January 27, 2006
News from the Old Country
Given that they live in an essentially godless nation—only 1 million people attend Church of England services each week, out of a population of 60 million—a large number of Brits still seem to be falling for creationist crap:
Just under half of Britons accept the theory of evolution as the best description for the development of life, according to an opinion poll.
Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos MORI for the BBC’s Horizon series.
Over 2,000 participants took part in the survey, and were asked what best described their view of the origin and development of life: 22% chose creationism; 17% opted for intelligent design; 48% selected evolution theory; and the rest did not know.
It gets worse. When given a choice of three descriptions for the development of life on Earth, and asked which they would like to see included in school science lessons, 44% of participants said creationism, 41% intelligent design, and 69% evolution.
The findings prompted surprise from the scientific community. Lord Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is surprising that many should still be sceptical of Darwinian evolution. Darwin proposed his theory nearly 150 years ago, and it is now supported by an immense weight of evidence.”
“We are, however, fortunate compared to the US in that no major segment of UK religious or cultural life opposes the inclusion of evolution in the school science curriculum.”
No kidding: just think how bad the numbers would be if Britain had its fair share of fundies. Still, at least the Flying Spaghetti Monster has somewhere to call home.
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