38% of Americans want creationism taught instead of evolution

The Enlightenment has ended in America. It was nice while it lasted.

Why? Take a look at the depressing and astonishing results from a survey on creationism, reported in the New York Times today.

In brief, 64% of Americans are open to the idea of teaching creationist pseudoscience alongside established science, while 38% don’t want evolution taught at all. 42% believed in strict creationism – that current living things have existed in their current forms since the beginning of time.

One of the researchers involved in survey is quoted in the NYT, saying that the results on the education questions are “a reflection of American pragmatism”. That just won’t do. It’s a reflection of American stupidity, or perhaps irrationality, but it’s about as far from pragmatism as it’s possible to get.

There is, of course, no science in support of creationism, and lots of science in support of evolution. Evolution is only semantically a theory – in practice it is self-evidently, obviously true.

The last comment on this – another disheartening statistic for fans of democracy – is that 41% of respondents wanted the parents to decide on what science was taught to their children. At last, a chance for the Flat Earth Society, not to mention the eugenicists. Perhaps the next step is going to be parental choice in the field of history.

iTunes for stattos

I never knew till just now that you can copy the contents of your iTunes library view (or any other view) to Excel using copy and paste, on a Mac at least. This enables you to do all sorts of statto-ish calculations. For example, it turns out that since I bought this laptop (about 18 months ago), I’ve listened to 26,644 tracks, with a total playing time of just over sixty-five days. And subtotals? Don’t even get me started on subtotals.

Tory leadership election

Ken Clarke has announced that he’s going to stand for the Tory leadership.

I lost a lot of respect for him a few days back when he pandered to the sceps by saying that Britain won’t join the euro for at least ten years. It seems to be playing well with the Tories, though. Norman Lamont was just on Newsnight gloating about the ‘failure’ of the Euro (a popular meme – apparently the euro was designed to solve every economic problem in all of Europe, but sadly, it’s only succeeded in creating a new international reserve currency and bringing ten European countries into a stable currency union).

But for all my frustrations with the knee-jerk scepticism of the British political signoria, I can’t see it as a good sign for the Tory party that the only candidate with well-known views feels he has to jettison them to have a chance of success. Again, the question arises – just what are the Tories for, Mummy?

Valencian metro

Jane and the kids are off to Jávea at the end of next month. Valencia, the nearest city, is a wonderful place, and I’m sorry not to be able to head over there with them. One of the best things on the web about Valencia is the website of its Metro, with a nifty interactive map that even gives details of station exits and their opening hours. It’s a really well-designed site as well.

Drinking for Britain

Paul Skidmore at the Demos Greenhouse riffs nicely on the Daily Mail’s latest rant topic, the 2003 Licensing Act.

Of course, the Daily Mail is onto a winner here. Lots of fuming sixty-somethings, the Youth of Today, What Was Wrong With The Old Laws. Sigh. And, of course, it’s so much easier to campaign against a Government policy when it’s already been law for 2 years. Then it’s much easier to criticise them for not listening to the People Of Britain (by which, of course, the Daily Mail means the Daily Mail).