Why Regional Associations Matter

I feel the Pulse of the Populace, I can feel it!

I’m mostly into National connections, or even Canadians….

Getting back from the SSS meetings in Charlotte reminded me of some of the finer points about how to build a career in academic sociology. Many people pooh-pah regional meetings–they are too good to present papers in sessions filled with junior scholars from minor institutions, or people from HBCU’s, or graduate students. Indeed, junior faculty and even graduate students from upper tier universities are increasingly avoiding affiliating with regional associations.  They are fucking themselves.

I want to start with the wanna be top. If you think you are a hotshit assistant or associate professor, then you should be producing several publishable and presentable papers every year. So, you should want to give yourself the opportunity to hash through your paper before you submit it for publication. Don’t you think? Beyond that, anyone with a tenured or tenure tracked job in a top tier PHD granting institution has a duty to support sociological associations that support research and interaction. If for no other reason than pedagogy.

Which brings us to the issue of students. I’ve heard a few  prominent sociologists diss regional associations, and they are wrong. They are clueless. They don’t exist in the real world. If you aren’t one of the anointed ones, you need ties to people who might get you jobs, that’s even true if you are a tenured professor. Far more for people looking for jobs. Opposition to regional associations seems most solid among people who believe that they have it made, that they are going to get jobs at top tier universities (or keep the ones they managed to get). But what if you aren’t the top person in your top tier PhD program? How many top tier jobs are there? If you are the fifth best student at Michigan, what can y0u expect….and what if you’re the 12th best? Many really strong students at top programs—people with very solid publication records from the gun—are stuck in the middle. Top places aren’t going to hire them because they are beaten by their peers on whatever, and lower tier places are scared that they won’t accept a job or won’t be happy.

It’s a myth that regional associations are only helpful for the bottom tier of PhD students. In fact, regional associations are often a key broker of employable status for many PhD students no matter the status of their PhD program. Insofar as programs avoid regional associations, their PhD products may wind up unemployable in the academic market. If you have any hope for targeting your employment to a region, joining a regional association and participating as a graduate student will enhance your chances of getting a job in the geographic area you want.

More directly, regional associations put you in contact with people in your field and geographic area. The meetings tend to promote connections across areas of study much more than do the larger national meetings or any national specialty meetings. Hence, your ties are crosscutting fields of study, in a way that they often are not. And your job prospects are not going to be in your own pet area…..

Regionalism helps if you are starting out, and if you’re established. You’re a lazy selfish loser if you avoid regional associations.


Just a thought…


Walt Gove, Ken Land, Charlotte, and the SSS

Walter R. Gove in his "native" Alaska as captured by Alfred Darnell.

Walter R. Gove in his “native” Alaska as captured by Alfred Darnell.

Another spring, another Southern Sociological Society meetings. This time in Charlotte, an off reservation site. This year I was busy, since both my former colleague Walt Gove and my old mentor Ken Land were receiving the highest award in the society, induction into the SSS Roll of Honor. It was a not entirely comforting experience. I learned in this process that many of the “younger” scholars are not very aware of or impressed by serious academic talent. It was disturbing to see throngs of participants and especially students attending panels with half-baked papers from dissertations and avoiding being educated about the careers of two of the most productive scholars of the latter half of the twentieth century. The arrogant indifference to excellence also seemed to permeate some quarters of the leadership of the association, and I find that troubling. But, fuck those people, they’re losers.

What matters is that we had great panels for both Walt and Ken. I was really glad that  Alfred Darnell could come down for Walt’s award, and Mike Hughes performed yeoman’s work on the organization of his panel, and award, and for other intangibles. Well, I guess I should say “tangibles.” You see, what was most disturbing about this last week, perhaps for me, was the near complete abandonment of  Walt Gove by Vanderbilt. Only Jay Turner, who never overlapped with Walt at Vanderbilt, came to Walt’s session or reception, and  the department only offered a token contribution to pay for the reception. They were too busy having a party for their 80th anniversary. I wasn’t aware that 80th anniversaries were that big of a deal, and if they were, I would think they would have flown out Walt Gove, who spent his entire 35 year career at Vanderbilt and put them on the map. Walt is the reason why Vanderbilt had high empirical rankings, far exceeding the overall prestige of the program. Gove published more articles in ASR, AJS, and Social Forces (before it sucked) than anyone from the late 1960s until 2000.. More than Anyone.  Both Mike Hughes and I tried to get Vanderbilt to do the right thing and properly honor Walt, but that didn’t work. I won’t go into detail, but let me just say that anyone who tells me that Vanderbilt can’t afford a paltry $2k for a reception is a liar, and if you think for one second that I believe you then you are the stupid one. I COULD HAVE FOUND THAT MONEY AT SIU WITHOUT EVEN ASKING MY DEAN.  We are the brokest of the broke and the poorest of the poor in the PhD granting university department, and if Lew Hendrix was getting an award, we’d be having a party. Thankfully, Walt has lots of friends, colleagues, and students who contributed to making sure we could have a nice reception, and thanks to people like Sue Hinze, Jim Wilson, Peter Wood, Peggy Thoits, Shirley Laska, Bob Crutchfield, Deb Umberson,  Karen Campbell, Mike Hughes, Pam Hull, Gabrielle Chapman, and Candi Batton (and maybe some others I’ve missed), we were able to have a reception—though it was scheduled at the same time as Ken Land’s…..

In contrast to the lack of support for scholarly acclaim at Vanderbilt, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva at Duke did the right thing for Ken Land, as he deserved. Eduardo popped for the full open bar bash, he encouraged his faculty to attend, Ken was nominated by his senior colleague, Lynne Smith Lovin, in collaboration with his long-time colleague and dean Angela O’Rand (who also attended all functions for Ken). Several people from Duke came only to show support for Ken. Eduardo led the Ken Roast, which is now a Duke Tradition. Duke did everything right, and it was great to see many of my former professors and fellow students, as well as the next generation of Duke.

I think the best part of my trip to Charlotte (other than the 65 mile bike ride with my old teammate Ben Miller) was standing next to Ida Harper Simpson at Ken’s Roast, and then having her sneak back into Walt’s reception (they were “unfortunately” scheduled at the same time, remember). It meant a lot to Walt for someone like Ida to ditch her own department’s reception and come over to pay homage. Lynne did the same, I know. And of course, Ken and Walt congratulated each other on their well-deserved accolades.


The Court Giveth, and the Court Taketh Away…..


Everyone is happy that justice prevailed in Michigan, and that the Reagan appointed judge smacked the shit out of Regnerus and the other loony tunes testifying against civil rights, but while everyone was celebrating and doing horrid little dances like those smirking christianists from Mercer after the Duke game, something really bad happened on the other side of the country. Something that people like Mark Regnerus and Bradley Wilcox will be quite pleased about. In a case that has been simmering for 7 years in the courts, a conservative christianist criminologist, Mike Adams, won a decision against UNC-Wilmington and his full-professor colleagues (who were sued individually) for discriminating against him for promotion to full professor because of his religious and political beliefs. This is exactly the shit that I predicted would happen long ago. Adams is now a full time right wing ideologue, and has been long before Regnerus came out of the closet.

So, why did he win? Because of public sociology. Because there really are a lot of left wing scholars who get promoted because they are considered the cool people who deserve promotion. They don’t deserve promotion, but since they’re in the political majority (atheism doesn’t help promotion, contrary to popular right wing beliefs, but conservative Christianity can hurt promotion). I’m not familiar with Adams, who got is PhD at Miss State in 1993, nor with any of his colleagues, since he is a minor leaguer at a school that grants a masters degree in Criminology and PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY. I have had some interaction with his current chair, Leslie Hossfeld, who is a full professor who received her PhD in 2002 from NC State. Since she’s listed on the lawsuit I assume that she was a tenured professor in 2007 when Adams was denied, and may well have been a full professor.   Hossfeld is a strong advocate for liberal public sociology, who advocates engaging communities in support for progressive political issues.  Neither of them list CV’s on the web sites, and google scholar does little to help adjudicate their relative scholarly strengths. But, my cursory assessment is that both are of similar weight (light), as the court appears to have agreed in assessing Adams versus his other liberal colleagues, and the content of the work that they claim is scholarly. Advocacy is not scholarship, but if a sociology department rewards liberal advocacy and does not reward conservative advocacy, then it is discriminating—and feeding the persecution fantasies of the christianist right. It appears that while Adam’s bullshit, pseudointellectual, activist non-publications were not valued in his promotion, the similar products of his liberal colleagues were.

So, while little Marky Mark and his buddies got their wrists slapped by a conservative judge, their value in the academy has also risen, thanks to the public sociology movement. I have no doubt that it will be impossible not to promote Regnerus to full professor. If they deny him, he’ll sue and he’ll win. Public sociology rejected scholarly standards in favor of liberal activism; it redefined success and progress in the field. It counted liberal activism as scholarship, but not conservative activism. So now we have no standards, and the conservatives are going to take over. Thanks, idiots.


Kids have no more sex these days than 25 years ago–Hookup “culture” is bullshit.

Fornication and celibacy rates for unmarried people 25 and under, 1988-2012 GSS

Fornication and celibacy rates for unmarried white people 25 and under, 1988-2012 GSS

Dipshits like Camile Paglia, Bradley Wilcox, and Ross Douchehat like to argue that somehow the fate of contemporary America is threatened by the sluttiness of younger generations who fuck everyone they meet and refuse to get married. Let’s just examine this empirically, is there a developing generational culture in which people have sex withoug commitment? Really? Compared to when? We now have data going back to 1988 in the GSS on the number of sex partners in the last year.

I examine this in five year blocks for white Americans (other ethnicities show similar non-trends, but they are too small  a proportion of the sample to make serious inferences from) 25 or under who have never married. The first block of years is from 1988-1993,  so the oldest of those people would be 52 right now, and the youngest respondents in that age/period group would be 40 in 2014. Those people—which could have included me—have lower rates of monogamy and higher rates of having more than one, and more than two sex partners in the same year when compared to respondents under the age of 25 interviewed in later periods of the GSS. If there is a “trend” it is that monogamy has become more common for young people over the last two and a half decades. People are sleeping around LESS. And, they are just as likely to be celibate as they were 25 years ago or so. And, a higher percentage of young people report having no sex partners in the last year than report having more than two in any of the time periods. More people are celibate than are “sleeping around” (if having sex with three people in a year  while unmarried  is sleeping around). Sixty percent of young people these days were either monogamous or celibate in the last year, up from 56% for people in my cohort. My guess is that if we had reliable data from earlier periods, it would show a linear decline in sex partners and an increase in monogamy from the 1970s through the period I can examine (1988-2012). Just because you can see titties on TV, and people say naughty words on television, does not mean that people are fucking random people all the time, not even young, unmarried people. Go jerk off to something else.

Making a Religious Free Market through Taxing the Churches


Religious organizations in America are subsidized by billions of dollars a year in uncollected taxes on property, operation, and other assets. In some areas, property taxes are strangled because much of the property is owned by absentee religious groups (the Mormons are huge into that racket, but they are not alone). And, in every city and county, churches and their properties occupy huge expanses of land, suck off the infrastructure of the state, and pay nothing or little. They are parasites. They sell a cultural product which is considered valuable by their own members, but noxious by people in other religious groups or the growing percent of the US population who does not value religion—and many of us consider it more of a public bad than a public good.

Religious groups are like any other cultural firm—strip clubs, craft stores, motocross parks, athletic clubs, private schools (yeah, that’s right…..no public access, no free ride for private schools, either), recording studios, etc. Indeed, religious groups can  and do compete in these other cultural markets as well. In my humble college town the only children’s basketball and football  leagues  are Christian leagues. Many churches have basketball courts, and they also have day care facilities, and other private enterprises. All housed in tax free land.  That’s unfair competition for REAL private enterprises that aren’t sucking off the teat of socialist subsidy. Gold’s Gym has to buy a facility and equipment and pay property tax, yet fundamentalist megachurches are allowed to have gyms for their members….and not pay taxes on the land or on the quid-pro arrangement granting religious members access to a private good. It’s an unfair system that costs the United States billions of dollars in tax revenue, and strangles communities, many of them struggling to maintain basic services.

All religious property and product should be taxed, the same as art, music, food, or any other cultural good.

The Butthurt of Christian Sociology

It couldn't be that I'm fucking a statue.

It couldn’t be that I’m fucking a statue.

Well, Marky Mark is testifying against civil rights for his fellow Americans up in Michigan, but I’m too controversial to say anything about it. I guess since I’m at bullshit state, and since I say “fuck” a lot that makes me unqualified, so the plaintiffs have no quantitative social scientists to counter Regnerus’ bullshit.

Ah, and what does Marky Mark say about my assessment of his little bullshit paper in my audit for SSR? He claims that I’m a long time detractor. And an evil anti-Christian who has always opposed his work.

Yeah. Fuck you. Fuck you, all of you fucking fucks. How did you get your job? If it were not for me, it is very likely that Mark Regnerus would have remained at Calvin College. Indeed, if it were not for me, it is very likely that Mark Regnerus’ dissertation advisor would have been denied tenure at UNC. I’m so sick of these whining losers. I put all of my own personal biases aside, and  double checked them. I knew that these guys were conservative Christians, and since I was an atheist, I felt compelled to give them a chance and to not let my own personal beliefs and preferences influence my assessment of their research. Atheists are moral like that, unlike Christians.

When my old mentor Tony Oberschall called and said that they wanted to fire Christian Smith and he wanted to know why they shouldn’t, I argued that while Christian’s work was theoretically uninformed and would never be published in top tier journals, it was, nonetheless, much like demography. Christian was documenting the contours of social movements and religion, so that others might eventually make sense of them. It worked, unfortunately. Notably, in his “we’re going to fire you” pre-tenure review, Christian had been told that he should be doing more theoretically informed work, like some guy at Vanderbilt was doing.

Regnerus took a job at the conservative Christian Calvin College, but quickly realized that he needed a bigger mouthpiece. He claimed he wanted to be at a more research focused place, and I was happy to support his candidacy—easy enough to do since my old friend and co-author Chris Ellison was pulling the strings at Texas. But, I meant it. Regnerus really is a bright guy and a decent researcher–back when he wasn’t trying to prove a political point. That’s how I know he’s full of shit with his bullshit Fucked Up Family Study or whatever. Marky knows that is shit. Loser ass non-quants may not know that, but Marky is smarter than that. Which also means that he’s become a total political operative. But, that’s what’s become of all of the new Christian Sociologists. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, they’ll mislead you on family, science, sex, race, and even how we should confront AIDS in Africa! Gee, you think any of our Christian Sociologists have ties to the Kill the Gays shit? I can’t imagine……As soon as these people make tenure they become right wing political activists. That’s an empirical fact.

Religion and Science in Conflict—Scientists are much less religious than other Americans

Religiosity, education, and scientific occupations: 1988-2010 GSS

Religiosity, education, and scientific occupations: 1988-2010 GSS

Representatives of the Templeton Foundation were once again claiming in a “research paper” presented at the AAAS (jesus…..) that religion and science are the same thing, and that religious people love science and scientists love religion—maybe not the elitist scientists, but you know, the everyday ordinary scientists (with the lab in their basement?). We have no idea what data were being presented, since I do not associate with religious people masquerading as scientists nor would I attend the AAAS meetings since I’m just a sociologist. I assume it’s the usual shit data, but probably new, and even shittier! So, just for shits and giggles I took the GSS occupational codes (the 1980 version which is good from 1988-2010 in the GSS) and I classified all of the “regular” scientists (number of scientists or STEM occupations with a college degree is 750 for religious identification, 532 for Bible beliefs, and 330 for beliefs about gods)—including also engineers and physicians. As you can see above, the scientists are significantly and substantially less religious than other people who hold a college degree, and especially from other Americans who do not have a college degree. Notably, people who have a college degree are also less religious than are the majority of Americans who do not have a college degree. Religion hinders educational attainment, and educational attainment reduces religiosity.

Scientists are four times less likely to believe that the bible is the word of god when compared to the majority of uneducated Americans. And, ,they’re nearly half as likely to believe the bible is the word of some god when compared to other college educated Americans. And, scientists are about four times as likely to think the Bible is a book of fables than to think it the word of some god. About a third of scientists don’t believe in a god, compared to about 14% of uneducated Americans and 25% of college educated Americans. Under 9% of scientists identify with sectarian protestant denominations (what Templeton likes to call “evangelicals”), while 29% of uneducated Americans identify with these groups (only 14% of college graduates identify as sectarian).  And, scientists are almost twice as likely to reject religious identification when compared to the uneducated.

Science and religion are in conflict, and because of that religious people are hostile to science (more on this soon), and scientists avoid religion, particularly noxious varieties of fundamentalist religion.

How to End Administrative Bloat in Higher Education: Getting rid of Deanlets and Dealings

I am the assistant vice provost to the chancellor for the assessment of best practices in learning excellence!

I am the assistant vice provost to the chancellor for the assessment of best practices in learning excellence!

It is refreshing to see that the issue of administrative bloat in higher education is beginning to get the attention it deserves, and that cool heads are seeing that the dramatic expansion of university administration is one of the most important factors driving rising tuition and fees over the last three decades. The recent study from the Delta Cost project shows that faculty salaries have been basically flat for the last decade, but administrative costs have increased dramatically. There is nothing wrong in modern education. The model of the multiversity, put forward by Clark Kerr in the early 1960s, and exemplified by the growing excellence of large public universities, worked to make American higher education the best in the world. The way that occurred was to emulate the “best practices” of both liberal arts colleges and top-flight research universities. Make regular students learn by putting them into disciplinary regimes defined by the standards of excellence in a given area of arts, sciences, or humanities. Encourage teachers to innovate in the classroom, so that what matters is not some unpalatable gruel derived from textbooks written by marginal scholars, but instead flows from the expertise of the professor and gives students something unique and meaningful–and forces the student to demonstrate mastery in way appropriate to specific disciplines. Fast forward 50 years and Clark Kerr’s vision is under full bore assault, even at his beloved UC-Berkeley.

The forces claiming that higher education is not doing its job are a gaggle of right wing think tanks, and the associated organizations of university administrators who articulate a vision for reform and mediocrity. Of course, nobody in the “think tanks” has ever actually been a tenured professor at a real research university, and almost nobody in the associations of administrators ever deserved to be tenured on any faculty of repute. So, we have political ideologues in league with minor league “scholars” who resent their former colleagues’ condescension regarding their failed or nonexistent research agendas. No, those eggheads must PAY. We’ll make them pay in the way that hits them the hardest. We’ll make them go to meetings where they have to listen to us drone on about whatever academic fads got us a job as a deanlet. Then, we’ll make them jump through hoops to teach their courses or do their research, because we can. Because we are the associate vice dean/provost of student/research affairs. Even though in our brief and inglorious careers in the professoriate (before being denied tenure or barely making it) students hated us and we never did any research of merit.

Now that this issue has gained traction, it would be really nice if organized groups like the AAUP, faculty unions, and the like, would pull together to push for real and meaningful change. I have a few suggestions:

1. Eliminate most “advising” and “student support” positions. The only advising being done should be accomplished either by computer programs or by directors of undergraduate studies in departments. Colleges will need to retain a few advisors, but only a few even at very large universities. There is absolutely no reason for a student to have any questions about what she needs to finish a major or minor, and she should be able to check what she needs on-line at any time. You want to add a Philosophy major? Click on “add second major” enter PHIL and up should pop the courses you need to take in order to get that degree, along with maybe highlights for which courses are offered next semester. We can do this, and we can eliminate lots of deanlings in the process. Second, make all student programming functions localized in university housing and student life. What we have done is to make bureaucracies full of out of touch, highly compensated administrators who then try to micromanage student programming in a way that only turns off the students. Let the RA’s and their immediate supervisors tap the desires of the students, and leave it at that—at my university this would lop off about 30 middle deanlet level positions.

2. Eliminate all “teaching support” positions with the exception of essential AV and test support technical personnel. Each week at my humble university an highly compensated deanlet gives a workshop attended by maybe 8 or 10 other administrators and maybe a brown-nosing permanent associate professor in the humanities or two purporting to help us learn how to teach. The workshop is invariably taught by some marginal person with no experience with university teaching, and most of ours are ABD from our department of workforce education or higher ed administration. This circle jerk of teaching geeks creating more administration needs to end, those people don’t even know how to teach, and they have no business having their own bureaucracies.

3. Eliminate all “assessment” bureaucracies. We give grades. That’s how we can tell you how much “learning” was done in our courses. The idea that established professors at research universities much be “held accountable!!!!!” for “what your students learn” is a bunch of offensive right wing activism, and it has spurred massive, resource sucking bureaucracies.

4. Revoke the notion of in loco parentis control over students, and reduce legal and policing staff. The Clery act does not mean that we are responsible for all crimes on campus, nor can we be. The spirit of the act is better served by publishing actual crime statistics from the precincts in which our universities reside–not excluding crimes committed directly off of our property, as we do. We don’t need some complicated bureaucracy to do that, and one public safety person should be able to coordinated with local and regional officials to provide arrest and report data. Campus security should focus on locked doors (which is what was wrong with Lehigh) and crowd control for events. Local communities should be on notice to increase their public safety force, and universities may have to coordinate a transition away from the university police state.

5. Eliminate the privatization model that has prevented universities from accomplishing marketing, institutional research, information technology, routine maintenance, landscaping, book sales, and food services. We have sold out our universities to private contractors, and they are killing us. We are being charged enormous prices for crappy services, and they often rip off our students in the process. My humble university gave away our bookstore to Follett, which now gouges our students and is more difficult to work with for faculty. We’ve eliminated good jobs for locals in the university book store and in our food services and maintenance, and instead have that contracted to fascist fast food giants like Chic Fil A, so now our students get bad food at a high price and they have no choice, and the locals employed there have no benefits and minimal pay. We’ve reduced our maintenance staff to the point that the trash in our office is only picked up weekly, and the toilets don’t flush very well in our building. Yet, we pay MILLIONS to contractors to perform other services and build nice shiny things for the administrators.

6. Slash football by 75%. This alone will solve most of the problems with Athletics. Most of the bloat is in salaries for athletic administration. Cut it to the core. At most schools, nobody cares about football, it’s just an albatross.

7. Dramatically reduce “classroom technology” expenditures, and focus only on general technologies and support. Nobody uses R2D2 or whatever the latest academic fad is. None of the smart boards actually worked, and we don’t have the maintenance and support staff in place to make them work even if people wanted to use them….which they don’t. Buy shit the faculty want, not shit that administrators got enticed into buying at an all expenses paid conference in Dubai or Hawaii sponsored by Pearsons or some other parasitic company.

Tracking support for Barbarism: Trends in Americans attitudes toward Capital Punishment

Gallup "data" on support for Capital Punishment

Gallup “data” on support for Capital Punishment

A while back, the whore pollsters were charting trends in support for the death penalty, and their data seemed to suggest increasing opposition. Of course, whore polls are so suck ass that we have no clue as to the level of support or opposition, much less trends. Yesterday, the state of Texas murdered a mentally deficient Mexican citizen, in total violation of international law, it is a shame on our nation that the Supreme Court refused the stay of execution, and Mexico—which never had the death penalty in its jurisprudence—is reeling from this blatant violation of international law. Some retarded guy killed a cop and then is murdered 20 years later by a bunch of rednecks using experimental cocktails of drugs. Wow. We suck. What a bunch of fucking barbarians the Americans are. No respect for life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. All we want is vengence, but only if someone white was harmed and if the supposed perpetrator was brown. We don’t care about silly things like whether or not the perpetrator was mentally ill or retarded. Drug manufacturers from civilized countries (now the majority of drug manufacturers because of the decline of the United States as a scientific power) have started forbidding the sale of “execution drugs” and this has created a severe shortage of the “more humane” murder tools. The result has  been that the prison-industrial complex just whipped up their own drugs to kill people with, leading to horrifically gruesome executions which tortured their victims for half an hour. It’s 2014 and we’re torture poisoning people in the name of “justice.” Of course, spurred by largely Christian religious fervor to punish evil doers, Americans think that retribution is justice.

Trends in Support for Capital Punishment: 1974-20112 GSS

Trends in Support for Capital Punishment: 1974-20112 GSS

The Gallup data are crap and their trends do not correspond to the overall patterning of support over time, but they are correct that support for murdering people is on the decline. But why? There are two factors driving the trend. First, fewer Americans adhere to Christianity, and particularly to the uncivilized form of sectarian Christianity. Indeed, MORE American Christians are now Catholic, and Catholics abandoned barbarism on this issue long ago. If you are a good Catholic, you should be opposed to execution.  Non-Christians and people who reject religion are much more likely to oppose state sanctioned murder, and their ranks are increasing. Second, non-whites understand that they and theirs are the ones who will be arbitrarily murdered if they are convicted (sometimes wrongly)  of a crime. And, non-whites make up an increasing fraction of the US population. It’d be nice of President Obama would use his power for good and impose a blanket moratorium on capital punishment, or even commute all of the death sentences handed out by our barbaric sharia-like law.

Why More Republicans Reject Evolution

Percentage Believing in Human Evolution: 2006-2012 GSS

Percentage Believing in Human Evolution: 2006-2012 GSS

Pew’s latest shitpoll on the dumbing down of the Republican Party is getting all kinds of press and reaction from the scientific community. Given that the Pew studies are barely managing 10% response rates, if that, I ignored it until I had time to see if this was actually true—though it seemed plausible and I’ll show you why. Above you can see the trends in the belief that “humans developed from animals” in the General Social Survey. They first asked this in 2006, but they have continued to do so. I present the overall trend, and the trend by Republican identification (or not) and by beliefs about the Bible. Overall, in the last six years for which we have scientifically reliable data, the understanding that humans evolved from other animals has increased from about 50% to 55%. However, for Americans who identify with the Republican Party there has been a decrease–from 42% to 37%—all of that coming between 2010 (when 44% of Republicans got the correct answer)  and 2012. In contrast, people who aren’t Republicans improved from 54% to 64%. What is really weird is that even fundamentalists who believe the bible is the word of god increased from 19% to 30%! But, we should note that is an extremely low value relative to the rest of the country. “Inspired by god” believers in the Bible are twice as likely to believe in human evolution—while people who think the bible is a book of fables written by ancient goatfuckers have been stable with around 88% believing in evolution.  So what’s wrong with Republicans?

Percentage of Republicans by Bible Beliefs: 2006-2012 GSS

Percentage of Republicans by Bible Beliefs: 2006-2012 GSS

Above you can see what happened, particularly between 2010 and 2012 when Republican support for evolution dropped by 7%, the proportion of Republicans who are fundamentalists increased by 2.2% and the proportion of Republicans who hold secular beliefs in the Bible declined by 2% (from 12.3% to 10%). So, they traded 2.2% at 30% support for 2% at 87% support. Notably, this was also during a time when the overall percentage reporting Republican identification dropped by 2%. Secular people left the Republicans, leaving the base even more squarely fundamentalist.


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