Philip Bump’s column today is about a Suffolk University poll on beliefs in evolution. With Mike Johnson, whose beliefs, he tells us, can easily be divined by looking in the Bible, and others who will claim the same things or Donald Trump as their Lord and Savior, this is only the first of the very confused polls we will see.
People don’t divide their thinking up neatly into science, politics, family, religion, whatever. This is particularly true of ignoramuses who blend a religious set of words with political demands, now in control of the Republican Party. The morphing of a Christian nationalism into a Cult of Trump further confuses the categories. Look at any John Naughton painting.
Columnists like Bump and the constructors of polls, however, try to separate religion, science, and politics, usually resulting in nonsense, and this latest column illustrates their problems.
In choosing among
- Humans evolved into their present form without divine intervention
- Humans evolved into their present form, but God directed the process
- Humans did not evolve. They were created in their present form by God.
a plurality chose the last. The Suffolk poll then tries to tease out the effects of religion, politics, and education. Education seems to show the strongest influence among the rather superficial variables Suffolk uses. One might even ask if all those polled even understood the three options and chose the third because they didn’t understand the word “evolve.”
Obviously a great many variables go into beliefs like this, and these beliefs can also drive religious or political affiliation.
With Johnson now assuring us that of course he doesn’t want to impose his religious agenda on the devil-worshiping sodomists and free-living women, it’s all going to get more confused. I’m just mulling things over here, and it looks to me like it can get pretty bad.