A new Gallop poll (a Values and Beliefs Survey) indicates that 4 out of 10 Americans believe 'God' created the Earth and modern humans (independently from evolution) from 6 to 10 thousand years ago. Per the article:
Four in 10 Americans believe God created the Earth and anatomically modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago, according to a new Gallup poll....About half of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years, with most of those people saying that God guided the process....three-quarters believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, according to a 2013 Pew survey.....a 2014 National Science Foundation study found that only three out of four Americans know that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa, and a large percentage didn't know the Earth's core was hot....
There is a silver lining - The percentage of Americans who believe in natural selection has increased significantly. Per the article:
Though the percentage of people who believe in creationism has changed little over the decades, the percentage of people who believe humans evolved without God has more than doubled, and the percentage who believe in God-guided evolution has decreased. (Bold added.)
Having lived in Austin, Texas, and owning a bit of land in the Hill Country, I follow the church-state news there.
In the late 1960s my wife taught in fifth grade. Starting in second grade, Austin schools taught comprehensive sex education. My work took us from the state before xians took over and started the infamous -- and failing -- abstinence-only sex ed.
As to evolution, a citizens group -- named Texan Freedom Network, I think -- arose and whipped the anti-evolution people appointed by the governor to the state school board textbook committee.
The National Committee for Science Education defends evolution in court and is starting to defend climate science. They have two email newsletter and an on-line you-tube library of their many efforts.
I think there is a Freedom Network now that fights for non-believers' and progressives' rights. Austin is like no place on earth and certainly no place in Texas. They originated the T-shirt saying "Keep ______ Crazy." They worship diversity and human rights. I would move there, but it is way too expensive and way too populous. I knew guys who moved out when the urban renewal and steroidal growth really took off. This was pre-Bergstrom International, too.
Disappointed? Yeah, I guess. Surprised? Not even slightly.
It's worse, 46%, that is up 16% in just 3 years by the same pollsters.
The information age has spawned a backlash, and we are in another dark age. Sadly, it is a fight we are losing. You do not have to be correct, as long as you are loud and repetitive. =(
...oh how I miss the 'Fairness Doctrine'.
I doubt the fairness doctrine would lead to clearing the air in this ideological war to determine the direction this country is going to go. It only applied to candidates, not issues. If a candidate was given five minutes to explain their position, you had to invite on the opposition and give them "equal time," i.e. 5 mins. Not even the fairness doctrine would prevent Chris Wallace for having Karl Rove on a panel or even Dick Cheney opining Obama. In neither case would the doctrine be evoked. But I miss it at times, too.
You are right, that they would still have the crazy people on, but they would not be able to just let them ramble without breaks, without counterpoint, and it did lead to the decline in what passes for news, at one time, to be 'news' you have to be factual, or at least 'balanced' (not just claim to be). It's repeal was a direct cause, with the effect being the rise of FAUX news, and those like it, and allowing it to be a more profit driven, and less fact based. They no longer had to show both sides, (even when there are clearly more than 2 sides ...or less), they can now literally say whatever they want, and call it news.
It needed to be strengthened back then, not repealed.
Earlier this week on The Thinking Atheist, Donald Prothero pointed out that this poll is misleading. Here's a blog post he wrote on the subject.
Thank you Timothy. This blog post and subsequent comments are worth reading. Here's an example involving knowledge and/or belief about continental drift [which is happening at about the speed at which fingernails grow] (from which I quote: "Asking people what they believe is different from asking people what they know. All that has been achieved is to show that people are strong on belief but weak on knowledge.")
There's more appropriate relevant discussion here
I like to take these poll results with a grain of salt. I've met a number of people who identify as Christian & yet have never read the Bible. They have only the most nebulous idea of what it's all about. The same goes for science. I suspect they get most of their "science" information from TV news & religious information by way of religious football & baseball players. Christians always point to the sky when they score a touchdown, or hit a home run, so, ergo, that must be Christanity.
I'm pretty sure that if being a Christian meant having to give up your cell phone America would go through a massive de-conversion overnight. However I'm almost as sure that The Church of the Holy Flip Phone would spring up the next day & start accepting converts. Probably no change on the science front.