Remember that ranking of countries by their accommodation to the reality of evolution? Take a look at an economist’s take on the problem: he gets it right.
It turns out that the United States had the second-highest percentage of adults who said the statement was false — and the second-lowest percentage who said the statement was true, researchers reported in the current issue of Science. (Only adults in Turkey expressed more doubts on evolution).
What is the penalty for this belief system? Well, you probably won’t get a Science-based job — but that’s about it.
The acceptance of evolution is lower in the United States than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the United States.
That — and the lack of any sort of financial or societal disincentive for the belief system. At least so far…
Then take a look at the comments there. All the old creationist crackpottery emerges: evolution is “just a theory,” there is “no evidence,” it’s not “observable and repeatable,” all mixed in with people making reasonable defenses of the idea. What’s most dismal, though, are the people complaining that the blogger shouldn’t even mention evolution, presumably because it draws out all the kooks.
You know, that reluctance to engage the issue is exactly what the creationists want. They can’t win on evidence or logic, but they can harass everyone until they simply automatically recoil at the word “evolution”…and that’s how they win.