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Entries in evolution (6)


Religion's Evolution Divide Deepens Between Republicans & Democrats | Phil Robertson Promotes Marrying Girls Young

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PEW Research revisits the topic of Americans’ beliefs in evolution, finding a significant drop in the number of Republicans who believe in the scientific theory of evolution. About two-third of Democrats (67%) and Independents (65%) embrace the belief that humans have evolved over time, compare to only 43% of Republicans. In fact, Republican belief in evolution has plummeted from 54% since 2009.

There is also a significant gender gap with 65% of men but only 55% of women believing in evolution. Likewise, there exists an age gap with 68% of 18-29 year olds believing in evolution, compared to 49% age 65 and older. Lastly, education is a factor with 72% of college grads embracing evolution, compared to 51% of high school grads or less.

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All About Adam

The Economist weighed in on America’s evolutionary debate in late November 2013, writing that “the literalist faith is in crisis.” Citing statistics that fully half of evangelical youngsters lose their faith after hitting age 18 and especially if they enter a public university.

The Barna Group, an evangelical research firm has studied the young in large numbers, confirming yet again that millenials are “unimpressed by organised anything, let along organised religion.” The young oppose the total demonization of secular culture by their elders. Many are not anti-gay and a quarter of young told Barna Group that their churches were anti-science.

Writing for The Economist, Lexington points out the evangelical Christianity is not only fending off criticisms from its young but is also shaken by new discoveries that are part of genetic science. As science increasingly embraces the concept of several thousand “first humans” while negating the possibility that our genetic diversity can be traced back to the existence of an original man and woman — Adam and Eve, in the case of evangelicals — conservative theologians are questioning a historical Adam.

Without a historical Adam, says Michael Cromartie, an evangelical expert at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre, it follows then that “there would be no reason for Jesus to come to Earth to redeem man’s Fall.”

A flurry of academic papers on Adam and a proliferation of books are either out or in development.

Robertson: Marry ‘Em Young

After his reinstatement at A&E, new video of top-rated Duck Dynasty star and alleged religious guru Phil Robertson puts him back in the spotlight. This time Robertson preaches to a Georgia congregation about finding a good wife.

Preferably, marry them young — at 15 or 16 Robertson advises a Christian congregation in Georgia. Sharing advice he once gave a young man, the national star of the most successful cable TV show advises: “Make sure that she can cook a meal. You need to eat some meals that she cooks, check that out.”

“Make sure she carries her Bible.” Robertson continues. “That’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now, that’s a woman.”

“They got to where they’re getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting till they get to be about 20 years old before they marry them,” Robertson says. “Look, you wait till they get to be 20 years old the only picking that’s going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. ” Recognizing that many states outlaw marrying girls that young, Robertson adds “You need to check with mom and dad about that, of course.”


Michigan House Leader Silences Rep Lisa Brown for Using Word 'Vagina' on House Floor | Cave Art May Be Neanderthal

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The Panel of Hands at El Castillo cave in northern Spain. The hand stencils are dated at 37,300 years old, the disk is at least 40,600 years old. (Image courtesy of Pedro Saura. / June 14, 2012)Using a new method of dating antiquities and artifacts, a large group of independent scientists have dated hand stencils in Spain to be as much as 10,000 years older than previously-dated cave art in France. Believing that the art is nearly 41,000 years old and coincident with the evolution of modern humans from Neanderthals, researchers conclude that it’s possible that the cave paintings could be associated with Neanderthals, writes the LA Times.

NPR adds to the discussion:

Archaeologist Joao Zilhao from the University of Barcelona is part of the team that did the work. He says his gut tells him it’s Neanderthal art.

“We can’t be 100 percent certain that they did it,” Zilhao says. “I think that there is a strong probability. My point is the evidence for symbolic behavior among the Neanderthals already exists.”

Neanderthals did perform ritual burials. They made decorative beads and other ornaments. Pike also notes that DNA evidence now suggests that modern humans and Neanderthals interbred.

Related reading: Study: Neanderthals Wore Jewelry and Makeup NPR

France: 37,000-year-old ‘vulva art’ Global Post

Scientists believe that 37,000 years ago, the vulva was sacred — at least in wall art discovered in the south of France. Today in America, not only is the word vulva or vagina considered to be pornographic, it is a banned word in the Republican War on Women.I

Michigan Silences Women Legislators

The Spittin’ Sisters of Women who are also legislators sent messages loud and clear about their opposition to Michigan’s massive omnibus abortion bill that passed the House by a 70-39 vote on Wednesday. The Michigan Senate is not expected to take up the three-bill package until September.

In one of the more dynamic moments in the debate, State Rep Lisa Brown was prohibited from speaking on the House floor Thursday, after ending a speech in the video above with the word vagina. Brown stated that her Orthodox Jewish faith mandated that abortion be the right of any mother needing one to save her life.

“I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’ ” said Brown, D-West Bloomfield.

State Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Onondaga, also wasn’t recognized to speak Thursday for a disturbance she caused on the House floor Wednesday when the GOP majority wouldn’t allow her to propose a ban on men getting a vasectomy unless the sterilization procedure was necessary to save a man’s life, writes the Detroit Free Press.

Yesterday’s consideration that the Catholic bishops’ hierarchy hire someone to soften the messages in their assault against American women and Catholic nuns on behalf of fertilized eggs begs the question of whether they understand at all the depth of anger turning against them. Sugar-coating their agenda surely won’t stop the hatred that is building against the bishops among many American women.

Georgia Democrats Introduce Anti-Vasectomy Bill | Romney Plummets With Women | Virginia Tables Personhood Bill

Daily French Roast

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The new Republican term for blogs like AOC is “elite media”. Slate writes that Santorum is incredibly angry that the “elite media” is dogging him because of his conservative religious views. The Republican candidate pulls out the stops with one appalling assertion after another — from the Devil attacking America to why he’s opposed to birth control but chooses not to talk about his manufacturing proposals on ‘Face the Nation’. Duh?

Today was the first time we read that Santorum wants creationism taught in America’s classrooms, as an alternative to the scientific theory of evolution. Pushing intelligent design in classrooms was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2005, based on a lack of scientific evidence for the theory.

Santorum insisted just days ago that President Obama’s policy decisions aren’t based on Biblical principles. It’s Santorum who promotes a theocracy for America and then criticizes journalists for asking questions about an agenda never openly discussed in a presidential election race.

The Vatican accepts the scientific theory of evolution and the big bang theory. The basic difference between atheists and the Vatican is that the pontiff believes God causes the big bang. Read details of “Scientific Insights into the Evolution of the Universe and of Life,” put on by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2008.

More DFR

In response to a new abortion bill in Georgia that would punish procedures performed after the 20th week of pregnancy with prison sentences of between one and 10 years, Georgia Democrats introduced a new bill that will outlaw vasectomies in Georgia, a procedure that leaves “thousands of children … deprived of birth.”

Rep Yasmin Neal, a Democrat from Jonesboro, a suburb of Atlanta, introduced HB 1116, outlawing vasectomies unless needed to avert serious injury or death. via CNN

Virginia Ultrasound & Personhood Update

Virginia Republicans have sent their personhood bill back to committee, effectively taking it off the legislative agenda for this year. It hasn’t died, just gone lurking to the back burner until the pressure is off. The Virginia legislature did pass a bill today requiring an external ultrasound, not the ‘transvaginal’ procedure Governor McDonnell supported.

How much harm has been done to the Governor’s political aspirations remains unclear. All polls show that women are turning against Republicans faster than the data can be polled.

Related: Contraception Cracksown: Grim Lessons from the Philippines TIME