science education

Harris poll: 76% support books that “discuss evolution” in school libraries

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A recent Harris poll revealed “Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books” (April 12, 2011):

While few Americans think that there are books which should be banned completely, opinions differ on books that should be available to children in school libraries. Strong majorities say that children should be able to get The Holy Bible (83%) and books that discuss evolution (76%) from school libraries.

Majorities also say so for other religious texts such as the Torah or Talmud (59%) and the Koran (57%), but approximately a quarter say these texts should not be available (24% and 28%, respectively) to children in school libraries. Half or more say that children should be able to get books with vampires (57%), books with references to drugs or alcohol (52%) and books with witchcraft or sorcery (50%) in school libraries, but between 34% and 41% say that each of these types of books should not be available there.

There is no consensus on books with references to sex (48% say they should be available, 45% say they should not) and violence (44% say should, 48% say should not). A majority of Americans say, however, that books with explicit language should not be available to children in school libraries (62%).

How would these results change if the “books that discuss evolution” were non-Darwinist or wrote sympathetically about design?

Also:

Older Americans are significantly more likely than those younger to say each type of book listed should not be available in school libraries with one exception-Echo Boomers (aged 18-34) are more likely than Matures (aged 66 and older) to say that The Holy Bible should not be available to children in school libraries (15% vs. 9%);

Women are more likely than men to think each type of book listed should not be available to children in school libraries with the exception of the religious texts (The Holy Bible, the Torah, Talmud and Koran), which men are slightly more likely to say should not be available; and,

The more education one has the less likely they are to say that each type of book listed should not be available to children in school libraries (there is between an 8 and 25 percentage point difference between those who have a post graduate education and those who have not attended college on what types of books should not be available to children in school libraries).

7 Replies to “Harris poll: 76% support books that “discuss evolution” in school libraries

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    If you want to limit your child’s reading materials move to North Korea.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    The Americans are always consistent. tHey have no problem with their kids reading in schools books they have no problem with.
    Anyways
    They are fine with the bible or creationist material by excellent majorities.
    Indeed creationism in science class (or conclusions on origins class as I call it) is desired by a solid majority.
    now just to deal with the claims of the mid 20th century Judges that the 18th century Yankee and Southern Protestant citizens put into their constitution prohibitions on teaching as truth or options God and Genesis on origins!!!
    This was before Darwin (I think Dawkins too).
    What could possibly of been the early Americans ideas on what to teach the kids about the important points of origins???
    There’s something funny about the censorship in public schools against creationism.
    As this Canadian sees it.

  3. 3
    vjtorley says:

    The Harris poll did not define “children”. Very sloppy.

    Only 62% of American adults believe that children definitely should be able to get the Bible from their school library? Hmmm. I wonder what the percentage was 30 or 50 years ago.

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    76% support books that “discuss evolution” in school libraries

    Yep. Keep it in the libraries and out of the classrooms is what I always say.

    What did the librarian say to the two books in the library discussing evolution?

  5. 5
    MedsRex says:

    Mung:
    What did the librarian say?

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Check out this new book on intelligent design?

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    You two could be the last of your kind?

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