"These things can no longer be thought of as occurring in other countries. In London, where I work, there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing Advanced Level biology who do not accept evolution. That's either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds."Here, I think that Dr. Reiss is wrong. I am not sure you can be both. One needs only recall the tragic circumstances of Baby Fae, recounted by Donald Prothero:
This rejection of evolution even extended to young people training for the medical profession. "Around 10% of UK undergraduates in some medical schools are creationists. Some people think this is unacceptable and that such students are not worthy to become doctors."
But when asked if their patients should be concerned, he said: "I am quite comfortable with people being first-rate doctors but not accepting evolution."
A more concrete example [of scientific illiteracy] happened in 1984, when a surgeon at Loma Linda University in California attempted to replace the defective heart of “Baby Fae” with the heart of a baboon. Not surprisingly, the poor baby died a few days later due to immune rejection. An Australian radio crew interviewed the surgeon, Dr. Leonard Bailey, and asked him why he didn’t use a more closely related primate, such as a chimpanzee, and avoid the possibility of immune rejection, given the baboon’s great evolutionary distance from humans. Bailey said, “Er, I find that difficult to answer. You see, I don’t believe in evolution.” If Bailey had performed the same experiment in any other medical institution except Loma Linda (which is run by the creationist Seventh-Day Adventist Church), his experiments would be labeled dangerous and unethical, and he would have been sued for malpractice and his medical license revoked. But under the cover of religion, his unscientific beliefs caused an innocent baby to die of immune rejection, when other alternatives might have been available.1Read the Whole Thing.
1Prothero, D. (2007) Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. New York: Columbia University Press. P. 356.
Now playing: Anthony Phillips - 1984 Part 2