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Britons Unconvinced on Evolution 2035

pryonic writes "The BBC is reporting that more than half of Britons do not believe in evolution, with a further 40% advocating that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science classes. I'm a Brit myself, and I thought most people over here thought these views were outdated and lacked substance. None of my close friends give any credit to creationism or ID, but we're all well educated athiests so I guess that's to be expected. Maybe I've been blind to the views of the majority in this proudly secular country?"
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Britons Unconvinced on Evolution

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  • Et tu, Britannia? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:37AM (#14566943)

    On one hand, I'm happy to see that rampant idiocy isn't a uniquely American trait.

    On the other hand, however, I'm seriously troubled by this. I guess I was kinda counting on the rest of the world to bitchslap America back to sanity sooner or later, but now it appears that we can't count on the global community saving the day for rationality.

    Of particular concern is the statistics quoted:

    • 22% chose creationism
    • 17% opted for intelligent design
    • 48% selected evolution theory
    • and the rest did not know.

    In other words, 39% chose creationism, as there is no discernable difference between creationism and ID. Score another victory for ID, for once again successfully obfuscating the issue.

    Even worse were the statistics regarding what to teach in schools:

    • 44% said creationism should be included
    • 41% intelligent design
    • 69% wanted evolution as part of the science curriculum.

    Again, nice and confusing, especially when you consider that these statistics don't add up to 100%. I understand that some people would like to see more than one 'theory' taught (the old 'teach the controversy' BS), but displaying the results in this manner is misleading in the extreme. Equally confusing is the fact that the percentage of people who 'did not know' in the previous set of statistics isn't enumerated. One would assume it to be 13%, but in the light of the second set of statistics, who knows?
    • by dan dan the dna man ( 461768 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#14566989) Homepage Journal
      I very much dount that many people asked about ID actually knew what it really is, or how hotly debated a non-topic it is.

      Grab 2000 of any random population off the streets of any city, and ask them to define "Intelligent Design" and I bet less than 17% will give you anything approaching what the proponents of this idoicy are spouting.
      • Re:Et tu, Britannia? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by The Only Druid ( 587299 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:05AM (#14567296)
        As a particularly comical example of this, have a look at the recent Dover County court decision (Kitzmiller). In it, the ruling Judge wisely points at that amongst the advocates of intelligent design, there was essentially no agreement as to its meaning. In fact, one school board member continually referred to it as "intelligence design [sic]", another believed it was the same as creationism, another believed it only referred to the emergence of intelligence, etc.
      • by VdG ( 633317 )
        Without knwoing a lot more about what was asked, to whom, and what they actually replied it's hard to be sure. However, I'm pretty sure you're right, that it indicates a general ignorance, (and likely indifference) of the subject. It really hasn't been an issue over here and the controvorsy in the USA hasn't received a lot of general news coverage. Unless one is already interested in science, or pays some attention to US news one is unlikely to know what all the fuss is about.

        That said, although the main
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:32PM (#14568566)
        None of my close friends give any credit to creationism or ID, but we're all well educated athiests so I guess that's to be expected.

        None of my close friends like eating pork, but we're all well educated jewish rabbis so I guess that's to be expected.
    • by Yahweh Doesn't Exist ( 906833 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:48AM (#14567070)
      >39% chose creationism

      still less in total than evolution though.

      one important thing (in my experience) the UK doesn't have so much of is militant fundamentalism. people might say they believe in creationism, but then lots of people still claim to believe in god. they don't do anything about it though. even if they agree it should be taught in schools they aren't taking over schoold boards for it.

      basically I think the difference is that in America you have the very dangerous combination of
      1. Churches are big businesses (much more so than elsewhere)
      2. businesses can easily buy into politics

      the ID movement is 99.9% a PR campaign.
      • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:14AM (#14567430)
        Perhaps the most scathing charge you can make against those people, then, is hypocrisy or intellectual cowardice. They admit that God exists, and continue to live lives as though God does not exist.

        That sounds to me just as respectible as believing that eating 20 Twkinkies a day will likely kill your kids quickly, and ignoring that fact because you don't want to make a fuss.

        I'm not religious, so don't bother slandering me for that reason. I'm just pointing out an inconsistency in the Britons you describe.
        • >They admit that God exists, and continue to live lives as though God does not exist.

          I find this to be true of most theists.

          when I try to imagine what it would be like to believe in a benevolent god, I think it would be such an amazing thing I don't see how any part of my life would be unaffected. I think that if someone really believed in god it would be obvious without even asking.
          • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:46AM (#14567880) Homepage Journal
            "when I try to imagine what it would be like to believe in a benevolent god, I think it would be such an amazing thing I don't see how any part of my life would be unaffected. I think that if someone really believed in god it would be obvious without even asking."

            For some people it is because they no longer feel safe letting it show. Many atheists are every bit as nasty as some fundamentalist. Instead of you declaring you an sinner and immoral they declare you an idiot, fool, and yes evil.

            While it is okay in most work places to talk about getting drunk, going out and partying all night, or how much you lost playing poker. A discussion of how much fun you had at church teaching the kids in your Sunday school class makes people nervous and some will snub you.

            Telling everyone how reading Men are Mars and Women are from Venus has improved you marriage is okay. Telling everyone how praying with your wife and kids everyday has improved your marriage is not.

            You asked so I thought I would share my experiences with you.
            A good example is my own mother. She noticed that of all her kids that my wife and I have the happiest marriage. I told her that a large part of that came from both of us following our faiths teachings. Her response was, "Well some people need that."
            Oh well.

            You are right and it is an amazing thing. Every once in a while a friend or co worker that isn't of my faith for some reason asks me for advice and help when things are really going wrong and I try and help with what I have learned through my faith. Even I try and keep it to myself. I often feel that I must only speak of it in hushed whispers. It is hard because I really don't want to make people feel uncomfortable but at the same time I have no idea why it should make anyone feel uncomfortable.

            I do not believe in creationism. I do believe in ID but at the cosmic level I.E. the prime cause and designer of the universe. I believe in evolution because I see the evidence and believe that the universe was set up to allow it.
            • by Gulik ( 179693 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @04:39PM (#14572186)
              I often feel that I must only speak of it in hushed whispers. It is hard because I really don't want to make people feel uncomfortable but at the same time I have no idea why it should make anyone feel uncomfortable.

              The problem, I think, is that while there are many people of faith, the quiet ones are, you perceive, not the ones whose voices rise above the crowd. The ones that get heard are the shrill idiots, and as a result other people tend to assume that everyone with faith central to their lives is a shrill idiot. Which, obviously, doesn't work out so well for those of you who aren't shrill idiots, don't think that faith gives you a license to dismiss science, and do have something constructive to say in this debate.
    • by terevos ( 148651 )

      > On one hand, I'm happy to see that rampant idiocy isn't a uniquely American trait.

      This is one of the reasons Evolution has been rejected by a lot of people. Just as ultra-right wing Christians really turn people off, this kind of statement also turns people off.

      Personally, I don't believe in Evolution. That doesn't make me an idiot. I simply disagree with the theory. That doesn't mean I don't understand it, I simply don't agree with it. It doesn't mean I'm ignorant either - I know more about Evolut

      • by Anonymous Coward
        As a biochemist, I can unequivocally say that if you don't "believe" in evolution, then you certainly do not understand it, however much you tell yourself that you do.

        You obviously have attempted to learn on your own about this. That would normally be commendable, but you have made mistakes somewhere that you need to correct by learning from experts.

        Plus, the fact that you use the term "macro-evolution" sort of gives the game away as to your preferred source of information. Please stop spending time at the
      • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:03AM (#14567272)
        But that doesn't mean I think Intelligent Design is science, either. But neither is a whole lot that goes on with Evolution and other supporting theories that are based on something other than experimentation. Fact is, there has never been an experiment with macro-evolution - until there is, Macro-Evolution is simply a theory and, IMO, a weak one at that.

        You're right there. Same with Plate Tectonics. I mean, sure, we've found the mid-Atlantic ridge and measured how it's spreading a tiny amount each year, I don't disagree with Micro-Continental-Drift. It's only Macro-Continental-Drift I disagree with. Pangaea? Rubbish. And all the magnetic reversal patterns and matching rock formations on separate continents that the scientists come up with are IMO really weak.

        And don't get me started on Macro-Addition. I mean, we know 1+1=2, we can test that by counting things, but AFAIK nobody in the world has ever seen more than a few million of anything at one time. And yet these scientists tell us about billions of this and trillions of that, and then they even make up a new way of writing numbers that doesn't even use names! Exponential notation is only a theory, and IMO, a weak one at that.

      • by realnowhereman ( 263389 ) <andyparkins@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:22AM (#14567569)
        Personally, I don't believe in Evolution. That doesn't make me an idiot.

        Yes it does. Do you believe in gravity? Do you believe in medicine? Electricity? Mobile phones? Radio? Nuclear physics? Biology? Geology? Maths?

        Why is it that evolution gets special treatment in the world of science? It's as scientifically valid as all these other things, and yet somehow ill-educated pseudo-itellectuals like yourself think that you get to pick and choose what is valid and what isn't. Science is not a democracy, it's fact based. Don't "believe" in evolution, show us something better.

        That doesn't mean I don't understand it

        Yes it does.

        Just as the Theory of Gravity has some problems

        Really? You pass yourself off as being some sort of expert. What exactly are the problems you see with the theory of gravity? Why not write them down, present some evidence, I'm sure your views will be published in some learned journal and then we can all see how wise you are. Then you can tell us what's wrong with evolution as well.

        Throughout the entire history of science, when things "need to be understood better" it has generally been through an evolution of ideas -- Newtonian mechanics wasn't wrong, it just needed some extra bits bolting on, Einsteinian relativity isn't wrong, it just need some quantum stuff attaching. Each discovery builds on the last. Evolution is the same, there are holes and gaps and things we don't yet understand, but these will be filled and modified and adapted - the theory will get better.

        There have been very few absolute reversals in science, why do you expect that evolution will be any different?
        • by Marc_Hawke ( 130338 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:11PM (#14568255)
          The first thing you learn in Science is the story about water in a tub.

          If you fill a tub full of water and then reduce the water coming out of the faucet to a drip, you can easily get a scientist to give you the wrong answer by bringing him in at this point and asking how long it took for the tub to fill up.

          It would be ridiculous to argue against the current rates of mutation and natural selection. However, it's also ridiculous to just assume it's happened that same way for all of history.

          It's perfectly fine to say "IF it has always happened this way" then this is how things played out. The problem arises when you flatly refuse to listen to, and try to belittle anyone who says that the tub was filled beforehand.
          • by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @05:05PM (#14572525) Journal
            The first thing we do is the calculation you refer to. We discuss how plausible the constancy of rate hypothesis is. (In this case, we note that the tap (faucet, to you) is capable of delivering more or less water.) Then we discuss how the inferred filling time relates to our other knowledge (does it imply the bath was half full before the house was built?) That is the first paper. It presents an interesting observation, and the most obvious interpretation, with suitable caveats.

            In the second paper, we try to infer subtle effects of the constant-rate hypothesis (CR). We observe material deposited on the side of the bath at water level, and conclude that under CR, we should see these deposits uniformly continued at deeper levels. We start applying for grants to do a bath-dive expedition to observe them, but don't get funding.

            In the third paper, different group calculates that, had the rate been much higher in the past, we should observe water droplets splashed on the wall. This being easily accessible, they have looked for them and found them.

            The fourth through tenth papers are analyses of how fast the water flow needed to be to spash that high, how long it was high flow to explain the frequency, and how old the drops are. It takes a while before the theorists agree on the correct mathematical treatment. The question of whether the quantity of water added by dripping is significant is still within the margin of error.

            Now there is sufficient interest, we finally get the grant to do the bath dive. We observe no deposits below the current level, and conclude the dripping phase has been at most a few days. The Fast Fill theory of the bath enters the textbooks.

            10 years later, the principle authors of the first and third papers share the Nobel prize in Domestic Hydrology.

            I am an evolutionary scientist. We don't follow your straw-man portrayal of how science works.
        • by workindev ( 607574 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @01:17PM (#14569260) Homepage
          By it's very definition, Scientific Method [] requires reproducible experimentation in order to support a hypothesis or prediction. By it's very nature, macro evolution is impossible to experimentally reproduce. Finding small, old bones in Africa only proves that there were small, old bones in Africa. Any further hypothesis generated from this observation has to be supported by reproducible experiments, and the only way to reproduce this experiment would be to put a bunch of monkeys in a closed system and wait around for a few hundred million years to see if they start making cars, programming computers, and flying airplanes.

          It is interesting how intellectual snobs, such as yourself, fail to grasp this concept. Macro evolution is not proven by observation as you claim, it is an theory that tries to explain observation.

          There have been very few absolute reversals in science, why do you expect that evolution will be any different?

          What are you talking about? Science is always changing. A few thousand years ago, Science taught that the world was flat and that the earth was the center of the universe. A few hundred hears ago, science thought that illness meant you were possessed by a demon or troll. If you think that scientific though is not going to be drastically different centuries from now, you are ignoring history.
      • by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:55AM (#14568011)
        Interesting. What's you level of understanding of Evolution. BSc Biochemistry/Zoology/Biology/Genetics? Master, or PhD? Or basic schooling with a few easy books on the side and an armchair expert?

        The basic theory of evolution holds water, and models of it's behaviour (i.e. emergent systems) show a natural tendancy to improvement. Speciation events have been catalogued. Mutation and selection for fitness traits has been observed.
        Evolution, as a theory is a very strong one. The further back in history one goes, the less survives from the time period, thus the harder it is to obtain the evidence and a clear audit trail (have you ever tried finding clothing from 2000 years ago, which is in a clearly recorded era of history?).

        I'd actually be interested in hearing your dispute with the theory of Evolution. You've said it needs to be understood in a drastically different way, but can you explain why?
        If you've got clear evidence of a flaw, then I'd be happy to listen. If you just say 'because it does', then that's not a debate.
        Personally, I treat evolution as a good guideline (the best I know of), and leverage it while writing adaptive/learning systems.
        If you've got a better method, I'll be happy to listen, as it'd make my life a lot easier.
    • Re:Et tu, Britannia? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Cruciform ( 42896 )
      I like to think of it this way:

      Evolution: Shit happens. Sometimes it's good shit. Sometimes it's bad shit. We just have to live with it.

      Creationism: God is all powerful and all knowing, and made everyting. He still does it wrong now and then because he's a sadist.

      Intelligent Design: "God" didn't make the universe, but he enjoys meddling with it. Like a 12 year old with a chemistry set. (sure, that's not the way that the proponents really see it, but if they want to claim they're not creationists they need s
    • by JeanPaulBob ( 585149 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:56AM (#14567180)
      The difference is in common ancestry and the ages of the earth & universe.

      "Creationism" generally refers to Young Earth Creationism. And, sometimes, Old Earth Creationism, which has an old Earth but says that God made life directly.

      ID is about saying that there are features of the life we see that point to design, generally by saying that the features are too complex. This can include Theistic Evolutionists, if they believe that God stepped in to tweak the evolutionary process in key places. ID says nothing about common ancestry or the ages of the earth & universe.
    • by dc29A ( 636871 )
      # 22% chose creationism
      # 17% opted for intelligent design

      I am willing to bet that those who picked ID didn't look farther than their noses. Not to mention the pollers don't have a clue about ID.

      ID *IS* creationism. If someone removes the theological binders, it's obvious to see why ID is creationism.

      Let's suppose ID is right. Let's suppose our existance is due to some designer (aliens, Q, little green men, whatnot). We must ask immediately: Well ... who designed our designer? And how about our designer's de
    • Let me start this off by saying I'm agnostic, so don't bother loosing venom on me as a zealot in either camp.

      I think that poll itself has a false dichotomy between evolution and I.D., and should not have forced respondants to make a mutually exclusive choice.

      From a religious perspective, I see two versions of evoluation theory. Both versions say that evolution happens through the whacking of unsuitable species.

      Here's the difference between the two theories: athiests and naturalists will hold that the gener
    • by danpsmith ( 922127 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:37AM (#14567770)
      I understand that some people would like to see more than one 'theory' taught (the old 'teach the controversy' BS), but displaying the results in this manner is misleading in the extreme.

      I don't understand this mentality in this particular case, simply because from all my research and my reading on the topic, the answer is simple: within the scientific community there simply is no "controversy."

      People seem to confuse the debate here, we are talking about science class, science class is teaching what the scientific community presents as its best theories on a certain subject. Now the word "theory" doesn't mean an indisputable fact, but it doesn't mean, as people in layterms think of it a hypothesis or an idea. Theories are founded upon and are used to unite empirical facts observed by the community and are the subject of intense scrutiny. To put it in more eloquent words, "in science, facts change more often than theories."

      I think there is a great danger in presenting this as a serious controversy to students. The theory of evolution is not under serious debate within the scientific community, it is generally accepted. It is what the scientific community tells us that really should be the subject of a science class, isn't that about right?

      If we are going to teach the controversy about evolution, then we should teach students about the people opposing other generally accepted scientific theories with little or no evidence as well. We should present every yahoo with an argument against anything if we want to be fair. (I realize that we don't have the time for that, but that's precisely the point. We don't have the time to be teaching this "controversy" either.) I don't understand why evolution needs to be singled out.

      Christianity or being pious has really nothing to do with the debate either. A lot of scientists that work in the field of biology are churchgoing Christians. If they see the ability for duality here, why should we let the extremists run the debate?

      We are dealing here with a serious issue that has to do with public ignorance. Most people simply do not understand what science is at a philosophical level or how it operates.

  • by thefirelane ( 586885 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:38AM (#14566949)
    I think The Economist said it best:

    "Intelligent Design is something Britons read about with a smirk before they turn to the Horoscope section"

    (from memory, but very close)
  • Finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by muellerr1 ( 868578 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:38AM (#14566952) Homepage
    Proof that Americans don't have a monopoly on ignorance!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:39AM (#14566957)
    All the self-righteous USA bashers (and this is something people attack the US for despit there being much more toxic religious beliefs around the world) eventually find out their countires are just as stupid as any other.

    *Humanity* is a pack of low grade morons, folks. No one country or society has any lock on the Stupid Prize.

  • Not surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyphertube ( 62291 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:41AM (#14566971) Homepage Journal
    This seems to happen everywhere. Mostly people think that a certain idea, that perhaps has little scientific basis, should be taught in school, when they support the idea.

    I believe in a creator. Sure. But should creation be taught in a science class? No. Why?

    Because I know that somehow my religious beliefs that I want to teach to my children will not be taught according to how I believe. Worse off would be if they were completely opposed, like someone teaching creation by that damn spaghetti monster.

    Keep science to science. Start teaching classes that encourage people to look at other viewpoints and learn to see the downsides of their own arguments. Only then will a generation gain the wisdom to not think this is such a great idea.
  • Athiest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by feagle814 ( 640886 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#14566984)
    I don't understand why everyone feels it's necessary to misspell "atheist" by reversing the I and E.

    Well-educated? Sure.
  • Proudly secular? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Snamh Da Ean ( 916391 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#14566987)
    You mean that country in Europe where the head of state is also the head of the state's established church? And where you can't be head of state unless you're a member of the established church.

    • Re:Proudly secular? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:22AM (#14567560)

      It's true that we have a state religion. It's also true that it receives no government funding and is followed by a minority of people.

      It's true that our head of state is the Queen. It's also true that the monarchy lacks any real power and is kept around out of tradition.

      It's true that our schools are legally bound to provide collective daily worship of a Christian nature. It's also true that more than three-quarters of schools ignore this law, and that parents have the legal right to have their kids opt out anyway.

      I think you are mixing up England and the UK too. While it's true that there's a Church of England and a Church of Scotland, other areas of the UK got rid of their official faiths.

      So technically we are under the rule of a religious monarchy, but in practice we are a modern democratic secular country.

  • Ambiguity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tyler_larson ( 558763 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#14566988) Homepage
    Believing in evolution is something of a vague concept. If I believe in the concept of natural selection (which is readily observable), do I have to believe that life came from a chance encounter of amino acids in some primordial soup a gazillion years ago? How much am I agreeing to?
  • Genius (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:44AM (#14567023)
    None of my close friends give any credit to creationism or ID, but we're all well educated athiests so I guess that's to be expected.

    Wow. Fantastic deduction.

    • Re:Genius (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ryman ( 518071 )
      Well said.

      Is anyone else sick of this kind of attitude in the "scientific" community? Referring specifically to matters of the origin of life and the idea of intraspecies evolution, neither theory is even close to establishing scientific proof of their ideas, yet the intellectually "elite" have no problem ridiculing those who don't believe in evolution wholesale.

      The dogmatic way these people insult those who challenge their beliefs is reminiscent, frankly, of the religious fundamentalists that they des

      • Re:Genius (Score:4, Insightful)

        by yet another coward ( 510 ) < minus poet> on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:21PM (#14568400)
        Scientific proof? Science is about evidence and pragmatic proposals describing processes. Reminisce as you please. Science is about consistency with observations, and its conclusions are always provisional.

        I am sick of such mischaracterization of science in the act of making terrible arguments that appeal to how much you dislike attitudes rather than actual observations.
      • Re:Genius (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @12:23PM (#14568422)
        Well said. Is anyone else sick of this kind of attitude in the "scientific" community? Referring specifically to matters of the origin of life and the idea of intraspecies evolution, neither theory is even close to establishing scientific proof of their ideas, yet the intellectually "elite" have no problem ridiculing those who don't believe in evolution wholesale.

        Hold your praise, because I don't particularly agree with that. Evolution is as close to established fact as any "theory" can be. Additionally, ID/Creationism isn't a "theory," rather "dogma," because it seeks to mold facts around its ideas rather than the other way around. Evolution has been shown very solidly to explain transitions between specific species. The fact that not every fossil of every creature has been found is not a weakness.

        How else do you explain the venom that they spew at those who question what they consider sacred?

        Because the religious nuts are trying to screw with public schools where the rest of us have to send our kids? No one cares if they miseducate their own kids in parochial schools. I agree that tolerance is called for - of the people. However, ID simply IS NOT SCIENCE, nor should be treated as such. It is not testable or disprovable. I will not even consider it until it yields a testable hypothesis. As Pauli would say, "That's not right. That's not even wrong!" The meaning there is that a theory isn't a theory unless it could potentially be tested and found to be flawed. Same with ID. You can't prove the existence of God, it's not worth the effort.

        If their theory has so much evidence behind it, you'd think they'd welcome the chance to convince the rest of us further...

        It's kind of like teaching a pig to sing...wastes your time and annoys the pig. If someone has chosen to generally reject the scientific method and accept religion, that's fine. But they're not doing it based on available evidence, and as such there's no real reason to believe that more evidence will convince them. I've realized the futility of this long ago. So I don't try to convince creationists. I just want them out of public office.

        To summarize, ID is religion in sheep's clothing. The one thing I do agree with you about is this: science isn't religion, and shouldn't be treated as such - and vice versa.

  • Species Evolve (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krgallagher ( 743575 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:45AM (#14567028) Homepage
    I am always confused by the fact that everyone thinks the theory of evolution is a theory about the creation of life on earth. The theory of evolution can be summed up in two words; species evolve. Sure there is all that subtext about natural selection, but in essence, the theory is that species evolve.

    I do not understand how anyone can deny the truth of this. We see it in action time and time again. There are species that were introduced to Hawaii in modern times that have since evolved into new species. I saw one of the best arguments for evolution here on /. as a sig. It said "If you do not believe in evolution, why are you worried about the bird flu?"

    • Re:Species Evolve (Score:4, Insightful)

      by condensate ( 739026 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:18AM (#14567513)
      Well look at it this way. Evolution is an ongoing process. It is not so long since everybody hat to believe that earth is a flat dish with some water around, and that in fact it's the centre of everything anyway. We know better today, because we have evidence in everyday life.

      The paradigm change took us about 1000 years - no big span for evolution and we're still at it. The one important thing is that evolution itself does not really care about what we think or how we feel life the universe and everything should be. It just moves on. This of course also means that in order to survive, a human being more than ever needs to be rational, sharp thinking and not obfuscating anything - IN THE LONG RUN. So in the end, you are better off if you stop clinging to your cherished believes just because it's easier to accept. That's why brains evolved in the end - it is evolutionary more favorably to be able to THINK. Some of us are better - they stay in the gene pool, some of us less so. And in the end this also means we become educated enough to abandon believes that are just comfortable because they do not trouble us. Evolution is still at work and will be until the end.

      Think about how many people believed in evolution 100 years ago. It's a rapid change and I can understand people who refuse to believe that some millions of years ago, we started to leave our beloved trees. In terms of evolution, this is yet a smaller amount of time than the flat earth - ball shaped earth within a galaxy amongst galaxies shift.

  • by arevos ( 659374 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:47AM (#14567057) Homepage
    I'd like to see the questions they asked for the survey. It's all too easy to get the results you want with carefully worded questions. I can't think of anyone I know who believes in such nonsense, so I'm taking this with significantly large grain of salt.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:52AM (#14567117)
    As an Englishman in my late 30s I call utter bullshit on this article. These are the fanciful lies of someone with an agenda. I don't know where they pretend to have got their research from, but it's patently untrue. I never met a single person over here who even heard of "intelligent design" (a USA manufactured nonsense) and seriously nobody believes in creationism, even really old people. A more interesting question for me is, why would someone make up such an obvious pack of lies and for what reason?
  • by goodEvans ( 112958 ) <> on Thursday January 26, 2006 @10:52AM (#14567126) Homepage
    I really have difficulty in beleiving this. Even here in god-fearing catholic Ireland, everyone I know thinks that creationism is bunk. The only thing I can think of is that they stood in the middle of the street and shouted, "Anyone like to give their views on Creationism and Intelligent Design?" That way they would only have got the religious nuts who espouse this pre-enlightenment throwback. Even the Vatican says that Intelligent Design is not science [].
  • by borgheron ( 172546 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:01AM (#14567243) Homepage Journal
    I was once told a story by a friend who is Jewish, I am an atheist, he said that "The Rabis think it's quite amusing that Christians take the Genesis story to be the literal truth." You see, the old testament is derived from the Torah. Rabis have been studying it for a long time (i.e. millenia).

    Additionally, it should provide a clue when the Vatican itself proclaims that "The theory of evolution is perfectly compatible with the Bible, it is fundamentalists who are trying to read literally a portion of the bible which was never meant to be interpreted scientifically."

    People seem, for whatever reason, bound and determined to believe in this myth. Why? Who knows. If they want to be ignorant, let them be. There's too much scientific evidence in favor of evolution to deny that it's true.

    Later, GJC
  • by Himring ( 646324 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#14567584) Homepage Journal
    There is no theory of evolution, just a list of animals Chuck Norris has allowed to live....

  • by aborchers ( 471342 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:23AM (#14567586) Homepage Journal
    I think you forgot the first adjective: "smug".

  • by Techguy666 ( 759128 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:32AM (#14567697)
    Having seen the movie, "Underworld: Evolution", I'm starting to believe that the concept of evolution needs to be banished, if for no other reason than to prevent entertainment companies from coming up with these ideas.

    Underworld: Evolution (movie)
    Evolution (movie)
    King of Fighters Evolution (video game)
    Turok: Evolution (video game)

  • by doombob ( 717921 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:42AM (#14567831) Homepage
    It's interesting to see how many post are talking about religion being one of the reasons people don't believe in evolution. Someone else did the work for me, but the research from UK based [] says that very few Britons actually go to church. The research goes on to say a few things about the religious nature of the UK. I'm not saying that I agree with them, but maybe that many people just aren't convinced that evolution is the most accurate theory to explain how we got here. This study just may show the skeptical nature of people across the Atlantic.
  • by Americano ( 920576 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @11:43AM (#14567834)
    Two comments brought to mind by this article...

    One is an article (can't remember who by, sorry) that I read shortly after the 2004 election, taking Democrats to task for the re-election of George Bush. Essentially, the author was relating her conversation with a Democrat friend, who exclaimed something to the effect of, "I don't know HOW that man could have gotten re-elected, I don't know ANYBODY who voted for him!" The point of the article was that we all tend to assume that everybody thinks the same way we (and our small circle of friends) do, and it's often disconcerting to find that we're outside the mainstream, or that a very sizable portion of the general population disagrees with us.

    I'm also tickled to see that, despite all of the characterizations of Americans as backwoods hillbillies due to the seeming popularity of ID & Creationism here, apparently idiocy knows no national boundaries. I'll be waiting to see the coverage of this in the newspapers & magazines like Time & Newsweek... I probably shouldn't hold my breath for it, because this thinking doesn't dovetail with the image of americans that the world has grown comfortable with, namely that we're overwhelmingly mouth-breathing troglodytes, while the rest of the world consists of polished, cosmopolitan, urbane, well-manicured people.
  • by korielgraculus ( 591914 ) on Thursday January 26, 2006 @08:01PM (#14574364)
    ...and knowing the British, the phrase they missed out of the original article was "of the 3% who bothered to answer our questions ...."

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.