Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More American Hubris

There's really no way around it at this point. Anyone who doesn't believe in biological evolution is stupid. We've all had plenty of time to read up on the evidence, and really, only a cursory investigation is required to determine the truth of evolutionary theory. Despite its acceptance throughout the scientific community, it is still widely rejected in the United States. But it is so obviously true, proven beyond the point of contention, that even disagreeing with it proves stupidity, or at the least, proves an unreasonable desire to be willfully delusional. In Europe there is no grand debate over the legitimacy of something that has been proven. So why here, in America?

I posted a blog about the American Ego when speaking about philanthropy. Other countries are quick to point out our hubris at any convenience. There is no point in denying our ego. We have one. I'm guilty of showing too much pride from time to time. I still maintain that our egos have nothing on the French, but we do have an ingrained superiority complex. I first noticed it as a real problem when Oxford put out their yearly study on quality of life around the world. America was listed first above England for the last 100 years. In 2008, for the first time in a century, England topped America after our financial meltdown. Then, with ferocious rapidity, Americans simultaneously decried the study as farcical, nonsense, fraudulent, inaccurate and bullshit, a study that we were perfectly content believing for more than a century...as long as we were winning. For the first time I considered Americans as petty whiners. Bad sports. Jerks.

Americans seem incapable of humility in the face of superiority. Sometimes this comes through in the most delightful ways as we truly do have contempt for the odds. Sometimes carelessly, but with bravado. You can see how that could be good or bad.

This superiority that is ingrained in us does not just apply to nationality. It occurs in political parties, as with the Democrats in the 2000 Presidential election. Democrats knew how the election worked, but never threw a hissy fit until their guy lost the election while winning the popular vote. All of the sudden, Bush "stole" the election. Which is not true.

Apparently it applies to species as well. Americans are incapable of being brought down to an animal level. We're not monkeys! so It must be a flawed theory, Americans cry.  On the whole, we cannot bring ourselves to believe that we were not always BADASSES at the top of the food chain.  Or moreover, that at some point, the world existed perfectly well without us.

That's my theory anyway, and unlike the theory of evolution, you can disagree with it without being a total moron.

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