Feature

The GOP’s war on evolution

The debate over evolution was settled a century ago—but not for Republicans.

Charles M. BlowThe New York Times

The debate over evolution was settled a century ago—but not for Republicans, said Charles M. Blow. A new Pew poll has found an 11 percent decline since 2009 in Republicans who believe our species evolved over time, with 48 percent now insisting that God created humans just as they are today. “This isn’t only sad; it’s embarrassing.” Why, with most Americans now accepting the overwhelming evidence of evolution, would more Republicans be retreating into a 19th-century worldview? It’s the result of a prolonged ploy by Republican leaders and culture warriors such as Fox News “to play on the most base convictions of conservative voters.” In this cynical Crusade against secular culture and science, “passion and devotion are weapons against doubt and confusion.” So climate change, the Big Bang, and evolution must be categorically rejected as threats to religious faith (which they’re not). This tactic has succeeded in keeping “the Republican rank and file riled up”—at the cost of keeping them, and our nation, trapped in deliberate ignorance.

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