Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, February 19, 2010

Texans believe WHAT? And this is NOT a joke?


Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The differences in beliefs about evolution and the length of time that living things have existed on earth are reflected in the political and religious preference of our respondents, who were asked four questions about biological history and God:

• 38 percent said human beings developed over millions of years with God guiding the process and another 12 percent said that development happened without God having any part of the process. Another 38 percent agreed with the statement "God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago."

• Asked about the origin and development of life on earth without injecting humans into the discussion, and 53 percent said it evolved over time, "with a guiding hand from God." They were joined by 15 percent who agreed on the evolution part, but "with no guidance from God." About a fifth — 22 percent — said life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time.

• Most of the Texans in the survey — 51 percent — disagree with the statement, "human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." Thirty-five percent agreed with that statement, and 15 percent said they don't know.

• Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs? Three in ten Texas voters agree with that statement; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don't know.

Maybe instead of rewriting textbooks to teach kids that Newt Gingrich was the most important man ever, Texas should focus on teaching kids that, as Lewis Black said, "The Flintstones" is not a documentary.

h/t daily kos



Infidel753 said...

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time

Well, if you live in Texas right now, you're already used to co-existing with a polical class consisting of bloated, sluggish creatures with coarse hides, brains the size of a walnut, and behavior that seems millions of years out of date. Not so farfetched.

Seriously, I've seen survey results not too different from these for the US as a whole. Yet when creationists get onto school boards and start pushing their rubbish on the curriculum, even in conservative parts of the country, they usually get voted out.

I think most people actually know better, but feel constrained to affirm a Biblical world-view when talking to strangers -- even in an anonymous poll -- because it's what they know they're "supposed to" believe.

Arthurstone said...

Amen. Here's a particular favorite:

John 12:12-15 (English Standard Version)

The Triumphal Entry

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out,"Hosanna! Blessed is
he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"

14 And Jesus found a young Apatosaurus and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion;behold, your king is coming, sitting on a Apatosaurus' colt!"

Satyavati devi dasi said...

A really big part of this is that a vast proportion of the schoolbooks in the USA come through Texas, and the school boards that vote on what's in and what's not in these textbooks are heavily weighted towards the Christian Reconstructionist/Dominionist side, whose vested interest is in doing whatever it takes to totally revamp our society/culture/laws into a Biblical version. It sounds totally ridiculous until you read their own literature and realize how many politicians they've put into congress.

Thus the problem. Very, very scary.

Jim said...

Yeah, I remember once back in high school in 1969 in a small rural town in Texas where the female English teacher had us all reading Playboy. Funny, I don't remember a single article I read. Must have been all those pictures gettin in the way of all them words.

Oso said...

I had no idea about that passage!

Liberal media likely suppressed it here on the left coast.

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Joe said...

Professor Kevin Padian, of Berkeley, did his dissertation research on this subject, creating the first well accepted, detailed phylogeny of the diapsids. His work provided strong, compelling support for the theory that birds are theropod dinosaurs. says, "(Alligators and Crocodiles) are the closest thing we have to dinosaurs in present day life...Monitor Lizards (Komodo dragons) belong in this category too, so do whales."

The definition of what constitutes a dinosaur is inexact and still in question.

Shaw Kenawe said...

That doesn't change the fact that human beings and dinosaurs DID NOT walk the earth at the same time. The dinosaurs shown in the various Bible Land exhibits are not birds or alligators; they're allosaurus and other Jurassic period beasts.

Joe said...

What it means is that dinosaurs are still here and so is man.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The evolved descendents of dinosaurs.

Arthurstone said...

Yabba dabba do.

Octopüß said...

Joe: "Monitor Lizards (Komodo dragons) belong in this category too ... what constitutes a dinosaur is inexact and still in question."

Yup, I have one of those clip-on reptiles attached to my computer screen ... my very own monitor lizard ... serving as a reminder that dinosaurs still walk among us.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...