Teaching Evolution

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

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

One in Five Americans Say Evolution "Definitely False"

No link because as far as I know this isn't online anywhere, but I just saw the latest Gallup poll on evolution. According to the summary, "By 58% to 26%, a majority of Americans express their belief in creationism; by 55% to 34%, a majority also accept evolution." Not entirely sure how that works, but I guess some people are able to explain to themselves why both are true.

But what disappointed me most was the question of whether creationism, evolution, and intelligent design were definitely true, probably true, probably false, or definitely false. Only 8 percent said creationism is definitely false, 10 percent said intelligent design is definitely false, and 20 percent said evolution is definitely false. Creationism also beats evolution in the definitely true category by 29-20 percent, with intelligent design coming in at 8 percent (more than a quarter of all people are not familiar with intelligent design, so it gets lower marks in all the categories.)

A simple way of reading this would be to say that if you know five people, chances are that one of them thinks evolution is definitely false. Fortunately, that's not true. You, the reader of this blog, likely surround yourself with educated, intelligent, curious-minded people. Sadly, even you probably know some people who think evolution is definitely false, but I'm betting it's less than one in five.


At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:15 PM, Blogger dhodge said...

While it's hard to figure out exactly what poll numbers mean, it's pretty obvious that a majority of Americans are open to teaching ID and/or creationism either in addition to or in lieu of evolution. I think that it's also pretty obvious that until every court in the US is packed with anti-intellectual fundamentalist Christians, campaigns to teach ID and creationism in public schools are going to keep getting struck down. That's why I'm surprised that no one (to my knowledge) has tried to take this issue directly to the voters.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger MDS said...

I think states with ballot initiatives are likely to see a lot of them related to evolution in the coming years. I would be fascinated to see what the public campaign would look like and who would finance it. I imagine the anti-evolution types would have a lot more money to spend on television commercials, and I also worry that the pro-evolution forces would overplay their hands and imply that the voters are stupid. (Many of the voters are stupid, but you can't tell them that if you want to win.)

As we've discussed before on this blog, it seems reasonable to believe that some big businesses would want rigorous science education in our country, but I don't think those businesses are willing to touch a hot-button issue like evolution even if they know supporting evolution is the right thing to do.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger setter said...

what is wrong with evolution? will someone please tell me without useing the bible or your religion. thank you.


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