|Blow this picture up and look at the bill on this juvenile Snail Kite - perfectly evolved to eat large snails.|
I see two problems with this:
1) Obviously evolution is being horribly misconstrued, though perhaps it is heartening to hear that the books claim the Loch Ness monster is real, if that is the best anti-evolution defense they can come up with, they cannot expect to be believed wholeheartedly (perhaps). If we wish to continue to advance as a society, we need scientists working on biological questions (among all the sciences, clearly). As evolution is the backbone of biology and has informed our profitable (not monetarily, perhaps) research into human health issues as well as conservation/environmental science issues, we need to acknowledge its existence.
2) Science in general is being cast doubt upon. The credibility of evolutionary biologists/climate geologists/etc have been questioned publically by (imbecile) politicians without a firm grasp of the science, simply with a political agenda. While this is ridiculed and many of the arguments downright laughable, it is giving the public a perception that scientists perhaps are not to be trusted and their findings not true. To continue to advance and learn (I would argue a necessary part of any society) we need incorporate science better: fund it better, apply the findings in all fields, and simply understand it better (teach it better). The Louisiana system here is a regression to the middle ages.
I wrote this in haste, perhaps it is a bit digressive and certainly a bit of a rant, but it should be brought to attention of more (as I know this blog has at least 4 people that read it!).