Whether it’s the product of Obama Derangement Syndrome, a constant force-fed diet of Fox News, or some other hidden, inexplicable cause, a recent poll conducted by the Pew Organization confirms that Republicans are increasingly becoming a Party inhabiting an alternate universe:
A new Pew Research Center poll shows a widening political gap over theories about how humans came to be, with Republicans growing increasingly skeptical about the idea that humans evolved over time.
Over the last four years, the percentage of Democrats who said they believe in evolution has risen by three points, from 64 percent to 67 percent. But the percentage of Republicans who believe in the theory has dropped 11 points, from 54 percent to 43 percent.
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CNN suggested the poll’s results may be driven by a collective, deliberate rejection of all things scientific. But neither CNN nor the Post try to explain why a vast segment of the population making up what is widely perceived as the most enlightened, most educated, richest country in the world would consciously choose to turn its back on science–in a period of four years. That’s the great unanswered question, too easily dismissed by assertions that Republicans are simply stupid or that the party has been taken over by religious fundamentalists.
[T]he Republican shift was surprising and led the researchers to check the numbers by controlling the data against racial and ethnic divides between the two parties. Even still, Funk said, the divide on human evolution between Democrats and Republican, as well as the changes in Republican beliefs, persisted.
“Differences in the racial and ethnic composition of Democrats and Republicans or differences in their levels of religious commitment do not wholly explain partisan differences in beliefs about evolution,” read the Pew report. “Indeed, the partisan differences remain even when taking these other characteristics into account.”
Continue reading: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/31/1266040/-About-That-Poll
Commentary by The Secular Jurist: Our opinion on the reason for this phenomenon differs somewhat from this article’s author who suggests it results from a combination of heightened racism during Obama’s presidency and the effectiveness of right-wing media. These factors must certainly be contributing to conservatives’ love affair with ignorance, but they are symptoms of a much deeper problem. As we have discussed many times on this blog (see: The 4 anti-democracy legs of the GOP and explaining their extreme intransigence), the Republican Party has morphed into an uneasy alliance between increasingly extremist factions who feel existentially threatened by current societal trends. As each confronts failure in the real world, they seek comfort in the mythology of their separate beliefs (capitalism, libertarianism, theism, etc.) and are compelled to focus their anger on common enemies (egalitarianism, federalism, secularism, etc.). To say the modern GOP is now a kind of cult would not be inaccurate.