A new Gallup poll is out showing that 40 percent of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" while 38 percent believe "God guided [the] process" of evolution and only 16 percent believe evolution happened without any help from God.
Among the poll's findings was that a full 37 percent with a college degree and a full 22 percent with a postgraduate degree believe in creation.
Yet today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews sought to seize on another demographic stat from the poll to make the issue a partisan one and to mock Republicans as scientifically illiterate. In doing so he made a gaffe illustrating how behind the times he is when it comes to anthropological discoveries scientists link to human evolution:
Now to tonight's Big Number.
In a new Gallup poll, 40 percent of Americans say they believe in strict creationism, that humans were created by God within the last 10,000 years, as in the Bible.
Well, how do you explain all those dinosaur bones, I ask? How do you explain your oldest living relative, our oldest living relative? Don't you love Lucy?! No surprise, that number is higher among Republicans, by the way. How high? Fifty-two percent!
A majority of Republicans, more than half the Republicans reject the science behind evolution. Fifty-two percent, tonight's Big Number.
Think about that one during the [2012 presidential] primaries.
Let's first look at Matthews' dopey gaffe -- calling the "Lucy" fossil human beings' "oldest living relative."
For one thing, Lucy is a) a fossil which means she's no longer living and hasn't been for a long, long time, and b) not even the oldest one scientists theorize is related to homo sapiens.
That distinction would go to Ardi, a fossil that is 1.2 million years older than Lucy.
Ardi was discovered in 1994, Lucy in the 1970s. Apparently Chris hasn't gotten the memo these 16 years.
More importantly, the same poll found that 34 percent of both Democrats and independents believed in the creationism, six points lower than the national average but still a respectable full third of those voting groups.
It's impossible for Matthews to mock Republicans for believing in creation without also attacking a fair plurality of Democrats and independents, many of them liberal, for similar beliefs.