Anthropology, Evolution, and “Scientific Creationism”
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 14: 103-133 (Volume publication date October 1985)
James N. Spuhler
In lieu of an abstract, the publisher reproduces the first page of the article. (Link)

Letters to my Tutor….

My dearest Simone,

I read “Anthropology, Evolution, and ‘Scientific Creationism’ and I feel at a loss for what to say.  I find it hard to believe that such a large percentage of Americans reject evolution.  The article was published in 1982 and quotes Gallup Poll numbers:  “44% of the population in the United States does not accept an evolutionary origin for the human species.”  Looking at a December 2010 Gallup  poll, 40% of Americans believe that “God created humans in their present form about 10,000 years ago.”

So looking around a little longer – with the concept phrased a little differently, it seems 25% reject evolution rather than the 40% implied by the other poll.  From a February 2011 poll…. “39% of Americans say they ‘believe in the theory of evolution,’ while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don’t have an opinion either way.”

I found The Sensuous Curmudgeon a good read.  The site focuses on the “evolution vs. creationism” controversy in the U.S.  I’ve only poked around a little.  I don’t agree with all the viewpoints on the site, but the coverage and commentary seem extensive.  The writing is witty, funny and snarky.  I’ve bookmarked it to read more later.

I grew up in Mississippi, so I likely knew a lot of people with creationist beliefs.  I don’t think I ever had a science teacher who was willing to teach creationism in the classroom.  I specifically remember a junior high teacher (sometime in the 1980s) saying with passion that she would not teach creationism.  I don’t remember the details, but I think a local school board must have been considering forcing science teachers to teach creationism (didn’t happen).  I think many of the people in the area who believed in creationism, didn’t think it should be taught in schools — some of them believing that teachers couldn’t be trusted to teach creationism the right way.

I’ll leave it at that for now.

My heart to yours,