Gallup reports that a majority of Republicans do not believe in Evolution.
This is not totally surprising since a large cohort of the Republicans are Dominionist Christians. The Dominionists believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. So for them the earth is only some four thousand years old. For them the Grand Canyon was created by the great flood.
So a large cohort of the Republican party has abandoned four hundred years of science to follow their bliss. A large cohort of the American people have chosen ignorance over knowledge. Evolution theory is not some crazy idea cooked up by a cabal of crazed atheists. Evolution is hard science.
Biology is hard science, just like Physics or Geology or Astronomy. It follows rules of science. The lynch pin of those rules is how theories are made. A Scientific theory is not some wild guess. It is an explanation of how the world works. A theory makes predictions that can be tested.
Evolutionary theory is not under attack in the scientific community. The jury is in, Evolution is fact. You can not understand Biology or Ecology without Evolution. The data that supports Evolution is massive. There is more support for the theory of Evolution than the theory of Gravity. Is anyone out there tossing themselves out of windows because of the "gaps" in the Theory of Gravity? No one is that insane.
But people are more than happy to yammer about the "gaps" in Evolution. They yammer about the "gaps" in the fossil record. They yammer about how there is no way no way the complex web of life could never be explained by "accidental" evolution. The arguments are so dishonest on so many levels.
There will always will be some intermediate species that will be missing from the fossil record. Fossilization is a very rare event. And finding fossils is very much a hit or miss proposition. But the Christian Crazies will always tout the 'Missing links." There will never be a year by year accounting of Millions of years of life on earth. Even if such a thing occurred the Dominionists would shift into a day by day accounting.
Is life too complex to be "explained" by evolution? Well only if you really don't understand how it works. Evolutionary theory does explain radiation and divergence in the Eco-sphere. It offers testable hypothesis that can and have been proved. That, gentle reader, is how science works.
Intelligent Design is not science it is an oxymoron. ID is proudly and demonstrably idiotic. It makes no predictions it offers no testable results. It is being forwarded by religious fanatics who are trying to smuggle in Creationism under the cover of darkness and by another name.
The Dominionists have had some success in creating a "debate about teaching evolution." Why at this late date is there a debate about teaching evolution? Again evolution IS science, it needs to be presented as such. Maybe because we have done such a horrid job teaching how science works. The corporate hack-pack media is way too lazy to tell the story straight. Far too easy to go into he said /she said journalism. Far too easy to show "balance" between the "two sides of the story". As Edward R. Murrow once explained some times there is only one side to a story. In this story there is Science and there is Religious Dogma. If we really understood what "theory" means in science no sane person would say that evolution is "just a theory." Again gravity is "just a theory" but no sane person doubts its existence.
But unfortunately the Republican party is now chock-a-block of people with a very tenuous grip on reality. The assault on reason (hey, sounds like a good book title) by the Fundies and the bible-beaters has been part of the political landscape since the Regan days. We are only one Supreme Court nominee from their imposition of a Taliban-like Theocracy on the USA. Then we can abandon logic, reason, common sense, etc. and base our lives on a book written by some very grumpy old men a long time ago.