These women don't seem to realize how well-established the theory of evolution is and how central it is to the study of science. Of course, it should be taught in school. The more lively present-day issue is whether intelligent design may also be taught alongside evolution, but that isn't what the women were asked. The question prompts them to think of evolution as something that perhaps ought not to be taught in schools. From the bizarre similarity of the answers, I would extrapolate standard beauty-contest advice: Look for the prompt in the question and echo it back with some embellishment that makes you sound thoughtful, caring, and respectful of diversity.There's a lot of silly responses, yet I'm noticing some regional variation. The Southern girls appear more likely not to accept evolution as science, and thus is something that perhaps shouldn't be taught in schools, as if that would threaten belief systems. That said, these aren't ignorant responses to the one. Maybe someone's quantified this with a content analysis, but listen to Brittany Thelemann at about 7:20 minutes and I think that's an example of some very well-rounded beliefs. Althouse takes issue with Miss New Jersey in particular, and note that it's the demonic progressive outrage that prompted her post in the first place (notice how the clip is titled "Miss Ignorance USA"). Faith and religion is not science, and the existence of God isn't falsifiable, despite all the claims of militant atheists. (Certitude!) So possibilities will always remain and stir questioning and wonderment. Interestingly, some scientists suggest that the notion of an "In the beginning" type moment isn't incompatible with what we know --- or, especially, what we don't know --- about the universe and human evolution.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Ann Althouse has a lengthy response: