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Why Don't Proclamations that Evolution and Religion are Compatible Have a Large Effect on this Debate?

For years Darwinists have been doing their best to remind the world of the good news that evolution and religion can be compatible. Yet skepticism of evolution continues to remain at a very high level in the United States. Why is this?

A timeline of random samples of statements and polls:

1982: Polls say that only 9% of Americans believe that humans developed through purely natural evolutionary processes.

1984: The National Academy of Sciences assures the public that science and religion occupy "separate and mutually exclusive realms," and that religion and science are compatible. (Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 1st edition, 1984)

1993: Polls say that only 11% of Americans believe that humans developed through purely natural evolutionary processes.

1998: Douglas Futuyma's popular text Evolutionary Biology pacifies students with the knowledge that "many Western religions ... vie[w] evolution as the natural mechanism by which God has enabled creation to proceed." (pg. 759)

1999: Polls say that only 9% of Americans believe that humans developed through purely natural evolutionary processes.

1999: The National Academy of Sciences again reassures the public that science and religion occupy two separate realms," and that religion and science are compatible. (Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 2nd edition, 1999)

2001: Polls say that only 12% of Americans believe that humans developed through purely natural evolutionary processes.

2001: Alters and Alters publish their book Defending Evolution as a teacher's guide, which recommends that teachers should explain to students that many scientists see religion and evolution as compatible (Defending Evolution, pg. 123-124)

2004: Polls say that only 13% of Americans believe that humans developed through purely natural evolutionary processes.

2005: University of Kansas Chancellor Hemenway explains that "I see no contradiction in being a person of faith who believes in God and evolution, and I'm sure many others at this university agree." (Evolution Statement, September 26, 2005)

These numbers shows that skepticism that life developed via purely unguided evolutionary processes remains very high despite the fact that scientists, educators, and religious leaders have tried to remind people that religion and evolution are compatible. Why does skepticism of Neo-Darwinism remain high? IT'S THE SCIENCE, SILLY!

What these Darwinists don't get is that for many people, this issue isn't simply about religion. It's about science. The science provides plenty of reasons to be skeptical of modern evolutionary theory. Darwinists can issue proclamations about the "separate realms" of science and religion and can cite to religious evolutionists all they want. That's fine--few people (including myself) would deny that it is possible for a person to believe in God and evolution.

The ineffectiveness of these proclamations stems from the fact that they often don't address the core issue. The answer to the title's question is that many people see scientific flaws with Neo-Darwinism, and that for them, this issue isn't simply one about religion.

It's about the science!