Closing off our religion coverage for the week (a bit late), we hear from Filthy Monkey Men (an evolutionary anthropology blog by a Liverpool Student with Attitude):
Lots of religious people accept evolution, but they typically only do so because they’re following religious dogma, not because they understand the subject
So some researchers decided to test this hypothesis by taking trip to the Milwaukee Public Museum. There they conducted a survey, identifying visitors’ knowledge of evolution, their acceptance of the theory and their religious denomination. The goal being to identify whether or not religious denomination was correlated with knowledge and acceptance of evolution; indicating that some groups were indeed fostering scientific understanding.
And as you might expect they found a link between knowledge and acceptance of evolution. People who knew more about the subject were more likely to believe it. They also found a correlation between religious denomination and acceptance of evolution. Catholics, for example, were about as likely as college graduates to accept the theory of evolution as true. Protestants had a similar rate of acceptance, whilst non-denominational Christians had a very low rate of belief in evolution.
Crucially though they failed to find a link between religious denomination and knowledge of evolution. A Catholic might have been as likely as a college graduate to accept evolution, but they typically knew less about the subject than a high school dropout. In other words, there were two paths people took to accepting evolution: they either knew something about the theory, or they belonged to a religion that said the theory was true. More.
It’s intriguing that in the current debacle of the social sciences, it occurred to an enterprising group to study the pro-Darwin crowd as well.
By “evolution,” our blogger means Darwinism, of course: “And a survey of visitors to a museum found that education does help. It was linked with acceptance of Darwin’s theory.” In short, knowing something about evolution usually means professing Darwin. He goes on to point out that Darwin makes churches’ non-naturalist viewpoint irrelevant. Exactly. Which may correlate with those churches’ demographic demise.
Our student doesn’t address the ongoing move to rethink evolution in non-Darwinian terms, which takes the punch out of the Christians for Darwin industry (Finding Darwin’s God, Saving Darwin, God after Darwin, etc.) Their behaviour has long disqualified them from seriousness anyway.
See also: Michael Denton on the growing chorus of dissent
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