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Thread: On Darwin's Birthday, Gallup Poll shows that only 4 in 10 believe in Evolution

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  1. #1

    On Darwin's Birthday, Gallup Poll shows that only 4 in 10 believe in Evolution

    This is one of the most depressing stories that I have read this year.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/114544/Da...Evolution.aspx

    PRINCETON, NJ -- On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, a new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution," while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don't have an opinion either way. These attitudes are strongly related to education and, to an even greater degree, religiosity.



    The astonishing finding is not that the proportion of believers increase with education but that nearly half of college graduates do not believe in evolution.


    Wise.

  2. #2
    interesting. When your educated , you have the ability to look at things with facts , not faith.
    oh well

  3. #3
    why does evolution even conflict with religion? i don't get that at all. any all knowing being would have evolution in the "plan," seems to me. it's not a question of apes evolving into man, in my mind. who knows about that? but evolution, to me, has clearly been shown in some species. that doesn't mean god does or does not exist. i do not understand the argument and never will.

    darwin, btw, had his own agenda, being a religious man and then losing his young daughter.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cass View Post
    why does evolution even conflict with religion? i don't get that at all.
    It doesn't have to conflict with believing in a god or gods. But it does
    conflict with specific religious beliefs. If you believe in dinosaurs or the
    fossil evidence of prehistoric man, then how can you believe that our
    planet is less than 6,000 years old?

    The only religious text that even comes close to the theory of
    evolution is the Qur’an. It claims that: god created every living
    creature from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of
    them on two legs, and some on four.

    Everything did evolve from water, but I still don't believe that a
    god created anything. It took billions of years and a massive
    meteorite to produce modern humans and that is a fact.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    That's why people who preach religious dogma attack eduction and teachers first. You know, the evil "educational elite" who value science above superstition as a decision making tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenf View Post
    interesting. When your educated , you have the ability to look at things with facts , not faith.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Foolish Old View Post
    That's why people who preach religious dogma attack eduction and teachers first. You know, the evil "educational elite" who value science above superstition as a decision making tool.
    Foolish,

    It is a failure of our education system.

    According to the data, 52% of people who have had only high school education said that they did not know or had no opinion one way or another. That means that they did not learn the information that they needed to have an opinion. That is quite an indictment of our high school education system, to have 52% of Americans not getting the information they needed to answer such an important question.

    Once a person had some college education (presumably biology would be one of the courses that they took in college), the number of people who had no opinion on the subject nearly halved to 26-30%. Only 16% of people who had graduate education did not hold an opinion on evolution. So, college education is at least providing information so that people can hold an opinion.

    What is more interesting is that the number of people who did not believe in evolution did not really change so much amongst high school and college graduates. Amongst people with just high school education, the number was 27%. In people who had some college, it was 29%. In people who graduated from college, it was 22%.

    Either graduate studies reduce the number of people who don't believe in evolution to 11% or those who don't believe in evolution could not get into graduate school. We should remember that, at the higher levels, the numbers not only reflect what education does for the people but who are able to get that education.

    Wise.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    Wise,

    It really is pretty simple. If you think of education as light and ignorance as darkness, more of the former results in less of the latter.

    Formal education came to me late in life, and even then, it was not a celebrated vintage. But I drank deeply of the available mead and became intoxicated by the possibilities revealed.

    I once believed that education and the democratization of knowledge could cure all the ills of the world. (I once also naively believed that great sex could produce world peace. It wasn't until later that I realized that it would require great love) To a large extent, I still hold that belief that an educated populace offers our best promise for Utopia. But that thought has been tempered by age and experience. Two statements in this thread are worth noting...

    The first is that a large percentage (25% was the number used) of the world population is retarded. The second is your conjecture that maybe people who do not accept evolution as fact may not have been able to earn admittance to graduate school. I do not say this facetiously. Whatever the true percentage, a significant number of folks lack the cognitive ability to synthesize complex information and draw a rational conclusion. This goes beyond those who meet text book definitions of retardation and includes a host of others with cognitive dissonance. Yet, education may one day enable discovery of modalities to address even this problem.

    Or, perhaps evolution will be it's own champion.

    But, de-evolution is also a possibility. Look at the last American administration. I would hedge my bet if I were you. Find a hobby that produces callouses. They check your hands.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Foolish,

    It is a failure of our education system.

    According to the data, 52% of people who have had only high school education said that they did not know or had no opinion one way or another. That means that they did not learn the information that they needed to have an opinion. That is quite an indictment of our high school education system, to have 52% of Americans not getting the information they needed to answer such an important question.

    Once a person had some college education (presumably biology would be one of the courses that they took in college), the number of people who had no opinion on the subject nearly halved to 26-30%. Only 16% of people who had graduate education did not hold an opinion on evolution. So, college education is at least providing information so that people can hold an opinion.

    What is more interesting is that the number of people who did not believe in evolution did not really change so much amongst high school and college graduates. Amongst people with just high school education, the number was 27%. In people who had some college, it was 29%. In people who graduated from college, it was 22%.

    Either graduate studies reduce the number of people who don't believe in evolution to 11% or those who don't believe in evolution could not get into graduate school. We should remember that, at the higher levels, the numbers not only reflect what education does for the people but who are able to get that education.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Foolish Old; 04-06-2009 at 11:06 AM.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  8. #8
    Foolish,

    Good points. Most of those who are unable to grasp certain ideas cognitively or otherwise (i.e. don't have enough time or access to the information) learn quickly to accept the opinions of others as a substitute. This, by the way, happens to everybody, including scientists. For example, when I don't understand something, I accept the opinion of somebody that I believe knows better than I would.

    I was watching last night a movie by Brooke Ellison. They did an on-the-street interview of people, asking them what they thought stem cells were. Very few (probably 1 out of 5) had any idea what stem cells were. Yet, 80% of the people held opinions concerning what to do about it. I suspect that the same is true of evolution.

    Perhaps the problem is not the ignorance of people (which has always been there) but the increasing number of ignorant and biased people who spew out misinformation about subjects that they don't understand. Some of them will be believed. Most people don't have the ability, time, or access to information to evaluate issues such as evolution and stem cells.

    They consequently choose to accept the opinions of others. Some people may choose to believe their pastors, priests, or pseudoscientists. They see movies showing humans co-existing with big dinosaurs. The theory of evolution must be wrong because the movies are always right. Movies show evil criminals who clone armies of Hitlers and cloned soldiers who hate the Force.

    Wise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Foolish Old View Post
    Wise,

    It really is pretty simple. If you think of education as light and ignorance as darkness, more of the former results in less of the latter.

    Formal education came to me late in life, and even then, it was not a celebrated vintage. But I drank deeply of the available mead and became intoxicated by the possibilities revealed.

    I once believed that education and the democratization of knowledge could cure all the ills of the world. (I once also naively believed that great sex could produce world peace. It wasn't until later that I realized that it would require great love) To a large extent, I still hold that belief that an educated populace offers our best promise for Utopia. But that thought has been tempered by age and experience. Two statements in this thread are worth noting...

    The first is that a large percentage (25% was the number used) of the world population is retarded. The second is your conjecture that maybe people who do not accept evolution as fact may not have been able to earn admittance to graduate school. I do not say this facetiously. Whatever the true percentage, a significant number of folks lack the cognitive ability to synthesize complex information and draw a rational conclusion. This goes beyond those who meet text book definitions of retardation and includes a host of others with cognitive dissonance. Yet, education may one day enable discovery of modalities to address even this problem.

    Or, perhaps evolution will be it's own champion.

    But, de-evolution is also a possibility. Look at the last American administration. I would hedge my bet if I were you. Find a hobby that produces callouses. They check your hands.

  9. #9
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    What a sad statement about the "dumbing down" of American students. Blind faith allows refuting scientific facts........sad.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Them Bones's Avatar
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    Attachment 28687

    Lately I've been thinking there will always be large numbers of people in the world who have to believe in a creation myth. It's just a bummer that there are so many of them in the U.S.

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