The issue of whether Sherlock Holmes is science literate led to some fascinating discussion in the comments section, though not, I fear, to a consensus. But let’s turn to a matter closer to my own heart and examine what we can learn about someone’s science literacy based on whether they reject evolution.

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After last month’s Texas textbook vote, I was ready to declare total victory. I wrote:

It's a joy to be able to report on a sweeping victory for science education in Texas, and to be able to give an eyewitness report of the fight over the textbooks that will be used in that massive textbook market for years to come.

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Why are people creationists? Like most of my colleagues at NCSE, I get that question a lot. Chris Mooney recently summarized some of the psychological research relevant to that question in a recent post at Mother Jones. “Our brains,” he writes, “are a stunning product of evolution; and yet ironically, they may naturally pre-dispose us against its acceptance.” Why? Because evolution contradicts many of our intuitions and cognitive biases.

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A friend e-mailed the other day wondering just how many people in the United States are young-earth creationists.

The answer begins with a question the Gallup poll has been asking since the early ’80s:

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At the public hearings on textbook adoption at the Texas Board of Education on September 17, there was an exchange that deserves to be noted. I mean, there were plenty of noteworthy exchanges, but most of the rest of them were on the crazy side. But this particular exchange deserves to be noted because at first glance, it might seem easy which side to support.

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