Friday, June 8, 2007

New Poll on Evolution


Evolution versus creationism has certainly become the new hot issue. And it appears from yet another USA TODAY/Gallup Poll released today that the public is siding with the early earth evolutionists. Here is the report from USA Today:

Majorities of Americans in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll say evolution and creationism are both likely explanations for life on Earth — underscoring the complexities of an issue that has put Republican presidential candidates on the spot in recent weeks.
Two-thirds in the poll said creationism, the idea that God created humans in their present form within the past 10,000 years, is definitely or probably true. More than half, 53%, said evolution, the idea that humans evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, is definitely or probably true. All told, 25% say that both creationism and evolution are definitely or probably true.

Geoffrey Layman, a politics and religion expert at the University of Maryland, says people are trying to reconcile science and religion. "They might believe the science, or they might see the science as hard to dismiss, and they don't necessarily take Genesis to be literal," he says. "But they do think that God played some role in directing this evolutionary process."

Brownback wrote last week in The New York Times that "man was not an accident" and that he accepts parts of evolution consistent with that belief. Huckabee told reporters Wednesday that "for me it's as simple as 'In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.' "

Nearly three in 10 in the new poll said they'd be less likely to vote for a candidate who rejects evolution; 15% said they'd be more likely, and 53% said it would make no difference. Huckabee says the issue is not relevant to a White House race and seven in 10 in the poll agreed with him.

Lawrence Krauss, a physicist and astronomer at Case Western Reserve University, said evolution is an important campaign issue. "Evolution happened whether or not a candidate believes in it," he said, and presidents shouldn't let "religious or ideological beliefs trump reality."


Read it all. The full poll results can be found here.

An important observation to make is that there was a drop in support for early earth creationism from last year, and a gain in a question that would capture both those who accept Intelligent Design and those, like me and Francis Collins, who accept theistic evolution

You can read my other posts on Evolution here.

4 comments:

atheist said...

Fortunately, for those of us who benefit from scientific, medical, and technological advancements every minute of every day, the results of research aren't subject to opinion polls. In this country, those who don't accept (notice I didn't say "believe") evolution are free to swallow whatever propagandistic lies they choose. They're not free, however, to impose their anti-scientific religious beliefs on public school students.

A candidate for the presidency who doesn't accept the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting evolution is probably not competent to judge evidence of any kind. So let's ask ourselves: Haven't we had enough of evidence-free governance?

Chuck Blanchard said...

Atheist:

On this we agree. Wholeheartedly so. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming (particularly the new genetic evidence). In my view, Christians do their faith no favor when they ignore this evidence. And as Dr. Francis Collins, one can reject both creationism and Intelligent Design, and still be a devoted Christian.

atheist said...

While you and I obviously don't see eye-to-eye on everything, we certainly agree on the value of science. And, in my experience, your views are representative of the bulk of educated Christians. Many believers like you see humans' ability to "decode" scientific evidence as another one of their deity's gifts to man.

As for the creationists/IDers: I don't understand how anyone could believe in a god who has supposedly created tons of false scientific data, all over the earth, just for the purpose of testing humanity's faith. Is he hoping to populate his heaven with idiots?

Chuck Blanchard said...

Thanks for visiting my blog--and don't be afraid to challenge those views that you diagree with. That's much of the fun of having a blog.

Good question on why creationists beleive the way they do. One answer is that if you are a bibical literalist, you really don't have much room to accept evolution. (Which suggests that bibical literalism has major problems of its own) I also think, however, that the reason is more fundamental--Read my post on "Thoughts on Evolution" for the details, but the short answer is that the God of theistic evolutionist operates in the world in ways very different than many Christians are taught to beleive.