Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Poll on Darwinism


A4_Press_Release


This week, The British Council released a survey that contains some interesting nuggets about people’s attitudes toward Darwinism.


What's the most important takeaway from the survey?


By a margin of 75-21%, people who “have heard of Charles Darwin and know something about the Theory of Evolution” believe that evolution – if it’s to be taught at all – should only be taught with “other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.”


A few other questions and answers…

In the U.S. people were asked…


Have you heard of Charles Darwin?

84% Yes
16% No


To what extent do you agree or disagree that enough scientific evidence exists to support Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution? [Note: This was only asked of people “who have heard of Charles Darwin and know something about the Theory of Evolution"]

41% Agree
30% Disagree


Listed below are a range of different views, which people may or may not have about the origins of species and development of life on earth, which of these comes closest to your own view?

13% “Life on earth, including human life, evolved over time as a result of natural selection, in which no God played a part.”

32% “Life on earth, including human life, evolved over time in a process guided by a God.”

43% “Life on earth, including human life, was created by a God and has always existed in its current form."

10% "I have another view on the origins of species and development of life on earth, which is not included in this list."


Which, if any, of the following statements comes closest to you own opinion about how evolutionary theory should be taught in science lessons in schools?

21% “Evolutionary theories alone should be taught in science lessons in schools.”

51% “Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.”

9% “Other perspectives on the origins of species should be taught in science lessons in schools and not evolutionary theories.”

14% “Theories about the origins of species and development of life on earth should not be taught in science lessons in schools at all.”


The Discovery Institute comments...

Head of the British Council’s Darwin Now program Fern Elsdon-Baker said, “Overall these results may reflect the need for a more sophisticated approach to teaching and communicating how science works as a process.”

While Darwin’s apologists might try to explain the poll numbers as an example of ignorance influencing people’s beliefs, the numbers themselves suggest a different picture.

Across the board, most respondents from the ten countries polled thought that “other perspectives on the origins of species” “such as intelligent design and creationism” should be taught in science class*. When the poll is weighted to include only those respondents who have heard of Charles Darwin and know something about his theory of evolution, the percentage supporting alternate theories increases, from 60% to 66% in Britain and 60% to 64% in the U.S.

A full compilation of Darwin polls can be found here.


2 comments:

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

I'm afraid ignorance simply is the answer. You can't teach ID/creationism as science since it isn't science.

Todd White said...

JCS: Would you be open to the idea of allowing students to hear some of the evidence against Darwinism? Right now, students aren't allowed to hear such evidence, and any teacher who taught it would be fired, sued, or both.