While scorn is in order - the wording of the statement might have a big effect here. The statement is "Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism."
If it had been worded as "Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with unevidenced screeds of long debunked perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism." - I'd imagine a different response rate. A better guage might have been the statement
"Inteligent design has proven itself as a suitably evidenced scientific theory that should be taught in science class."
Take solace in the likelihood that such a survey would come up 70-80% in favour when done over here
Not according to the article:
quote: About 54% of the 973 polled Britons agreed with the view: "Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism."
In the US, of 991 adults responding to the survey, which was organised by the British Council, 51% agreed that evolution should be on the curriculum alongside other theories, like intelligent design.
Across the 10 countries, 43% agreed with this statement.
Well, we've also had a much more vocal minority arguing for the inclusion of ID in science class, which leads to a much more vocal opposition to it. The Dover Trial perhaps acting as the clash between the two, with science and the side of right coming out on top.
It may be that more people have seen through the sheep's clothing, or it may be that more people are worried about being "outed" as an ID supporter after the trial. One of the problem's with polls is that people can be swayed by wording as well as their own psychology. There is no guarantee anyone's answering truthfully.
What the census says is a bit more encouraging for us Brits.
This makes me feel a bit better, though:
In England and Wales 390,127 people (almost 0.8 percent) stated their religion as Jedi on their 2001 Census forms, surpassing Sikhism, Judaism, and Buddhism, and making it the fourth largest reported religion in the country. In the 2001 Census 2.6 percent of the population of Brighton claimed to be Jedi. The percentages of religious affiliations were:
Christian: 72.0% No religion: 14.7% Chose not to respond: 7.8% Muslim: 3.1% Hindu: 1.1% Jedi: 0.79%
My question on comparing the numbers from Briton and the US is what those who didn't agree would want. The comparison is hardly fair if say 30% of those in the US against teaching both sides say so because they only want creationism taught. While older this suggests that 30% for creation only is not unreasonable
Favor schools teaching creation instead of evolution: All Americans 37% Kerry voters 24% Bush voters 45%
60 percent of Americans who call themselves Evangelical Christians, however, favor replacing evolution with creationism in schools altogether, as do 50 percent of those who attend religious services every week.
Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?" Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true" Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?" Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
I've long laughed at many American people from the bible belt (sometimes referred to as Dumfuckistan over here) but now it seems I must point to my own country in derision.
Those kind of questions often get a majority which is just indicative of a liberal "teach all angles" attitude rather than any strong opinions on the issue. Ask "should time in science classes be taken up teaching non-scientific ideas" and the great majority would probably reply "no", thinking it a rather strange question with an obvious answer.
It's not the same kind of problem here as in the U.S. for other reasons. Two thirds of British teenagers do not believe in god and 59% of them think that religion does more harm than good in the world.
Does anyone remember that Harry Enfield character, the German student who was always apologising for the behaviour of his people during the war? Well I feel a bit like that after reading this. Here goes:
I feel that I must apologise for the ignorance and superstition exhibited by my people in this survey. Please forgive them, for I am sure they were pissed out of their skulls when this poll was taken.
"We must respect the law, not let it blind us away from the basic principles of fairness, justice and freedom"
"Without knowing the exact wording of the questionnaire it's hard to make a meaningful comment..."
Very good point and I was hoping that someone would open a topic on this survey.
Because if you were to ask the average Briton in the street "Do you think intelligent design should be taught in schools", I'm sure at least 90% of those polled will never have heard of "intelligent design" as anything to do with God and Creation, they'll just think the questioner is asking "is it better to teach children intelligent design as opposed to unintelligent design?", which is a no-brainer!
We should never forget that the vast majority of British people care not a jot for religion, or evolution for that matter, and they have no awareness of the Evolution/Creation debate.
I'd be interested to hear from any Americans on this site if they think that the average American on the street would instantly recognise the term "intelligent design" as being anything to do with the Evolution/Creation debate.
Edited by Jumped Up Chimpanzee, : No reason given.
As a US citizen I would say that a good percent of people there would not recognize the meaning or significance of intelligent design. No way to know exactly at the moment, but my guess would be between 25-35%. There are people from the US who couldnt pick their own country off a map. There is true ignorance in every country of the globe. I personally couldnt care less if "alternative theories" are presented in the classroom. The fear for all of us rational people is that this allows the teaching of religion in a science class. Intelligent design can be presented without religion. A belief in a designer doesnt necessarily have to be connected with any religion. The problem is what would you do with the rest of the class period after it took less than 10 minutes to explain intelligent design without religious dogma? More evidence for evolution?