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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Polls on intelligent design, evolution, and creation: A handy summary of some recent ones

For some time now, I have been wanting to put a number of the recent polls on intelligent design vs. Darwinian evolution and/or creationism on line, as they may help people who write on the intelligent design controversy. I have organized them, as well as I am able, in chronological order.

I have not attempted any meta-analysis because it likely isn't possible and in any event I don't have the skills. But I do intersperse a comment or two below where it seems warranted. Polls ask different questions of different respondent groups about different issues. But you can often get a pretty good idea of public opinion all the same.

For example,

2005 07 06 Nearly Two-thirds of U.S. Adults Believe Human Beings Were Created by God, according to a Harris Poll.

Other key findings include [....]

Not too surprising, when you consider the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence, where Americans are informed that they are endowed by their Creator with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Under the circumstances, it is safer to believe that the creator is God than to believe that the creator is George Washington, Sir Francis Crick or the Easter Bunny.

What I think: Darwinian evolution is a theory of history, in this case the history of biological life. It is no different in principle from theories about why the World War I was not (as people hoped) the war to end all wars, but rather a hugely destructive nihilistic conflict that led in short order to World War II, which was even worse. One theory may make more sense than another, of course, when we are trying to interpret a given stretch of history. But all such theories depend on underlying philosophies.

The main problem with Darwinism is that, to make sense of the theory, you must accept an underlying philosophy, which most Yanks and Brits simply do not accept. Perhaps most humans generally do not accept it. In that case, it is a very good question whether citizens should pay taxes in order to support its imposition on school systems.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

The Pope using the term "intelligent design" to describe the Catholic view of origins, go here.

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams attacked by Darwinist, hits back. Will he now cartoon on the subject?

"Academic Freedom Watch : Here's the real, ugly story behind the claim that 'intelligent design isn't science'?".

Roseville, California, lawyer Larry Caldwell is suing over the use of tax money by Darwin lobby groups to promote religious views that accept Darwinian evolution (as opposed to ones that don’t). I’m pegging this one as the next big story. See also the ruling on tax funds. Note the line that the “free speech” people take.
How to freak out your bio prof? What happened when a student bypassed the usual route of getting frogs drunk and dropping them down the chancellor’s robes, and tried questioning Darwinism instead.

Christoph, Cardinal Schonbon is not backing down from his contention that Darwinism is incompatible with Catholic faith, and Pope Benedict XVI probably thinks that’s just fine. Major US media have been trying to reach rewrite for months, with no success.

Museum tour guides to be trained to "respond" to those who question Darwinism. Read this item for an example of what at least one museum hopes to have them say.

World class chemist dissed at Catholic university because he sympathizes with intelligent design.
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