It’s not only Americans who don’t believe in evolution. Pat Ashworth writes in the Church Times about recent research on this. Rescue Darwin rows from extremes, says theology think tank.
ONLY 37 per cent of people in the UK believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is “beyond reasonable doubt”, research by Theos, a public- theology think tank, suggests.
Of those questioned, 32 per cent think that Young Earth Creationism (YEC — “the belief that God created the world some time in the past 10,000 years”) is either “definitely or probably true”, and 51 per cent say the same of Intelligent Design (which Theos defines as “The idea that evolution alone is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is needed at key stages”). The report describes the term Intelligent Design (ID) as “slippery”.
The fact that these figures do not add up shows how confused and often contradictory the population is in its opinions, say the authors of the report Rescuing Darwin, Nick Spencer, director of studies at Theos, and Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. They describe it as “a sorry state of affairs”, in an age when the theory is now incontestable in scientific circles and when advances in genetics have strengthened it.
Theos has published a press release, Half of Britons sceptical about evolution, and the report Rescuing Darwin is available as a PDF, and the research tables are available as another PDF here. From the press release:
Only half of the UK population consistently choose evolution over creationism or Intelligent Design, according to a major report published today by Theos.
The report, entitled Rescuing Darwin, published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth (February 12), draws on extensive new research conducted by the polling agency, ComRes (see tables below).
It reveals that only 25% of British adults think that evolution is “definitely true”, with another quarter thinking it is “probably true”.
The remaining 50% are either strongly opposed or simply confused about the issue. Around 10% of people consistently choose (Young Earth) Creationism (the belief that God created the world some time in the last 10,000 years) over evolution, and about 12% consistently prefer Intelligent Design or “ID” (the idea that evolution alone is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things). The remainder of the population, over 25%, are unsure and often mix evolution, ID and creationism together…
Whatever the exact numbers are, it seems pretty clear that most of the people in the UK who are “sceptical about evolution” are not active religious believers.