Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

14% of Americans Don’t Believe in an Intelligent Designer


In the latest Gallup poll in a 26-year series asking the same questions, only 14% of Americans are chance worshippers when it comes to evolution. The other 86% believe an intelligent agent was involved. Of course the poll names the intelligent agent “God” but you know what my old pal William Shakespeare had to say about that – “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

Imagine what the numbers would be like if criticism of evolution by chance & necessity were allowed into the childhood secular indoctrination program (a.k.a. public schools). No wonder the chance worshippers freak out over the thought of having their lame hypothesis discussed in an open manner. If, in the absence of criticism, they can only convince 14% of the kids how many fewer would buy what they’re selling if criticism were allowed?

Dave: Does that answer your question? Yes. Thanks! mike1962
Dave, this is really interesting. Your thesis that the exceedingly rare geniuses are less likely than the mere geniuses to embrace fashionable doctrines seems reasonable. What I wonder about is this: How does one analyze the relative capacities of history’s great thinkers. A few weeks ago, I conducted a similar informal study. I noticed that the standards for rating intelligence seemed to harmonize with the raters world view. One study placed folks like Bertrand Russell near the top while another went with the likes of Blaise Pascal. I friend of mine believes that Immanuel Kant is the smartest cookie ever to come down the pike, while I would give the nod to Aquinas. Surprise, surprise---we both went with geniuses that we admired on a personal level. StephenB
Off-topic: re: chance worshippers and William Shakespeare Shakespeare also frequently referred to the goddess of chance/fate/fortune. It's an interesting topic for study, I suppose, but he appears to see the actions of chance in a way that might be familiar to uncommondescent: chance plays a role but and only when the course of events already seems inevitable through the actions of intelligence. And even then fortune acts in ways that are often or mostly harmful. Chance/fortune is often portrayed as a whore: Out, out, thou strumpet, Fortune! All you gods, In general synod 'take away her power; Break all the spokes and fellies from her wheel, And bowl the round nave down the hill of heaven, As low as to the fiends! steveO
AussieID re; higher IQs and belief in design Actually the very highest IQs tend to turn back toward belief in design but typically not towards any designer characterized by mainstream revealed religions. They become (loosely defined) deists. Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Ben Franklin, and many others. Some come to that point quickly while others might take a lifetime. In the lifetime category Antony Flew comes to mind as a recent well-known example. What I think happens is that people with moderately high IQs know they're smarter than average but are a bit insecure and so distinguish themselves with "I'm too smart to believe in the superstitions of plebeians" and reject belief in design in a shallow manner. This would generally include your run-of-the-mill Mensa members with IQ's beginning in the 98th percentile which is not all that uncommon as 1 in 50 people could qualify for Mensa if they bothered to try. True genius or high genius is much rarer, ranging from 1 in 1000 to 1 in 1 million people. Various organizations (much less well known with far fewer members) exist for such people. People with IQs in the stratosphere are not insecure enough to have any emotional need to distinguish themselves from the plebeians who fill the church pews on Sundays and, because design really IS apparent in nature at the deepest level of independent analysis, they often become deists but seldom come back full circle to revealed religious beliefs. DaveScot
Mike1962 re; do you love the designer I love the designer who brought joy and beauty into the living world and hate the one who brought suffering and ugliness into the same world. Does that answer your question? DaveScot
I've really enjoyed the consistency shown in this poll, and have watched it every time it has been broadcast with some amusement: no matter what the schools and higher education authorities in the US teach, there is obviously a strong element of disagreement with the evolution ideology that is being disseminated. On a similar note, but a dissimilar result, it was noted that people with high IQs are less likely to believe in God, that is according to a new study. A leading psychology professor at Ulster University stated many of the "intellectually elite" people in the UK, especially univeristy academics, identified themselves as atheists than the national average. We've also seen studies like this one too ... An article I read, related to the later study, had one commentator note: "Nonetheless, there is evidence from other domains that higher levels of intelligence are associated with a greater ability - or perhaps willingness - to question and overturn strongly felt institutions." I started considering the original bent of this statement, but then turned it around to consider it from an ID angle. My 'higher level of intelligence' is certainly willing to 'question and overturn strongly felt institutions', such as Darwinian evolution. It feels good being part of the 'intellectually elite.' (!) AussieID
They don't even have the time frame in the poll. I think the best evidence shows the abrupt appearance of man in the fossil record approximately 50,000 years ago with an explosion in art, tools and jewelery corroborating it. I believe the only evidence for 150,000 plus years of mans arrival is mtDNA evidence that is suspect because of some inconsistency in mtDNA itself. bornagain77
But, Dave, do you love the Designer? mike1962
Dave, You've nailed it. The chance worshippers are also nature worshippers. It's no coincidence that those who fight challenges to chance and necessity when it comes to origins also call for repentance from sins against Mother Nature in the form of carbon emissions. These are the gods they worship. It's an ancient pagan religion and is nothing new. The problem is that they have insinuated themselves into the culture as the high priests of this religion, and will tolerate no challenges to their religious orthodoxy, no matter the evidence. The good news is that the average American uses common sense concerning origins, and asks, "What, are you kidding me?" GilDodgen

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