How Does Creationism Harm African Americans
Posted: 25 September 2010 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Joseph Graves from EvoS Blogs

How Does Creationism Harm African Americans?

Author page for Graves - HERE

EvoS - HERE

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution

The data indicate that the majority of Americans accept a Biblical account of the origin of the human species.  Even more striking is the fact, that of those who accept Biblical accounts, 77% of these individuals accept a literalist interpretation of the event occurring over six 24 hour days.  As an African American scientist, I had always suspected that the response to this question amongst those of my own ethnicity would be even higher.  To address this suspicion I recently contacted the Peter Hart and Bill McInturff polling organization and asked for the response percentages for African Americans.  Their data showed the following:

These data validate what I have always known, African Americans are ½ as likely as the general population to accept evolution as a valid explanation and 1.4 times more likely to accept the Biblical account. Finally within Biblical account, the literalist explanation (6 days) was 76% about the same as the general population (but remember a larger percentage of African Americans reject evolution.)  Why does this happen? [Snip] I argue here that the fundamentalism of the National Baptist Convention is causing harm to the African American community.  Specifically its fundamentalist views make it more difficult to attract talented African American students into careers in science (specifically those disciplines in science that may contradict fundamentalist doctrine, e.g. Archaeology, Anthropology, Human Genetics, or Evolutionary Biology.)

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Posted: 25 September 2010 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I remember when not too long ago DJ said that—I am paraphrasing—in the sceptic community no topic is a taboo. I think DJ is wrong. I’ll only add what you (or rather Dobzhansky) have said above: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

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Posted: 25 September 2010 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’d like to see a similar poll taken among all of the U.S. citizens to see what correlation there is between the 6 day creation concept and economic status. 

Since those at the low end of the economic structure almost always get poorer education that those higher up on that ladder, I’d guess that there’s also a strong correlation between education and rejection of the 6 day thesis.

As a group African-Americans have been far less able to take advantage of education so it’s to be expected that they would fall prey to controlling preachers just as the tea partyers have fallen prey to the political preachers.  Finally, I’d like to see if the poll Joseph Graves commissioned also asked the educational level of each person contacted and checked correlation between that and those fundamentalist religious beliefs.

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Posted: 27 September 2010 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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If you aren’t a scientist then what would it matter whether you believe life started through creationism rather then an evolutionary process?

If the problem is education then we should probably focus on providing a better education then what people happen to believe.

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Posted: 05 October 2010 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Gnostikosis - 27 September 2010 01:04 PM

If you aren’t a scientist then what would it matter whether you believe life started through creationism rather then an evolutionary process?

The truth matters to everyone. Some are just not equipped to comprehended or not deny the truth.

Gnostikosis - 27 September 2010 01:04 PM

If the problem is education then we should probably focus on providing a better education then what people happen to believe.

I think the other problem is the shackling of pre-college instructors to “show respect” to the religious beliefs of their students. This is a huge problem when you consider that young-earth creationists see the idea of evolution in any form as “offensive.”

-RC

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Posted: 05 October 2010 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 05 October 2010 10:47 AM

The truth matters to everyone.

No. The truth matters to some. Others prefer to “truly seek equality.”

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Posted: 05 October 2010 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Sorry, philosophical difference. You can tell me that god will cure your inoperable, terminal brain tumor, but the truth of the matter does in fact matter to you. Even if you don’t believe in it.

You can tell me you’re “curing” your child’s ear infection with herbs, but when it spreads and become meningitis, the truth does matter to you even if you still believe those evil Doctors don’t know better than your shaman. When you child loses 10% of their IQ potential after, the truth will matter because it has altered your life. 

So I stand behind my statement. The truth matters to everyone, even if they deliberately refuse to see it.

-RC

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Posted: 05 October 2010 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I would say it in a few different ways to express what may be meant.

1.  Reality affects (matters to) everyone.

2. “Truth” (as each person defines his/her own view of it) matters to everyone.

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Posted: 05 October 2010 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 05 October 2010 10:47 AM

The truth matters to everyone. Some are just not equipped to comprehended or not deny the truth.

Why should it matter to me how existence started. You believe one thing, I believe another. The truth maybe something else. What does it matter. I am going to go through life believing some God burped to start things going. What does it matter?

I think the other problem is the shackling of pre-college instructors to “show respect” to the religious beliefs of their students. This is a huge problem when you consider that young-earth creationists see the idea of evolution in any form as “offensive.”

-RC

IMO there should be no expectation that someone else has any respect for one’s personal belief.

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Posted: 05 October 2010 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Ruat Caelum - 05 October 2010 11:22 AM

Sorry, philosophical difference. You can tell me that god will cure your inoperable, terminal brain tumor, but the truth of the matter does in fact matter to you. Even if you don’t believe in it.

You can tell me you’re “curing” your child’s ear infection with herbs, but when it spreads and become meningitis, the truth does matter to you even if you still believe those evil Doctors don’t know better than your shaman. When you child loses 10% of their IQ potential after, the truth will matter because it has altered your life. 

So I stand behind my statement. The truth matters to everyone, even if they deliberately refuse to see it.

-RC

I wasn’t refering to truth. I was refering to my belief about something that happened in the past.

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Posted: 05 October 2010 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Occam. - 05 October 2010 02:26 PM

I would say it in a few different ways to express what may be meant.

1.  Reality affects (matters to) everyone.

2. “Truth” (as each person defines his/her own view of it) matters to everyone.

Occam

I don’t believe in a “truth”, just perceptions of what is true. Eveyone has a perception of what is true and they act according to that perception.

It doesn’t matter to me what your perception of truth is because you can’t really do anything to affect me. Even if you could affect me in someway it wouldn’t matter to me your perception of truth, it’d be your actions which concerned me and only those which directly affect me.

Otherwise you could run around naked in the rain eating chicken heads for some atheist ritual. Wouldn’t bother me any.

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Posted: 05 October 2010 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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That’s why I differentiated between the words truth and reality and used quotation marks around the first.  I do this because of the differing definitions of truth; those who don’t think carefully don’t see that their truth is really their perception of reality.  Those who do, see that, so it’s easier for me to avoid using the word.

(If I did as you described, it sure as hell would bother meLOL  )

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Posted: 13 October 2010 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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If you like to keep things to strictly human perceptive terms, I’ll agree with the “truth Vs. reality” statement.

I also think it is possible to become so Existentialist in your presentation of arguments to become ineffectual.

I’ve heard the arguments that cell theory cannot be proven because the technology used to develop microscopy were based on cell theory. Ergo: cell theory is flawed.

I’m not hanging up my microscope.

I am interested in science, I am therefore interested in getting as close to truth as is humanly possible.

If you want to debate that the heliocentric nature of the universe is really a battle of perceptions, then fine have at it. That isn’t a game I’m interested in playing.

The “truth” of the matter (ha ha, little joke) is that there are means of studying the world with the scientific method. I’m not going to refer to a pioneering new surgical procedure as one doctor’s “strong opinion.” It works statistically, or it doesn’t. That, to me, is truth. And that truth will matter to you, irrespective of your beliefs when the time comes to sink a knife into your chest and to save your life.

So call it what you will, the truth exists, and is worth pursuing. Even if the semantic words games are not exactly to every person’s liking.

-RC

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