Re: New survey on opinions of evolution
- From: "Perplexed in Peoria" <jimmenegay@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 03:05:17 GMT
"Bill Wayne" <HWayne@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1155262539.948933.246730@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Perplexed in Peoria wrote:
"Alexander" <alexanderhudson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1155245841.378438.145130@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study
For National Geographic News
People in the United States are much less likely to accept Darwin's
idea that humans evolved from apes than adults in other Western
nations, a number of surveys show.
A new study of those surveys suggests that the main reason for this
lies in a unique confluence of religion, politics, and the public
understanding of biological science in the United States.
When reearchers compared the results of past surveys of attitudes
toward evolution taken in the U.S. since 1985 and similar surveys in
Japan and 32 European countries.
In the U.S., only 14 percent of adults thought that evolution was
"definitely true," while about a third firmly rejected the idea.
In European countries, including Denmark, Sweden, and France, more than
80 percent of adults surveyed said they accepted the concept of
The proportion of western European adults who believed the theory
"absolutely false" ranged from 7 percent in Great Britain to 15 percent
in the Netherlands.
The only country included in the study where adults were more likely
than Americans to reject evolution was Turkey.
This is surprising because ...
Well, one reason it might be surprising to many here would be that
the US and Turkey are very likely the only countries surveyed which
do not discuss religion in public school classrooms. The US and
Turkey have perhaps the strongest constitutional provisions for
strict separation of church and state.
And for good reason. We need it the most. :-(
I would be curious to know how the US results correlate with whether
the respondent got K-12 education in public vs parochial schools.
In the US most parochial schools are Catholic, but there are a growing
number of Baptist and Jewish schools providing religious instruction.
In the Catholic schools, and probably the Jewish schools AFAIK,
acceptance of evolution probably approaches 99%+. I doubt the Baptist
schools would be the same.
I can't say much of other Jewish schools, but the two I attended often
had religious teachers that opposed the theory and secular teaches that
I attended a Catholic high school in the early 60s. Most of the
instructors were Christian Brothers (yeah, the same dudes that sell
the brandy). In my sophomore year, my first-period religion teacher
also taught fourth-period biology. The religion textbook had a line
to the effect that belief in evolution is not exactly forbidden to
a Christian, but no devout Catholic would believe in evolution until
much more evidence were in. We asked Brother Richard about this,
but he insisted that the religion textbook was correct.
Then, when fourth period rolled around, he walked into the biology
classroom and wrote on the board in big block letters - MUCH MORE
EVIDENCE IS IN and gave an out-of-sequence lecture on the evidence.
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