3. Polls Show that Americans Overwhelmingly Support Academic Freedom in Evolution Education.
A nationwide Zogby poll taken in January 2009 indicates that support for the freedom to teach the controversy about Darwinian evolution cuts across religion, party affiliation, political ideology, and educational levels. A large majority of respondents (80%) agree that teachers and students should have academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory, with more than half (54%) saying they strongly agree. Only 16% disagree. Says Dennis Wagner, ARN’s Executive Director, “Although some media consistently portray support for the freedom to discuss both sides of the evolution debate as the view only of conservative Christians, these poll results paint a very different picture. They shatter some preconceptions about who supports letting students hear a balanced presentation on Darwinian evolution – and who doesn’t.” It turns out that: Democrats (82%) support freedom to discuss Darwinism’s “strengths and weaknesses” even more overwhelmingly than Republicans (73%); Self-identified liberals (86%) favor it more than conservatives (72%); College graduates (84%) support it more than those without a college degree. Individuals identifying with no Christian or Jewish denomination support it by nearly 82%.
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[I’m not surprised. One of the greater disservices the dying legacy media have done the public in the last few decades is to front the idea that only a crackpot would doubt Darwinism. Doubts about Darwin have been mainstream for many years, including doubts originating with people whose views would hardly qualify as orthodox among Christians or Jews, and people who are not registered Republicans. However, generations of profs have made their living fronting Darwinism’s myths and nostrums to students who needed to graduate, and were – in many cases – well aware of the persecution visited on those who threatened to break or bend the profs’ Iron Rice Bowls, as the Chinese say.
But all rackets peter out eventually. This is not, in principle, an unusual situation. It happens all the time in education, for example. A completely unworkable idea is shoved down everyone’s throat for years, causing more and more parents to take their kids and run to the private sector or to homeschooling, even though they are also forced to pay through their taxes for failed public education at the same time. (E.g., the “classroom without walls” sounds great, doesn’t it? Until you realize that a child with a hyperactive disorder can disrupt a whole school, not just a whole class, by ranging freely through his now wall-less environment … “Kid, you want to learn in peace? Fuggedabouddit. Your job is to understand young Smoth’s needs. He has a “disorder,” you see, so even though you are only six years old, you are responsible for helping solve his problem, and the administration isn’t responsible for helping you learn your times tables in peace and quiet … ” )
The difference with Darwinism is that it isn’t just some spaced out education prof’s crackpot idea but the linchpin of an atheist cult, fronted by legislators and judges at public expense.]
Here is the #4 story.
Here are the previous three years’ top ten stories:
2008 Darwin and design
2007 Darwin and design
2006 Darwin and design
ARN also offers “top ten” resources that are worth checking out if you follow the controversy.