The topic of this post was brought to my attention thanks to Sean Carroll over at Cosmic Variance. Sean is a well-known cosmologists and a well respected scientist who often weighs in on topics outside the realm of his research, such as the infamous "science v religion" battle. Sean posted a link to a pre-recorded Miss USA Q&A on evolution. In particular, "Should evolution be taught in schools?"
Some of the answers are baffling and entirely incomprehensible, such as those who answer "no". I'm not writing, though, to contribute to the banter that fills the Comments section, the science fanatics who scoff at religion are just as bad as those religious fanatics that scoff at science. Instead, I wanted to draw attention to an answer that has been ignored by the commentators; Ms Minnesota's answer.
Ms Minnesota was raised Catholic and was taught that evolution is entirely compatible with Catholicism; even supported by Blessed JP II. THANK YOU MS MINNESOTA! A voice of reason among the contestants, and the world at large, apparently. If you are unsure how this is true, I urge you to investigate this further. I could, and maybe will later, write up a post which explains this.
Why am I taking the time to bring this up? I have a theory as to why her answer has been ignored - ignorance. Those who argue ferociously from either side are entirely ignorant of Catholic beliefs. Science lumps all of Christianity into the category of the fundamentalists (e.g., Earth was created 6,000 years ago) and religious zealots tend to lump all scientists into the category of those who just plain hate religion (e.g., religion haters).
Maybe my post is vague and rather puzzling. I'm not sure if I really expressed what I had intended to from the start, but the point is that the whole "religion v science" debate is spiraling out of control with BOTH sides plagued by ignorance of the other. If we are to have an intelligent discussion on the topic of science and religion, we should be possess a knowledge of both.
To see all of the contestants answers, head over to the post on Cosmic Variance.