Saturday, May 26, 2007

Intelligent Ignorants

Tom Deering of my home paper (the Quad City Times) wrote earlier this month concerning the low percent of people who explain the origin of life solely through evolution. He said
The results of this survey, if accurate, convey a clear lack of education. I venture to suggest that a future study would find that the more education an individual has received, the more likely he or she would be to support evolution.
Let's suppose he's right: more education translates into a better understanding of evolution. It wouldn't completely surprise me. Evolution is a complicated theory and very counter-intuitive. But Deering sees this lack of faith (is that the right word?) in Darwin's work as a sign of a stupid country.

I see this all the time. People note some fact most people don't believe or know about and then conclude that people are stupid. It's really quite silly. Who cares if my roofer thinks God created the universe? Does it mean he won't know how to lay shingle? Only fools would think so.

People are rationally ignorant. There's a lot of information out there and most of it has zero impact on your life if you take the time to learn it. It makes sense that so many people haven't gone through the trouble of learning evolution. I actually prefer it. What would you rather have: a roofer who's read the Origin of the Species or a roofer who knows how to waterproof your ceiling?

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