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Forum:Is the American left generally more pro-Darwinian and critical of Christianity than the British and European left?

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Let's think about it...

RationalWiki is a left-wing website strongly critical of Conservapedia, a right-wing Christian website. Darwinism is seen as correct on RationalWiki, whereas intelligent design is seen as wrong.

http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/5/54/Greatbritaingreater.jpg

So far, so good. But I don't hear quite so many British and European leftists praising Darwin and strongly criticising Christianity compared to the amount of American leftists that do so. Why should this disparity be?

Some important factors to consider are...

Christianity seems to be a lot more important in America, certainly parts of it anyway, than it is in Britain/Europe. Whilst America has a "Bible Belt" and church attendance is pretty high, Britain/Europe are generally a lot more secular in comparison.

Whilst the ideas of Darwin are generally respected in Britain/Europe in terms of the development of the theory of evolution, Nazism and fascism flourished in Europe itself, whereas they did not do so in America. 'Social Darwinism' was a major idea that influenced Nazism and fascism.

A relatively large proportion of active church-going Christians in Britain/Europe are non-white, with Africans well represented amongst them. Criticism of non-whites, or their cultural or religious practices, has never been looked upon too kindly by the left anywhere. In contrast, the American "Bible Belt" is seen as being white and therefore a legitimate target of criticism.

But then again, Richard Dawkins is British, so there are exceptions to this pattern...

--Pragmatism (talk) 04:09, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

"But I don't hear quite so many British and European leftists praising Darwin and strongly criticising Christianity compared to the amount of American leftists that do so." One, nobody "praises" Darwin. They accept his work as the best possible explanation for the phenomena he sets out to explain. Two, British and European leftists--and, quick digression, scientific truth cares not for "left" and right" so your framing is weird, but anyways--are not generally assailed by a religious-political coalition that seeks to undermine science with a narrow reading of religion, so they never need to defend Darwin. The conversation is really only happening in the US. Nailed a retread to my feet and prayed for better weather. 04:15, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
It's true that very few people in Britain/Europe seem to talk about intelligent design as a serious possibility. The idea of intelligent design being taught as fact in schools in Britain/Europe seems almost unthinkable to the point of being absurd.--Pragmatism (talk) 04:23, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
"One, nobody "praises" Darwin." Except for the international holiday and the picture on British currency. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:30, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
You need two sides to have a fight. Here in Australia the Christian right is (by comparison) quite marginalized. So, no, we don't have people shouting defenses of rationality, as it isn't under assault to the insane degree it is in the US. VOXHUMANA 04:20, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
That's a fair point. I'm an atheist, and I think the idea of God existing is totally ridiculous. I do believe that one significant reason why Christianity has had mass appeal for centuries is the fact that it promises eternal life for believers, and people are aware that someday they will die, and they fear death. However not to get side tracked, one other question remains: if we reject God and Christianity, do we find ourselves having secular beliefs that have a religious intensity? Passionate political and/or ideological beliefs would fall into this category, such as, say, Marxism.--Pragmatism (talk) 04:31, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
The left also appears to be more "anti-Christian" at this point in time because the religious left has gone into hiding. No social gospel for you! Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:34, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm aware that a Christian left exists, yes. Is it possible to be both a Christian and a Marxist? Surely there have to be some contradictions there... but also some commonalities.--Pragmatism (talk) 04:36, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Is it possible to be both a Christian and a Marxist? Nailed a retread to my feet and prayed for better weather. 04:41, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Also see Christian communism. They even have their own logo. VOXHUMANA 05:16, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Christian communism logo.svg

As other have said, it's not even an issue in most of Europe - both the right and left have no problem with the facts of the theory of evolution so there is nothing to talk about there. Furthermore it seems to me that European Christians are, in general, a lot less common and a lot less fanatical than their transatlantic cousins. So again no reason for much of a debate to exist.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

From my perspective the difference in emphasis. In the UK Darwin is respected as an important scientist who made one of the major discoveries about the way things are. Except for a (very) few fringe nutters no one doubts the evolutionary principle. As such it's a shade bizarre to talk of 'Darwinism' - it would be like talking of 'Newtonianism' when discussing the laws of motion.
On the other hand, from what I hear from the other side of the pond, Darwin is seen as the 'champion' of one of two opposing world views. 'Darwinism' is almost a philosophy, a code name for scientism, if you will.
As such the question is not strictly valid. It's apples and oranges. Innocent Bystander (talk) 09:54, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I was visiting the natural history museum on Tuesday with my niece and nephew. Amongst the many exhibits was Darwin's original note books from the beagle. I did laugh at myself thinking of some the louder nut jobs wandering around the place in a rage.AMassiveGay (talk) 11:01, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
actually it was just a first edition of origins of species. They did have a couple of his pidgeons though.AMassiveGay (talk) 11:08, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
In my experience, I see "Darwinism" used more commonly in British publications. It's a perfectly valid term, though -- usually used to distinguish evolution by natural selection from contemporary competing theories of evolution (e.g. Lamarckism). Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 23:05, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

A good point to make is that because of first past the post voting, the opinion of the left often are "not the right" rather than any unified front. In general, liberal senators and congressmen are more in favor of evolutionary studies over religion, but the general population of 'liberal' voters is so varied in its opinions that it's hard to say what exactly the prevailing opinion is. It tends that, in more mixed communities liberals do mostly favor science education over religion. But growing up in MA, in one of the bluest voting districts in one of the bluest towns in one of the bluest states in the union, there are plenty of people that, although they do not like the republican initiative to replace science education with theology, do not actively care about the issue at all. Or subscribe to many kinds of pseudoscience and do not know what 'science' they are supporting. Or do not understand science and the think of it as corrupt (big pharma, etc.) and in control of large corporations, which they abhor. Because of first past the post voting systems, I am registered as a democrat and I am very very liberal in politics... but the democrat party is not always unified on fronts; the only reason many people vote dem is so they don't give their votes to republicans. So in states where it doesn't matter because it's nearly always blue all the time, the support for all of the party lines becomes more lax and less unified and more abstract. But still there. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgarrulous en guerre 15:21, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Nearly everybody seems less radical next to America. Save for a few in the middle east. I don't mean to say that Atheism or Christianity are radical, but I mean the people in other places seem a bit more accepting of each others faith (and lack thereof). Except for that guy in the UK who hates "Jerry springer:the opera. What is his name again? Also those guys in the middle east.

--AT (talk) 00:35, 12 May 2013 (UTC)