Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Surprising poll result in Britain: They’re almost as skeptical of evolution as we are

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Richard Dawkins should be very pleased that his efforts at educating the British public have met with such overwhelming success. He has much to look forward to in his retirement:

Britons unconvinced on evolution
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4648598.stm

Over 55s were less likely to opt for evolution than other groups

More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey.
Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science lessons.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BBC’s Horizon series.

Its latest programme, A War on Science, looks into the attempt to introduce intelligent design into science classes in the US.

Over 2000 participants took part in the survey, and were asked what best described their view of the origin and development of life:

22% chose creationism
17% opted for intelligent design
48% selected evolution theory
and the rest did not know.

Intelligent design is the concept that certain features of living things are so complex that their existence is better explained by an “intelligent process” than natural selection.

Education questioned

Andrew Cohen, editor of Horizon, commented: “I think that this poll represents our first introduction to the British public’s views on this issue.

“Most people would have expected the public to go for evolution theory, but it seems there are lots of people who appear to believe in an alternative theory for life’s origins.”

When given a choice of three theories, people were asked which ones they would like to see taught in science lessons in British schools:

44% said creationism should be included
41% intelligent design
69% wanted evolution as part of the science curriculum.

Participants over 55 were less likely to choose evolution over other groups.

“This really says something about the role of science education in this country and begs us to question how we are teaching evolutionary theory,” Andrew Cohen added.

The findings prompted surprise from the scientific community. Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is surprising that many should still be sceptical of Darwinian evolution. Darwin proposed his theory nearly 150 years ago, and it is now supported by an immense weight of evidence.

“We are, however, fortunate compared to the US in that no major segment of UK religious or cultural life opposes the inclusion of evolution in the school science curriculum.”

In the US, a recent high profile court case ruled that the intelligent design movement is motivated by a desire to introduce God into the classroom after parents in Pensylvania took a school board to court over its demand that biology classes should not teach evolution as fact.

Horizon: A War on Science is on BBC Two at 2100GMT on Thursday, 26 January 2006

16 Replies to “Surprising poll result in Britain: They’re almost as skeptical of evolution as we are

  1. 1
    Charlie says:

    How did so many redneck hillbilly US fundies find their way into the UK?

    The findings prompted surprise from the scientific community. Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is surprising that many should still be sceptical of Darwinian evolution. Darwin proposed his theory nearly 150 years ago, and it is now supported by an immense weight of evidence.

    As they say, “you can fool some of the people all of the time …”

  2. 2
    TomG says:

    LOL, Charlie. Good question

  3. 3
    crandaddy says:

    44% of Brits say creationism should be included in science class? Really? I wonder if they mean the religious variety of creationism, such as the Genesis account. I find this statistic especially interesting because I thought the UK was much more secular than the US.

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:

    “How did so many redneck hillbilly US fundies find their way into the UK?”

    Maybe they’re attracted to theocracy and England is as close as they can get to it in the western world. English Kings and Queens still sit on the throne by way of divine right, last time I checked. Or do I owe Queen Elizabeth an apology?

    No disrespect intended of course. God save the queen. (amen)

  5. 5
    Mats says:

    I am surprised with these results. I would think that England is where Darwin has his throne. Oh well. I predict that if we conduct similar polls in other European nations, results might be surprising too.

    “it is now supported by an immense weight of evidence”

    Evolutionism must be the only theory with so much evidence but with so litle credibility.

  6. 6
    jaredl says:

    That the evidence supports the theory is, of course, the contested point…

  7. 7
    Bombadill says:

    Agreed, jared. One might argue that depending on the philosophical lens one is peering at the evidence thru, vastly different conclusions might be drawn. 😉

  8. 8
    scordova says:

    Whoa! 39% accept ID or creation?

    Does that mean the Professor for the Public Understanding must pronounce 39% of his countrymen as : stupid, ignorant, insane, or wicked?

  9. 9
    John Davison says:

    It was two brilliant British geneticists who exposed the Darwinian myth as fantasy, Reginald C. Punnett in 1915 with his book, “Mimicry in Butterflies” and his colleague William Bateson in 1913 with his Silliman lectures, “Problems of Genetics.” Darwinians are very slow learners. Dawkins lives in a fantasy world of his own design. Are you listening Sir Richard? I hope so.

  10. 10
    John Davison says:

    If you are, Sir Richard, R.S.V.P.

  11. 11
    Charliecrs says:

    This one must of gotten Sir Richard & his marry band bloody mad and pretty upset in the ol nickers. lol 🙂

    Charlie

  12. 12
    Boesman says:

    2 problems with this:

    1. The 2nd question suggests that creationsim, ID & evolution have equal scientific validity. If perhaps the interviewers had taken some time to explain Vedic creationism, then a fair number of respondents might opt for it aswell. The point is that ‘touchy-feely’ opinion polls should not dictate on what is considered science. Public opinion is not known for its accuracy -history has enough examples to prove it.

    2. Those people who know very little -if anything- about the choices offered, will usually go with the option which they most easily understand i.e. creationism or ID. This is a bad sign for ID because tells me that they are still interchangable for those people.

  13. 13
    John Davison says:

    ID has no religious implications whatsoever. The God or Gods that programmed the secenario for life are no longer around nor need they be.

    “The main source of the present-day conflicts brtween the spheres of religion and science lies in the concept of a personal God.
    Albert Einstein

  14. 14
    Mats says:

    John,
    Of course ID has religious implications. If ID had no religious implications the militant atheistic Darwinists wouldn’t be afraid of it

    “The God or Gods that programmed the secenario for life are no longer around nor need they be.”

    That is (if nothing else) an interesting statement of faith.

  15. 15
    Xavier says:

    dr. Davison remarks

    The God or Gods that programmed the secenario for life are no longer around nor need they be.

    I’m wondering how you can be so sure of this, Dr. Davison. Would your god or gods not liked to have stayed to observe the unfolding of their creation. If they had no further interest, why did they bother to create life on Earth?

  16. 16
    John Davison says:

    Xavier

    You have once again made the error of asking “why” That is a nono. I thought everybody knew that. The scientist asks only “how.” I have presented my answer to that question with the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. Where may I find the answers from my adversaries or do I even have any? It is hard to tell when they remain silent. Frankly I think they are afraid to mention my name because, if they do, they will have to acknowledge all my distinguished sources as well. That they dare not risk, cowards that they so obviously are. We simply do not now and have not in the past been permitted to exist. It is as simple as that.

    “Davison is the Darwinian’s worst nightmare.”
    Terry Trainor, by the way a devout Christian and gentleman. The only cheeks I am prepared to turn are either or both of my lower ones. Got that? Write that down.

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