Gore: creationism OK

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Aug 29 19:47:57 PDT 1999

Rakesh Bhandari wrote:

> 1. Debs was popular in certain areas more than 75 years ago.
> 2. Creationist sentiment is strong in those same areas
> 3. Therefore, creationism is socialism or at least anti elitism by other means?
> This seems quite dubious though I understand Lewontin, like many a student
> of cultural studies, may have been able to glean latent resistance in forms
> of popular culture.

It seems dubious to me as well, BUT. There is something to be explained. Fifty years ago, 30 years ago, it would have seemed that evolution was no longer controversial. As I said, no one in my rural grade school or in my small town highschool (1930s/ 40s) objected. And as a college teacher from 1957 on, I never encountered creationism in my classes until the 1980s. Nor did creationism until the last 25 years or less figure at all significantly in political discussion or the media.

So there *is* something to explain, whether or not we accept Lewontin's explanation. Why this retrogression. In the 1950s my father, a rural elementary teacher, had a parent complain about teaching that the world was round. And I've had a few students over the years argue vigorously for spontaneous combustion. And of course a frightening number of college students and u.s. presidents have taken astrology seriously. But the rise of fundamentalism in the last 30 years is a rather different phenomenon, I guess.


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