Azara Blog: Much of the British public apparently doesn't like evolution

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Date published: 2006/01/26

The BBC says:

More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey.

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science lessons.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BBC's Horizon series.

Its latest programme, A War on Science, looks into the attempt to introduce intelligent design into science classes in the US.

Over 2000 participants took part in the survey, and were asked what best described their view of the origin and development of life:

Intelligent design is the concept that certain features of living things are so complex that their existence is better explained by an "intelligent process" than natural selection.

Andrew Cohen, editor of Horizon, commented: "I think that this poll represents our first introduction to the British public's views on this issue.

"Most people would have expected the public to go for evolution theory, but it seems there are lots of people who appear to believe in an alternative theory for life's origins."

When given a choice of three theories, people were asked which ones they would like to see taught in science lessons in British schools:

Participants over 55 were less likely to choose evolution over other groups.

Well you should be suspicious of the results of any survey, since the wording strongly influences the outcome. But hey, it's Horizon, and they are honest, aren't they? So it seems that the average member of the British public is not a heck of a lot brighter than the average member of the American public. Even to recognise that "creationism" and "intelligent design" are one and the same thing. (But here is where the wording of the survey probably had an impact.)

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