THE MAKEUP OF 60 PERCENT
Several days ago, I heard something on TV that still jolts me. Seems that 60% of Americans still believe the Earth was created in 6 days. Well—I came across the following information in a collection of writings by John Updike and it goes a long way toward explaining the intelligence of that 60%. These statistics were part of an address he gave to MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science on its 25th anniversary in 1988.
“Just a few days ago, perhaps you saw, as I did, the item in the Boston Globe which revealed that twenty-one percent of adult Americans, according to a telephone poll, think the sun goes around the earth instead of the other way around, and seven more percent answered that they were undecided. Of the seventy-two percent who answered that the earth does orbit the sun, seventeen percent said that it takes one day, two percent one month, and nine percent could not guess at any time span.”
Let's see, that adds up to: 21 + 7 + 17 + 2 + 9 = 56 That's nearly 60% that don't understand the motions of our own solar system. Leaves 4% unexplained.
You see—if our American fundamentalists don’t even know the simple basics of the motions of their own planetary system, how can we expect them to understand evolution? I know it’s cold comfort, but at least we can be certain about the average Christian’s ignorance and hope that in the millennia to come, they’ll be brought to their senses, but by that time, most of the rest of us will have accepted that we’re actually genetic robots with little or no freedom. Wait'll they have to swallow that information! That'll take another millennium or two.