It’s not everybody that Charles Darwin receives happy birthday wishes from the Discovery Institute, but I think the headline to the e-mail I just received was a bit sarcastic. The Discovery Institute, which rose to fame a few years ago as a think tank devoted to promoting intelligent design and criticism of evolution, was boasting that in three years support for teaching both the evidence for and against evolution jumped from 69 percent to 78 percent of Americans.
“Media reports insinuate that a right-wing conspiracy of know-nothings and religious extremists is afoot,” John West, associate director of Discovery’s Center for Science & Culture, said in a statement. “But the new Zogby poll reveals a broad-based and well-informed public consensus for academic freedom on evolution. That consensus includes Democrats, Republicans, liberals, moderates, independents, and every race, gender, and age group. The Darwin Lobby has isolated itself from public opinion.”
I couldn’t find the Zogby poll, administered in the last few days of January, online anywhere. Though Discovery’s email linked to their own analysis of the poll results.
Certainly the evidence against evolution should be taught. But I also agree with what Kyle says in the “South Park” episode about 9/11 conspiracy theories: “There’s a lot of holes in the theory of evolution, too. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”