indiana is another (seriously-- it has fewer actual gay people by raw numbers than SF, but the last time there was a formal count, it had a higher percentage). Anyway, there’s nothing about SF or B-ton that either causes babies to be born gay, or makes people gay. They are magnet cities.

There are a few areas in the south that are magnet areas for a certain type of ID/young earth/biblical inerrancy belief. They don’t represent the whole south, but they do skew the results when you compare traditionally termed “North” with traditionally termed “South” states, to make the south look more like it accepts anti-evolutionists than the north does. By the same token, the north has magnet areas for evolution, and many much more progressive ideas.

BTW, “North” and “South” are constructs as artificial as race. The Confederacy has been dead for a long time. We are all Americans.

Actually, Southerners’ attitudes to Darwin have … erm … *evolved *over time.

So which decade 's attitudes are we discussing? :slight_smile:

Not that I’ve encountered. Plus, evolutionists (here referred to as ‘Evil-lutionists’) don’t have a very long shelf life.

What? You seriously haven’t encountered southerners who accept evolution as a scientifically valid description of biology? For real, now?

I mean, c’mon now. A little over half of South Carolinians accept evolution (granted the majority of those think God was involved, but that’s not a big deal).

The sheer number of young-earth creationists in the South is alarming, no doubt, but the sort of foolishness displayed in the first post here is unhelpful.