Teaching Evolution

A blog devoted to teaching evolution, both in our schools and in our communities.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Survey on Religion and Both Parties

About half the public (48%) says that humans and other living things have evolved over time, while 42% say that living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Fully 70% of white evangelical Protestants say that life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time; fewer than half as many white mainline Protestants (32%) and white Catholics (31%) agree.

I tend to be most bothered by the one-third of Catholics who believe in the literal truth of the Genesis creation tale, since the official doctrine of the Catholic church is accepting of evolution. Unfortunately, the new pope may change that. Overall, I find this survey troubling but not surprising.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan, who writes, "I must say that there are times when one is rendered speechless. No educated intelligent person could possibly look at the evidence of science and say such a thing. And yet we are supposed to have a reasoned debate with these people on the matter. How is that even possible?"

UPDATE: Kevin Drum reminds me that 25 percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. The link is to a PDF of the study results, which are all fascinating.


At 3:10 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

Oh, come on. Did the people taking the survey at least tell them that they were wrong?

That's it, I'm buying an island somewhere. I can't deal with this anymore.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger dhodge said...

This week's issue of the Economist published some 13 letters to the editor in response to a piece they ran on the ID debate. Of the 13, five were definitely in favor of teaching ID as an alternative to Darwinian evolutuon, one was borderline pro-ID, and the remaining seven were opposed. All of the pro-ID letter writers were American and three of the anti-ID writers were not, so the score for the US is five yes, four no, one on the fence.

Assuming that this is a representative sample of the letters that they received, it means that slightly less than half of the American readership of the Economist is opposed to teaching ID in the classroom. These statistics are obviously somewhat shaky, but I would've expected less support for ID amongst the readership of the Economist.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger MDS said...

I guess the question with The Economist goes back to the whole conservative intellectuals issue. I think Economist readership tends to be conservative, but it tends to be more fiscally/intellectually conservative than religious right/partisan hack conservative. If The Economist's letters are, in fact, an accurate representation of its readership, that's a very bad sign.


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