When I moved from Canada, I had the preconception that Americans, were, in general, complete idiots. And it seems that they go well out of their way to reinforce the stereotyping I’ve tried so hard to forget.
Let’s look at this week’s Creationism scandal, eh? There are three great stories. First, a Gallup poll shows that only 1/3 of Americans “believe” in the theory of evolution. Second, the actual data from the poll, from U. BC. Third, a brilliant critique from Swarthmore.
The answer to “Why don’t American’s get evolution?” is the same as the answer to “Why did they elect a Great Ape?”
Most Americans are conservative Christians, who let the religious right do their thinking for them. A good example is this apologia, which tries to refute the literary-historical foundation for a scholarly interpretation of the book of Genesis, the so-called cornerstone of the Christian faith.
An acute reader will point out that the Christian faith doesn’t depend on Genesis. What actually does, however, is their theory of creation. A literalist interpretation of the book of Genesis allows a Christian to believe that the world was molded directly from the hands of YHWH, and that all biological life was created in the span of 7 days. If that sounds like too much to take, Christians temper their argument with an interpretation of “Heavenly days” whereby those 7 days could span some more reasonable finite interval. Of course, that just begs the question “How long did creation take?” again. And, no matter how hard you look, you’ll never get a straight answer.
By placing a focus on Genesis (rather than, say, the book of Psalms) as the “foundation” of Christianity, leading conservatives instill a crusading defensive fervor in their constituents. Christians begin to believe that Genesis is the core of their faith, and defend it literally without proper consideration.
All you other Christians, I challenge to find a verse in Genesis necessary to the fundament of your religion.
|This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 at 11:29 pm and is tagged with finite interval, gallup poll, book of psalms, book of genesis, scholarly interpretation, heavenly days, theory of evolution, theory of creation, foundation of christianity, biological life, great ape, historical foundation, proper consideration, christian faith, straight answer, yhwh, apologia, preconception, creationism, religious right. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.|