Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who Accepts Evoluton?

 
Half Sigma has posted an interesting article on the results of a 2006 poll about evolution. The survey asked the following question:
Now, I would like to ask you a few short questions like those you might see on a television game show. For each statement that I read, please tell me if it is true or false. If you don't know or aren't sure, just tell me so, and we will skip to the next question. Remember true, false, or don't know. i. Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals. (Is that true or false?)
The overall results are not surprising. They have been discussed before. About 50% of Americans accept the fact of evolution and about 50% reject scientific facts.

The fun part comes when Half Sigma looks at a breakdown of the responses. Men are smarter more likely to accept evolution than women. In New England, 78% accept evoluton while in the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi this falls to 32%. This is pretty much as we expect.

The interesting piece of information comes from analysis of the responses of difference races imaginary subgroups.

71% of blacks (Afro-Americans?) reject science. That's much higher than I imagined. What accounts for such a high percentage of IDiots in that subgroup? Is it true that Afro-Americans are much more religious than other groups? Is that why they reject evolution? Or is it a lack of decent science education in those states?


[Hat Tip: Gene Expression]

22 comments :

  1. I'm not sure the sample size would support any conclusions, but I'd be curious to see racial breakdown by state. It's not surprising that more blacks in this study don't believe in evolution given the information on states-- Alabama is around 25% African-American while New Hampshire is 1%. If Alabama happens to support a culture of Bible-thumping and miseducation (I said "if"...) it's hard to pull numbers like this and make a claim that race has anything to do with it.

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  2. Once again we have Larry conflating (sp?) the words "evolution" with "science", as if they are one and the same.

    For the 352452th time: one can be a fantastic scientist and not accept the theory evolution, and all its incarnations.

    And once again we have the amazing statement that lack of belieff in evolutionary magic is evidence for lack of scientific knowledge.

    Oh, the arrogance!

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  3. 71% of blacks (Afro-Americans?) reject science.

    No. They reject evolution.

    That's much higher than I imagined. What accounts for such a high percentage of IDiots in that subgroup?

    I guess that people who have felt in their skin the ramifications of this evolutionary philosophy, specially in the eugenics movement, are less likely to accept evolution. That's my take on it.

    Is it true that Afro-Americans are much more religious than other groups?

    Irrelevan. By this logic, since the overwhelming majority of atheists endorse evolution, THEN there must be something "atheistic" in such theory.

    Is that why they reject evolution?

    Well, it might be. If you know the Truth about Creation you are less likely to accept evolutionary magic.

    Or is it a lack of decent science education in those states?

    But....evovlution is so easy to understand that only the stupid, ignorant or whicked don't accept it.

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  4. mats sez:

    "But....evovlution is so easy to understand that only the stupid, ignorant or whicked don't accept it."

    Nice fitting shoe you're wearing, Mats!

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  5. I also wonder about sampling in polls. I think about 3%(?) of all US males are incarcerated and this group is disproportionately black. Those who are incarcerated probably skew strongly towards the least educated.
    My guess is that these folks are not sampled in most polls.

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  6. mats said...
    one can be a fantastic scientist and not accept the theory evolution, and all its incarnations.

    I'd love to hear about the alternative theory that such fantastic scientists ascribe to Mats. Unless you meant fantastic as in a "scientist of fantasy" rather than a good scientist. Like a sorcerer or fortune teller?

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  7. While the high proportion of black people who are religious in the US is probably the main reason underlying this result I don't think its the full answer. Even in the UK, where religiosity is much lower, there is a reluctance by many black people to enter careers in biological research, compared to the high numbers of other minorities such as asians. Its certainly not a question of ability since the same disproportionate pattern is not seen in the numbers entering medicine, law, economics, computing or the humanities.

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  8. Bayman said...

    mats said...
    one can be a fantastic scientist and not accept the theory evolution, and all its incarnations.

    I'd love to hear about the alternative theory that such fantastic scientists ascribe to Mats.


    I didn't say anything about an alternative theory. I said that one can be a good scientist without accepting the neo-darwinian sythesis, commonly known as evolution.


    Unless you meant fantastic as in a "scientist of fantasy" rather than a good scientist. Like a sorcerer or fortune teller?


    Well, i am sure that as a darwinist, you are well verse in fantasy.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. @ Mats:

    Once again we have Larry conflating (sp?) the words "evolution" with "science"

    Once again we have a creationist pretending that evolution isn't an accepted science with a 150 year history. Mats, contact your nearest national science council and get to this basic fact before spouting nonsense on a science blog.

    Oh, and since your hypothesis about the statistics isn't cogent (very few of the sampled population are expected to have been subject to eugenics), perhaps you should learn more about such things as basic statistics too. Ignorance is hard to reverse in a population, mainly because incompetents don't recognize their incompetence, but it is eminently doable on a personal basis.

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  11. Mats said,
    I didn't say anything about an alternative theory. I said that one can be a good scientist without accepting the neo-darwinian sythesis, commonly known as evolution.

    I see. So these "fantastic scientists" of yours reject 200 or so years of work in evolutionary theory but can come up with no better explanation of their own. Are you sure they're really scientists?

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  12. Mats, since it seems you don't like Larry "conflating (sp?) the words 'evolution' with 'science'" I find it necessary to quote you once again: "...neo-darwinian sythesis, commonly known as evolution."

    That's right, take a good long look.

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  13. Matts said: "Irrelevan. By this logic, since the overwhelming majority of atheists endorse evolution, THEN there must be something "atheistic" in such theory."

    Faulty logic. The reason atheists support evolution overwhelmingly is because:

    A) they don't believe in God and so they are not biased by that belief;

    B) because they don't believe in God, creationism is not a possibility for them (unless they believe in aliens, in which case they can adhere to "alien" creationism);

    C) atheists are known to be better educated that theists;

    D) atheists are also reasonable people - thus their nonbelief in god - and as such they understand that the likelihood of biologists being so wrong for the past 150 years is highly unlikely. It would be the equivalent of medical doctors being mistaken about the existence of viruses and bacteria.

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  14. Quoting...
    "since the overwhelming majority of atheists endorse evolution, THEN there must be something "atheistic" in such theory."

    Well, yeah. In that a recognition of the reality of evolutionary processes in nature is detrimental to religious faith, as all scientific advancements have been. The more we learn about nature, the less we need the god idea to plug the holes. This is a good thing, as religion's primary export has always been violence and destructive tribal behaviors.

    So, yeah, evolution could be said to be atheistic, even anti-theist, in it's effects. And I say thank god for that.

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  15. Interesting how mats never backs any of his statements up with anything other than sophistry... The word 'putz' comes to mind.

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  16. By the way, who is Evoluton? A new Marvel Comics superhero? And why does he crave acceptance so? ;)

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  17. By the way, who is Evoluton? A new Marvel Comics superhero? And why does he crave acceptance so? ;)

    He's not a hero, he's a villain (obviously).

    "I am Evoluton! And I will make your children different from you!"

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  18. No, no. You're thinking of EVILution. evoLUTON was one of the transformers. The one that goes from a T-rex to a monkey to a man and back.

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  19. Bayman said...

    Mats said,
    I didn't say anything about an alternative theory. I said that one can be a good scientist without accepting the neo-darwinian sythesis, commonly known as evolution.

    I see. So these "fantastic scientists" of yours reject 200 or so years of work in evolutionary theory but can come up with no better explanation of their own. Are you sure they're really scientists?


    Yes, they reject 200 years (??!) of evolutionary story-teling, AND they are real scientists.


    Anonymous said...

    Matts said: "Irrelevan. By this logic, since the overwhelming majority of atheists endorse evolution, THEN there must be something "atheistic" in such theory."

    Faulty logic. The reason atheists support evolution overwhelmingly is because:

    A) they don't believe in God and so they are not biased by that belief;


    They are biased towards any naturalistic explination of origins.


    B) because they don't believe in God, creationism is not a possibility for them (unless they believe in aliens, in which case they can adhere to "alien" creationism);


    Thanks for agreeing that their evolutionary choice is the logical outcome of their philosophy, NOT their science.

    C) atheists are known to be better educated that theists;

    During the Cold War, the europeans who were more likely to suport Stalin, and the Communism were the...more educated. Therefore, the fact that educated people believe in something doesn't mean that such thign is true or moral. So much for that arguement.
    Oh, and guess who were the people more likely to suport Hitler? The "ignorant masses"? Oh no no no. Guess again.


    D) atheists are also reasonable people


    ..according to the atheist definition of "reasonable".

    - thus their nonbelief in god -

    lol Their unbelief in God is not evidence for being reasonable. Actualy, it's evidence for their lack of consistency. They use laws of logic, morality and science, but deny the Source of those laws (God).


    and as such they understand that the likelihood of biologists being so wrong for the past 150 years is highly unlikely.


    Time is not the measure of truth. I can't believe you used that argument.

    It would be the equivalent of medical doctors being mistaken about the existence of viruses and bacteria.

    But we can see viruses and bacteria. We cannot see unguided, undirected, impersonal forces of nature creating codified language like DNA. Therefore, your analogy is not realistic.

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  20. "They use laws of logic, morality and science, but deny the Source of those laws (God)" Not at all. If there was any evidence for this presupposition we would most definitely accept the god hypothesis. You make the mistake of assuming (and you know what that does) that gods are the source of these laws. Rather spurious for someone that purports to have a respect for logic and reasoning.

    "one can be a fantastic scientist and not accept the theory evolution, and all its incarnations." Again, no. One can make significant contributions to the sciences (except biology) without accepting evolution, but one can't honestly call themselves a scientist.

    At the risk of feeding the resident troll....

    PS Evolution offers no testable hypotheses? Interesting. I guess the hypothesis that mammals developed a three-bone inner ear from a one-bone inner ear ancestor wasn't tested by looking for this in the fossils of the appropriate age. The discovery of Tiktaalik was the result of a hypothesis that the fish-tetrapod transition would be found again in fossils of the appropriate age predicted for this transition. Or do you think Shubin was just guessing and it was a fluke? These are hypotheses, mats. These hypotheses and thousands of others from completely disparate lines of reasoning have been tested. This is why we have such confidence in evolution.

    It's certainly a LOT better than 'magic man done it'. That's not even wrong.

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  21. "Oh, and guess who were the people more likely to suport Hitler?"

    Sorry. Hitler believed in god. Or are you going to try to tell me that the people that carried out the Holocaust were all atheist, too?

    Stalin, by the way, was a cult of personality. This is just another form of religion, if a godless one. And again, it is ridiculous to state that those carrying out the massacres were all atheists. What of the believers (which undoubtedly comprised the majority of those carrying out orders) that you so flippantly ignore?

    This ridiculous idea that atheism leads to morality just shows up your already obvious ignorance, mats. Why do you come here? You are outclassed and, like the court jester, entertaining. Are you a masochist?

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  22. whoops. That should read "This ridiculous idea that atheism leads to immorality..."

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