Pro-reason Americans can, I suppose, take solace in the 38% figure being the lowest in the 36-year-history of this poll from May 2017.
I take a perhaps more cynical view: Three in eight adult Americans subscribe to an obvious fairy tale (this poll isn’t about belief in god but in the Christian creation myth specifically). Another three in ten believe that “God” somehow “guided” this process, an idea that, while unsupported, is not flat-out stupid like creationism.
This wouldn’t be so bad if creationists didn’t try to push this nonsense into public schools with the unrelenting ferocity of starving termites, but if there’s one thing Evangelicals as a rule can do notoriously well, it’s behave very aggressively as if they don’t have anything resembling fully developed human brains inside their skulls.
The thing is, none of them are doing this for the reasons that make the most sense to anyone not afflicted with a de facto prion, one that specifies the absolute abandonment of critical analysis and the unbending requirement to dismiss undeniable evidence. They’re not doing this to be jerks or to consciously hamstrung the educational system. They’re just products of a terrible idea that just refuses to go away. And to add to the fun, many of them make having about 53 equally hollow-headed kids their life’s primary mission.
This poll sums up the main reason I am a classic misanthrope, or at least a person who chooses his company and conversations with increasing levels of care. I don’t dislike people for believing in nonsense or even for organizing their lives around nonsense, although for obvious reasons I wish they’d knock it off when it affects everyone else. But I can’t have meaningful conversations with people who not only believe in creationism but become hostile at any challenge to its tenets, however measured and fair. I can’t have meaningful conversations with anyone who claims to rigidly aspire to biblical values (the good ones) while supporting Donald Trump. (It’s not the Trumpism — a totally different bucket of shit — that’s diseased about this; it’s hypocrisy.) If this isn’t an actual mental problem, it’s close enough to one to merit an honorary entry in the DSM.
Although America is awash in complete fuckheads and is anything but great, I do feel grateful to live in a society that allows me to mostly avoid the kind of people I want no truck with. It’s a little different now that the idiot brigade has elected one of their own president, and it’s not like I think smart people are all fun and fucking games either. But for the most part I can just keep my distance from dipshits, religious and otherwise, while lazily hoping that some new virus with a tropism for only the brains of the religiously ill either solves their neurological problems or painlessly annihilates their reproductive apparatus. After all, I’m happy to keep my own bad ideas from affecting their lives.