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Memo to Dawkins: Half of Brits probably don’t believe in Darwin anyway

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Wow. Further to how Dawkins, Darwin’s foremost defender, seems to be losing his base, the most recent poll one analyst could find was from 2009, in which,

Indeed, as reported by the UK’s Guardian; Half of Britons do not believe in evolution, survey finds (Riazat Butt, February 1, 2009 AD) and Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons (Jessica Shepherd, October 25, 2009 AD). Thus half do not believe in it and more than half believe that both views should be taught.

Keep in mind that while the UK does have RE (religious education) in public schools; it is a very, very, very secular society which is saturated with Darwinism. Logically, they would be the most Darwinian society and yet, “More than one-fifth prefer creationism or intelligent design, while many others are confused about Darwin’s theory.” Ah, the good ol’ we have been explaining Darwinism for over a century and a half and the hoi polloi still do not get it!!! Well, there may be other reasons for rejecting it such as understanding it and realizing that biology is a science but Darwinism is a philosophy and since it makes unsubstantiated claims it is therefore being rejected.

Certainly, the results might have swung more to naturalist atheism and evolution in the intervening five years. But, Dawkins’ growing loss of popularity with his own base might result in more people actually questioning certain claims made for Darwinian evolution. They might even get interested in the science evidence for non-Darwinian evolution, like horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, etc. It could be fun.  Too much to hope?

Which reminds: What about Nicholas Wade’s attempt to revive Darwinian racism in A Troublesome Inheritance (see here, for example, for fallout at Scientific American)? How will that play out Britside? Stay turned.

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18 Replies to “Memo to Dawkins: Half of Brits probably don’t believe in Darwin anyway

  1. 1
    humbled says:

    As a Brit I can assure you good people that the UK education system is disgraceful. It is nothing like it used to be. The UK schooling system is more like a child minding service and not an education system. I had to pull my kids out and get them private tutors.

    I have often spoken to youngsters in the education system, friends of my children, and they know NOTHING of Christianity, or any of the Abrahamic religions for that matter. Many claim to be atheist but only because they don’t know any different (their words not mine). Seems nobody has bothered to discuss religion with them, neither their parents nor their teachers.

    As for evolution, many accept it “because their teachers says so”. When I challenge them they shrug it off or don’t seem very interested. To them, it is simply another boring subject, or part of a subject, they need to know to get the grades they require.

  2. 2
    Henry Crun says:

    I have a nine year old daughter in the British state education system and I completely disagree with humbled’s comment. But that is not surprising, since individual schools vary greatly in quality. Where I live, there are five primary schools of which four are rated either good or outstanding, and one is struggling.

    News is wrong to link anything at all to Dawkins. The British people do not hang on to Dawkins word about anything. Nor do they hang onto the words of preachers and theologians.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Mr. Crun, not to doubt your sincerity, but would not someone, such as you, who preferred Darwinism to be taught to their children uncritically give good grades to a school that taught Darwinism to their children uncritically?

    Of somewhat ‘unbiased’ note, we can see what happened to America when prayer was removed from in 1963:

    The last graph on the following site shows that the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores for students showed a steady decline, for seventeen years from the top spot or near the top spot in the world, after the removal of prayer from the public classroom by the Supreme Court, not by public decree, in 1963.

    AMERICA: To Pray Or Not To Pray – David Barton – graphs corrected for population growth

    If you think Barton was biased in his analysis, here are the raw numbers:

    United States Crime Rates 1960 – 2010 (Please note the skyrocketing crime rate from 1963, the year prayer was removed from school, thru 1980, the year the steep climb in crime rate finally leveled off.) of note: The slight decline in crime rate from the mid 90s until now is attributed in large part to tougher enforcement on minor crimes. (a nip it in the bud policy)

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    News is wrong to link anything at all to Dawkins. The British people do not hang on to Dawkins word about anything.

    Fortunately, the British people have a lot more sense than these award-givers do.

    In a poll held by Prospect magazine in 2013, Dawkins was voted the world’s top thinker based on 65 names chosen by a largely US- and UK-based expert panel.

    In 1987, Dawkins received a Royal Society of Literature award and a Los Angeles Times Literary Prize for his book The Blind Watchmaker …

    His other awards include the Zoological Society of London’s Silver Medal (1989), the Finlay Innovation Award (1990), the Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize (1994), the American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year Award (1996), the fifth International Cosmos Prize (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (2001), the 2001 and 2012 Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Bicentennial Kelvin Medal of The Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow (2002),[10] and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009).[134]

    Dawkins topped Prospect magazine’s 2004 list of the top 100 public British intellectuals, as decided by the readers, receiving twice as many votes as the runner-up.[135][136] He was short-listed as a candidate in their 2008 follow-up poll.[137] In 2005, the Hamburg-based Alfred Toepfer Foundation awarded him its Shakespeare Prize in recognition of his “concise and accessible presentation of scientific knowledge”. He won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science for 2006, as well as the Galaxy British Book Awards’s Author of the Year Award for 2007.[138] In the same year, he was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2007,[139] and he was ranked 20th in The Daily Telegraph’s 2007 list of 100 greatest living geniuses.[140] He was awarded the Deschner Award, named after German anti-clerical author Karlheinz Deschner.[141]

  5. 5
    Henry Crun says:


    I am not going to get into a pointless discussion with you, but I don’t want my daughter taught Darwinism, I want her taught evolutionary science. And it’s not me that’s giving the schools those ratings, they are given by professional schools inspectors.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    I want her taught evolutionary science.

    What is that? Evolutionary science seems more of an oxymoron to me. I know of no science of evolution.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Henry Crun you state:

    I don’t want my daughter taught Darwinism, I want her taught evolutionary science,,

    Too bad for you since, as I pointed out the other day, there is no real ‘science’ in Darwinism in the first place!

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science – Part II

    If you disagree with me Mr. Crun then please provide the rigid mathematical demarcation criteria by which Darwinism can be falsified as other hard sciences are subjected;

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.

    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.

    Darwin’s Doubt – Chapter 12 – Complex Adaptations and the Neo-Darwinian Math – Dr. Paul Giem – video;index=7

    See also Mendel’s Accountant and Haldane’s Ratchet: John Sanford

    As to your ‘professional schools inspectors’ giving your schools passing grades, I really can’t comment save to say that the raw numbers for the steep rise in crime in the US and the drop in SATs scores, since the removal of prayer from school in 1963, do not have an inherent bias in them as to whether to view something favorably are not. They are what they are, and they do not reflect favorably to the notion of trying to raise children without a objective moral compass.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Evolutionary science is evolution without the science.

  9. 9
    Mung says:

    I don’t want my daughter taught Darwinism, I want her taught evolutionary science.

    Then you should join us.

    I don’t want my daughter taught Darwinism, I want her taught evolutionary science.

    That’s what the Discovery Institute wants as well.

  10. 10
    humbled says:

    Henry, I really can’t imagine how you could possibly disagree with me on this issue. Perhaps you aren’t aware of how bad the UK education system is because you have nothing to compare it to?

    My sister and my cousin are English high school teachers, they have taught in a number of high schools in a few different countries and always comment on how poor the UK education system is. Let us not even get onto the discipline problem.

    World rankings on education 2007:

    READING TOP 25—————MATHS TOP 25——————–SCIENCE TOP 25

    1 Korea—————————Taiwan——————————– Finland

    2 Finland————————-Finland——————————–Hong Kong-China

    3 Hong Kong-China————Hong Kong-China——————-Canada

    4 Canada————————Korea———————————Taiwan

    5 New Zealand——————Netherlands ————————–Estonia

    6 Ireland ————————-Switzerland—————————-Japan

    7 Australia———————–Canada———————————New Zealand

    8 Liechtenstein—————–Macao-China————————–Australia

    9 Poland————————-Liechtenstein————————–Netherlands

    10 Sweden———————-Japan———————————–Liechtenstein

    11 Netherlands—————–New Zealand————————–Korea

    12 Belgium———————-Belgium——————————–Slovenia

    13 Estonia———————–Australia——————————-Germany

    14 Switzerland——————Estonia——————————–United Kingdom

    15 Japan————————-Denmark——————————-Czech Republic

    16 Taiwan————————Czech Republic———————-Switzerland

    17 United Kingdom———Iceland———————————Macao-China

    18 Germany———————Austria———————————Austria

    19 Denmark———————Slovenia——————————-Belgium

    20 Slovenia———————-Germany——————————Ireland

    21 Macao-China—————-Sweden——————————–Hungary

    22 Austria————————Ireland———————————Sweden

    23 France————————France——————————–Poland

    24 Iceland————————United Kingdom——————-Denmark

    25 Norway————————Poland——————————–France

    Notice where UK is? Keep going….there you go, almost at the bottom.

  11. 11
    Henry Crun says:


    I don’t want to dwell on this because the issue of education standards is such a minefield and heavily dependent on local factors such as the teachers in a particular school, number of pupils per class, amount spent per pupil, leadership, mix of children etc. I live in a town with good to outstanding primary schools, and that works well for us. Yet 10 miles away is a city with poor high schools; we are lucky, parents with older children who live there are not. Your comment is a sweeping generalisation, I merely point out that locality is important.

    Lastly, more recent figures are here, with the UK at sixth:

    Whether you use your sources or mine though, note that the US education systems still come out much worse. If you think the UK system is bad, what do you make of the US one?

  12. 12
    Acartia_bogart says:

    I have often spoken to youngsters in the education system, friends of my children, and they know NOTHING of Christianity, or any of the Abrahamic religions for that matter.

    So. That is not the job of the schools. That is the job of parents and churches.

  13. 13
    humbled says:

    Don’t know much about the state of the US school system mate. But I have travelled throughout Africa and Europe, I also remember what the UK education system used to be like, this is what I am basing my position on. But anyway…moving on 😉

  14. 14
    humbled says:

    A_b, the point of religious education, as a subject in UK schools is to:

    – develop their interest and enthusiasm for the study of Religion and the relationship between Religion and the wider world

    – develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of Religion by exploring the impact of beliefs, teachings, practices, ways of life and forms of expressing meaning

    – express their personal responses and informed insights on fundamental questions about identity, belonging, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments.

    Since Christianity makes up 1/3 of the worlds religious beliefs, and Islam another 1/3, the religious beliefs of 2/3 of the worlds population should be of great interest to students.

    When Darwinian mythology is moved from science to religious education, where, like Buddhism, it belongs, our youth can make an educated decision as to what philosophy they feel makes the most sense. Until then you are forcing your belief system, your insane philosophy onto our kids, all the while masquerading it as science.

    You are lying to our kids, tricking them into believing your creation myth is based on evidence, logic and reason, when in reality is has none. It is disgraceful, you folk are no better than the fundamentalist religious tyrants of old.

  15. 15
    Acartia_bogart says:

    “It is disgraceful, you folk are no better than the fundamentalist religious tyrants of old.

    Of old? You must be really young.

  16. 16
    CalvinsBulldog says:

    Anyone looking to the U.K. for a revival of anything is likely to be disappointed. The U.K. is not what it used to be.

    Their youth riot across cities, burning and looting like common thugs. Their young people sign up for ISIS in greater numbers than for the reserves:

    Their education standards are consistently ranked poorly by the OECD (23rd last year), and much of the culture is unravelling with massive levels of migration: UK borders were opened by EU directive to all of Europe from the start of this year. The country has a debt to GDP ratio of 90.6%, and parts of the country are trying to break away (i.e. the Scottish independence movement).

    They rank in the top twenty countries as determined by the U.N’s Human Development Index, but not in the top 10 – lagging far behind the United States and my own country of Australia.

    My general sense is that of a nation in decline.

  17. 17
    Axel says:

    Humbled #14:

    I believe you have missed out from your list, a knowledge of the religion upon which our European culture has been historically based.

    I believe before they even started their first year at Balliol, English literature students were required to read the Bible, from cover to cover, precisely for that reason.

  18. 18
    Axel says:

    CalvinsBulldog, I hardly think the UK could ever degenerate to the level of the US, which, at every level, has been gutted and filleted by the 1% of any possible hope for even a quasi civilised society,

    The UK is racist, but I can’t imagine the degree of profit-driven militarization and rampant murder of innocent Afro-Saxon males by police that currently obtains in the US. Nor that the incident described below could happen in the UK:

    White privilege? What a euphemism for murderous wickedness in the hearts of all her advisers! If that, like Wilson’s murder of Brown, doesn’t cry to heaven for vengeance, I don’t know what does. Maybe the sadism, albeit more honest, of the ISL terrorists. Six of one; half a dozen of the other.

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