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Author Topic:   Among Scientists, How Broad is Concensus?
InGodITrust
Member (Idle past 850 days)
Posts: 53
From: Reno, Nevada, USA
Joined: 05-02-2009


Message 1 of 27 (507182)
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


What percentage of scientists subscribe to evolution by natural selection?

I'd like to see a poll with a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being absolutely convinced, and 1 being very doubtful.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Stagamancer, posted 05-02-2009 4:20 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded
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 Message 6 by SammyJean, posted 05-02-2009 8:05 PM InGodITrust has not yet responded
 Message 7 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 05-03-2009 9:07 AM InGodITrust has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Percy, posted 05-03-2009 9:12 AM InGodITrust has not yet responded

    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4743
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 27 (507187)
05-02-2009 4:10 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Stagamancer
Member (Idle past 1445 days)
Posts: 174
From: Oregon
Joined: 12-28-2008


Message 3 of 27 (507189)
05-02-2009 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by InGodITrust
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


are you asking people to give you numbers from another poll or are you polling people on this site?


We have many intuitions in our life and the point is that many of these intuitions are wrong. The question is, are we going to test those intuitions?
-Dan Ariely
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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5146
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 4 of 27 (507206)
05-02-2009 6:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by InGodITrust
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


Hello, IGIT, and welcome to EvC!

I don't know if I can find it without asking an internet acquaintence who was involved, but a poll was taken among science faculty in Ohio universities a few years back, during the Discovery Institute's push to get "Intelligent Design" a foothold in their public education system. It came out way over 90% on the side of evolution, but I can't give you details of how the questions were posed. The poll did, as I remember it, include more fields than just the biological sciences.

I'll google a while, and if that fails, I'll ask my cyberfriend.


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5146
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 5 of 27 (507210)
05-02-2009 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Coragyps
05-02-2009 6:52 PM


Stand back, folks! My Google-fu is very strong today!!!

http://www.ohioscience.org/press03.shtml has the results:

A vast majority (93%) of the scientists were not aware of "any scientifically valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution"

You may already know of Project Steve - it's a semisatirical list of
now over 1000 scientists that support evolution - and they have to be named Steve. More detail at http://ncseweb.org/news/2009/02/project-steve-n-1000-004625

I' too, would like to see a survey like you propose, particularly if it were done among scientists in biological disciplines. I think it would show very plainly just how strongly evolutionary concepts are supported.


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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 602 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 6 of 27 (507216)
05-02-2009 8:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by InGodITrust
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


From my personal experience
Not that I took a poll or anything; this is from my personal experience, mind you.

I have worked in the biological sciences (biotech) for 20 years now and I, personally, have never met (in those two decades) a scientist or biologist that does not subscribe to evolution. Not ONE!


You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.
I will choose a path thats clear, I will choose free will. - Neil Peart

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."
~ Gerry Spence


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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 1535
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 7 of 27 (507265)
05-03-2009 9:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by InGodITrust
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


95% of American sceintists believed in biological evolution (either theistic or naturalistic) (which includes persons with any professional degree in fields unrelated to biological evolution, such as physics, computer science, engineering, etc) IAW a 1997 Gallup poll as shown here:
1997 Gallup Poll: Public Opinion

In a more recent gallup poll 75% of postgraduates and 60% of college graduates say that "humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life", while 22% and 37% respectively choose the "created in present form" option as shown here: Almost Half of Americans Believe Humans Did Not Evolve

It seems that most who do not subscribe to biological evolution as representing reality have very little scientific education and/or are religiously motivated.

I also found it ironic that 77% of American Jews (Judaism is the "the foundation of all the religions to its right on the above graph") agree that evolution is the "best explanation for life on Earth" as shown here:

Report: June 2008 U.S. Religious Landscape
Survey

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
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Percy
Member
Posts: 13438
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 8 of 27 (507266)
05-03-2009 9:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by InGodITrust
05-02-2009 3:56 PM


InGodITrust writes:

What percentage of scientists subscribe to evolution by natural selection?

Why do you ask? Are you suspicious that schools are teaching a theory for which there is insufficient consensus among scientists?

I was surprised that the study reported by Coragyps found that only 93% of academic scientists in Ohio saw no challenges to the theory of evolution, but reading the news report I see that the survey included both secular and religious institutions. A survey of just the top universities and research institutions in the country would likely raise the number to 99%.

Within scientific circles there's far more dissent about relativity than evolution. The only place where there's uncertainty and confusion about evolution is among the lay public, who as a group can be characterized as scientifically challenged. To have a valid opinion about evolution one should be able to describe how it works, just at a broad and undetailed level, but man-on-the-street surveys would probably reveal that less than 1 in 10 are up to the task. In fact, a fair number can't tell you if the Sun revolves around the Earth or vice versa, and can't pick out countries or even continents from an unmarked globe. In other words, that a large percentage of the lay public questions evolution is just one more piece of data confirming the sad state of education in this country.

--Percy


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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5146
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 9 of 27 (507267)
05-03-2009 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by DevilsAdvocate
05-03-2009 9:07 AM


Look at DA's second link, IGIT (I hope you're still here....) and you'll see that "man evolved" correlates very strongly with general levels of education. Presumably, more education means you've read more, even if you never took a science class past those required to get out of high school.

I, personally, had only two semesters of biology in my college career. But I took a LOT of chemistry, and some other "hard" science courses, on the way to a chemistry degree. When you do that, you can see for yourself that science actually does work - it gives accurate answers. That is why scientists come in at 95% or 93% supporting biological evolution - because science works.


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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 1535
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 10 of 27 (507270)
05-03-2009 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Coragyps
05-02-2009 7:13 PM


1085 is the current # of scientists that have signed the Project Steve petition (whose first name is Steve) as shown in this statement:

Project Steve writes:

"Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools."

also found this interesting

NCSE writes:

Project Steve pokes fun at this practice and, because "Steves" are only about 1% of scientists, it also makes the point that tens of thousands of scientists support evolution. And it honors the late Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist, NCSE supporter, and friend.

found here: Project Steve

Also found this interesting:

Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible – the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark – convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.

Currently signed by 11,894 American Christian clergy as shown here: The Clergy Letter - from American Christian clergy – An Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science.

Methodism supports teaching of evolution

Compare this to this deceptive dissent list of 763 scientists (the majority of which have no biological science background) which doesn't even state that these scientists are opposed to biological evolution but rather that they are skeptical of the validity evolutionary mechanisms of natural selection and random mutations in biological evolution as shown here:

Discovery Institute writes:

"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

No where do they mention intelligent design, creationism, theism, god or religion in this "dissent list". This list is a fraud and shows the desperate measure the DI and other creationists will go to promote there agenda.

Found here: A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism a project of intelligent design's "flagship" the Discovery Institute

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
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DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 64 days)
Posts: 1535
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 11 of 27 (507271)
05-03-2009 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Percy
05-03-2009 9:12 AM


I agree with the 99% figure. I did some research a while back and compared the 763 figure of scientists who signed the DI "evolution dissent list" and compared that to the # of biological scientists/researchers in the USA and worldwide. The figures came out to approximately 99.7% "(USA- several hundred thousand compared to 763) biological scientists/researchers and 99.99% (worldwide) who had not signed this publicized "evolutionary dissent list" and by proxy agree to evolution being the underpinning of modern biological science.

It is on my old computer and will see if I can dig it up.

Needless to say the evidence is overwhelming that there is no argument against the reality of biological evolution (only in the ID/creationists mind) in the scientific community. It is only the scientifically uneducated and religiously motivated population that questions evolution.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Dr. Carl Sagan
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InGodITrust
Member (Idle past 850 days)
Posts: 53
From: Reno, Nevada, USA
Joined: 05-02-2009


Message 12 of 27 (507305)
05-03-2009 2:33 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by DevilsAdvocate
05-03-2009 10:12 AM


Thanks People
Thanks everyone. Your replies give me a good sense of the strong concensus. No need for anyone to spend anymore time on this.

I was under the impression that there was a larger fraction of the scientific community that doubted evolution. I might have got this from a Christian radio program titled "Creation Momments". On this program, they present an argument against evolution, and at times follow up with something like "no wonder more and more scientists have trouble with evolution".


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Huntard
Member (Idle past 226 days)
Posts: 2854
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 13 of 27 (507308)
05-03-2009 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by InGodITrust
05-03-2009 2:33 PM


Re: Thanks People
InGodITrust writes:

I was under the impression that there was a larger fraction of the scientific community that doubted evolution. I might have got this from a Christian radio program titled "Creation Momments". On this program, they present an argument against evolution, and at times follow up with something like "no wonder more and more scientists have trouble with evolution".


Yes, they are saying this all the time, however, it is simply not true. If you research more claims by creationist further, you will probably come to the conclusion that this holds true for alot more of their claims (the not being true part). Just a bit of advice, not believing the claims of creationists does not mean you are not a "good Christian".


I hunt for the truth
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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 115 days)
Posts: 2812
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 14 of 27 (507309)
05-03-2009 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by InGodITrust
05-03-2009 2:33 PM


More and more scientists........!!!
InGodITrust writes:

I was under the impression that there was a larger fraction of the scientific community that doubted evolution. I might have got this from a Christian radio program titled "Creation Momments". On this program, they present an argument against evolution, and at times follow up with something like "no wonder more and more scientists have trouble with evolution".

I realise that you're satisfied with the answers you've been given, IGIT, but the phrase you quoted (or paraphrased) there at the end ("no wonder more and more scientists have trouble with evolution") reminded me of something funny. Creationists have always been saying this, and it's getting like a broken record.

For example (my bolds):

quote:

"Today, at the dawn of the new century, nothing is more certain than that Darwinism has lost its prestige among men of science. It has seen its day and will soon be reckoned a thing of the past. A few decades hence when people will look back upon the history of the doctrine of Descent, they will confess that the years between 1860 and 1880 were in many respects a time of carnival; and the enthusiasm which at that time took possession of the devotees of natural science will appear to them as the excitement attending some mad revel." Eberhard Dennert, At the Deathbed of Darwinism, 1904


quote:

"The science of twenty or thirty years ago was in high glee at the thought of having almost proved the theory of biological evolution. Today, for every careful, candid inquirer, these hopes are crushed; and with weary, reluctant sadness does modern biology now confess that the Church has probably been right all the time" - George McCready Price, quoted in J. E. Conant’s The Church The Schools And Evolution (1922)

quote:

"I suspect that the creationist has less mystery to explain away than the wholehearted evolutionist. On the balance of the things that I have both read and discovered for myself I am a creationist, so far as mega-evolution is concerned. By mega-evolution one refers to the origin of kingdoms, phyla, classes and orders, the largest groups in any classification of living things. I concede micro-evolution, of course, which is the origin by evolutionary processes of species, genera, and even families. An increasing number of thoughtful scientists seem to be adopting this view, which I should add is decades old, and far from being original." ~ Evan Shute, Flaws in the Theory of Evolution, (Nutley, New Jersey: Craig Press, 1961)


This page has many more amusing quotes on the same lines:

http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8598
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 15 of 27 (507312)
05-03-2009 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by InGodITrust
05-03-2009 2:33 PM


Mistakes, distortions and lies
"no wonder more and more scientists have trouble with evolution".

They have been saying this for decades and decades. They wish that evolution would finally be rejected but it isn't happening.

However, taken all by itself, out of context I can make a case that the above statement is true!

More and more scientists are interested in evolutionary processes and effects. So more and more scientists are studying it for one reason or another (even aircraft designers now).

Evolution is a very complex phenomena. We do not have all the details sorted out and explained. So almost all scientists involved have "trouble" with it. In fact if they did not have "trouble" there would be nothing to do research on.

However, the "trouble" is in the myriad details of how things have unfolded and tiny issues in the application of the theory (e.g., what is needed for speciation to occur, is there selection at the gene, individual, species or ecosystem level and so on). The "trouble" is not with the overall expression of the theory and certainly not with the fact that life on earth has evolved generally as described.

Edited by NosyNed, : No reason given.


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