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Planet Earth

Brits on Evolution

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJanuary 26, 2006 8:59 PM


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Allegedly the British populace is not nearly so pro-evolution as one might assume. That's the finding of a survey just released in connection with a BBC special, but I'm a bit skeptical of the results in at least one respect. The survey asked over 2000 participants what best described their view of the origin and development of life, whereupon 22 percent chose creationism, 17 percent chose intelligent design, and 48 percent chose evolution. (The rest were, as usual, clueless.) Now, I suspect that perceptive readers of this blog will have already noticed the problem with this data. That's right: "intelligent design" is a form of creationism. By presenting creationism and ID as alternatives, then, the poll gave Britons two anti-evolution options to choose from rather than what probably should have been one.

I'm not a polling expert, but it seems to me that this could certainly have skewed the results away from support of evolution. So until I see more polls, I'm going to withhold judgment about whether the country that has Darwin's picture on ten pound note is nevertheless somehow abandoning him.

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