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FW: Univ. of Cin./Case West. Res. U. Evolution/Intellignet Design Poll of Ohio's Scientists

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:steven.edinger.1@ohio.edu] Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 10:54 PM To: Science Education Cc: Berra, Tim; Biknevicius,
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 12, 2002
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:steven.edinger.1@...]
      Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 10:54 PM
      To: Science Education
      Cc: Berra, Tim; Biknevicius, Audrone; Cantino, Philip; Carr, Robert;
      Clifford, Andy; Corbin, Clay; Dougherty, Pat; Edinger, Ben - Oak;
      Edinger, Eleanor (C/O R. Penton); Edinger, William; Elfner, Lynn;
      Hagerman, Frederick; Heinrich, Ronald; Hummon, Margaret; Hummon,
      William; Humphrey, Patricia; James, Calvin; Mammone, Karen; Mckenzie,
      Clarice; McKenzie, Karen; McKenzie, Tom; McKenzie, Warren; Merry,
      Justin; Morris, Molly; Natarajan, Meena; Placier, Bob; Rovner, Jerome;
      Rowland, Edwin; Schwirian, Christopher; Smith, Jessica; Stamper, Michael
      C.; Stewart, Richard; Stork, Tom; White, Matthew; Witmer, Lawrence;
      Wynn, Doug; Wynn, Doug - Home
      Subject: Univ. of Cin./Case West. Res. U. Evolution/Intellignet Design
      Poll of Ohio's Scientists


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      Dear Colleagues,

      Before the Ohio Board of Education gives any more consideration to including
      intelligent design, alternatives to evolution or the "teach the controversy"
      approach, they need to listen to what Ohio's best educated scientists said in a
      new poll. The Biology Department at Case Western Reserve University and the
      Internet Public Opinion Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati conducted an
      e-mail poll of all the 4 year college and university science faculty they could
      get e-mail addresses for, and also placed two questions about intelligent
      design on the Ohio Poll to gather opinions of the general public. A quick
      summary of the results are given below, followed by the complete press releases
      from the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University and
      Professor Joseph F Koonce, Chair, Department of Biology at Case Western Reserve
      University.

      As far as support for intelligent design goes, only 4% of the scientists
      polled thought there was a valid scientific challenge to evolution, only 7%
      thought there was scientific evidence supporting intelligent design (2% strong
      evidence, 5% percent some evidence), and only 5% said intelligent design was
      not primarily a religious view. The bottom line for supporters of intelligent
      design is it is at BEST only a fringe view, but more accurately recognized as
      the newest species of creationism to evolve.

      Best wishes and please pass this on!

      Steve Edinger, M.S.
      President, Ohio Citizens for Science



      Among the survey's findings were:

      - Nine out of 10 scientists (91%) felt the concept of intelligent design was
      unscientific and the same number responded that it was a religious view

      - A vast majority (93%) of the scientists were not aware of "any scientifically
      valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the
      fundamental principles of the theory of evolution"

      - Almost all scientists (97%) said they did not use the intelligent design
      concept in their research

      - Ninety percent of the responding scientists stated that they felt no
      scientific evidence supports intelligent design, while 2% were unsure

      - Approximately 7% felt that intelligent design had some support from
      scientific evidence

      - Some 84% felt acceptance of the evolution theory was "consistent with
      believing in God"

      A total of 460 professors responded or a rate of 31%. The survey had an
      error of plus or minus 4.5%. "We are extremely pleased with the response,"
      says Koonce





      ********************************************************************************


      Internet Public Opinion Laboratory

      Department of Political Science
      University of Cincinnati


      By: George Bishop, PhD
      Professor of Political Science For Release: October 10, 2002
      Director
      Internet Public Opinion Laboratory
      Department of Political Science
      University of Cincinnati


      Majority of Ohio Science Professors and Public Agree: "Intelligent Design"
      Mostly about Religion

      "Intelligent Design": Is it science or religion? The idea that an intelligent
      designer or a supernatural force created the universe and guided the
      development of human life has become the center of a heated controversy among
      Ohio educators. As the State Board of Education in Ohio wrestles with the
      policy issue of whether to teach "intelligent design" in public school science
      classes the latest statewide surveys of Ohio citizens and science professors in
      Ohio indicate that the concept of "intelligent design" is viewed by the vast
      majority of scientists and a clear majority of the public as basically a
      religious explanation of human origins.

      These findings are based on: (1) an Internet survey of 460 science professors
      teaching at both public and private four-year colleges and universities in
      Ohio, sponsored by the Biology Department at Case Western Reserve University in
      Cleveland and conducted by the Internet Public Opinion Laboratory at the
      University of Cincinnati between September 26 and October 9, 2002; and (2) an
      Ohio Poll of 900 adults conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the
      University of Cincinnati between September 4 and September 15, 2002.

      Public Ignorance and Public Opinion

      Despite significant coverage and editorials on the ID issue in Ohio's news
      media in recent months, most Ohioans still know little or nothing about
      "intelligent design". In the most recent Ohio Poll, conducted between September
      4 and September 15, 2002, respondents were first asked: " Do you happen to know
      anything about the concept of 'intelligent design'?" The vast majority (84%)
      said "no"; 14% said "yes"; and the rest (2%) were "not sure". Not surprisingly,
      college graduates were significantly more likely to say they knew something
      about it (28% of them) than were high school graduates (7%) or those with less
      than a high school education (6%).

      Whether they knew anything about it or not, respondents were then given a brief
      description of the concept of intelligent design identical to the one used in a
      statewide Cleveland Plain Dealer Poll conducted this past spring:

      "The concept of 'intelligent design' is that life is too complex to have
      developed by chance and that a purposeful being or force is guiding the
      development of life."

      "What is your opinion-do you think the concept of 'intelligent design' is a
      valid scientific account of how human life developed, or is it basically a
      religious explanation of the development of human life?"

      Given this description, the majority of Ohioans (54%) viewed it as basically a
      religious explanation of human origins; less than 1 out of 4 (23%) thought it
      was a valid scientific account; 7% believed it was a mix of religious and
      scientific accounts; and 17% said they were "not sure."

      Views of Ohio Science Professors

      Not unexpectedly, those who have the academic training and expertise (PhDs) to
      teach the basic natural and physical sciences in Ohio's public and private
      universities regarded the concept of "intelligent design" as an unscientific
      notion. More than 9 out of 10 (91%) thought it was primarily a religious view.
      The vast majority (93%) of science professors said they were not aware of "any
      scientifically valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges
      the fundamental principles of the theory of evolution." Only a tiny percentage
      of them (7%) thought that "intelligent design" was either "strongly" or
      "partly" supported by scientific evidence. Most (90%) believed there was no
      scientific evidence at all for the idea of "intelligent design". And 3% were
      "not sure". Furthermore, when asked if they ever used the ID concept in their
      research, virtually all of them (97%) said "no."

      Ohio's science professors felt just as strongly about what should or should not
      be taught about the controversy in Ohio schools. Most all of them (92%) thought
      " Ohio high school students should be tested on their understanding of the
      basic principles of the theory of evolution in order to graduate." When asked,
      however, if such students should also be tested on their knowledge of the
      concept of "Intelligent Design" in order to graduate, most of them (90%) said
      "no."

      Perhaps the most surprising finding in the survey is that the great majority of
      Ohio science professors (84%) thought that accepting the theory of evolution
      was "consistent with believing in God." Only 9% thought it was not; and the
      rest (7%) just weren't sure. Most critics of teaching evolution in Ohio's
      schools commonly assume it's basically inconsistent with believing in God.
      Evidently, most of Ohio's science professors-those who understand the theory of
      evolution best-do not share that widespread view.

      Further statistical analysis of the data from the survey of Ohio science
      professors showed only minor differences in responses across scientific fields
      such as astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and other natural
      sciences.

      Survey Methodology


      Ohio Poll

      The sampling error for the Ohio Poll of 900 adults is +/-3.3%. A description of
      the methodology for the Ohio Poll conducted from September 4 through 15 can be
      found at the following website:

      http://www.ipr.uc.edu/PDF/OhioPoll/op092502.pdf



      Internet Public Opinion Laboratory (IPOL): Methodology

      An e-mail invitation to participate in this web-based survey was sent to all
      professors (approximately 1500) currently on the faculty in four-year, public
      and private colleges and universities in Ohio for the following fields:
      Astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and other natural sciences.
      Their e-mail addresses were identified through a combination of listings on the
      various college and departmental websites, supplemented by further examination
      of other university information sources. Four hundred and sixty (460)
      professors responded to the e-mail invitation, a response rate of 31%.

      The sampling error for a sample size of 460 cases is approximately plus or
      minus 4.5%. As in any other survey, in addition to sampling error, other
      sources of error such as non-response and the wording and context of the
      questions asked can affect the results and conclusions of the study.


      The results reported here for the Internet survey of Ohio science professors
      were based on the following questions (Note: Percentages Rounded)

      1. Are you aware of any scientifically valid evidence or an alternate
      scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the theory of
      evolution?

      a. Yes 4%
      b. No 93
      c. Not Sure 2

      2. The concept of "Intelligent Design" is that life and the universe are too
      complex to have developed without the intervention of a purposeful being or
      force to guide the development of life. Which of the following do you think
      best describes "Intelligent Design"?

      a. It is strongly supported by scientific evidence 2%
      b. It is partly supported by scientific evidence 5
      c. It is not supported at all by scientific evidence 90
      d. Not Sure 3

      3. Do you think the concept of "Intelligent Design" is primarily a religious
      view?"

      a. Yes 91%
      b. No 5
      c. Not Sure 4

      4. Do you think Ohio high school students should be tested on their
      understanding of the basic principles of the theory of evolution in order to
      graduate?

      a. Yes 92%
      b. No 4
      c. Not Sure 3

      5. Do you think Ohio high school students should be tested on their knowledge
      of the concept of "Intelligent Design" in order to graduate?

      a. Yes 6%
      b. No 90
      c. Not Sure 4

      6. Do you use the concept of Intelligent Design in your research?

      a. Yes 2%
      b. No 97
      c. Not Sure 1


      7. Do you think accepting the theory of evolution is consistent with believing
      in God?

      a. Yes 84%
      b. No 9
      c. Not Sure 7



      ********************************************************************************
      University of Cincinati

      October 10, 2002
      Contact: Carey Hoffman


      NEW POLL DATA SHOWS OHIOANS SEE 'INTELLIGENT DESIGN'
      AS A RELIGION-BASED CONCEPT

      Cincinnati The controversial concept of "intelligent design" theory, now
      under consideration by the Ohio Board of Education, is seen by Ohio scientists
      and the general public as basically a religious explanation of human origins.
      That's according to a new study released today that was conducted jointly by
      researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Case Western Reserve University.

      Two surveys were analyzed to produce the findings - an Internet survey of 460
      science professors from across Ohio and an Ohio Poll of 900 adults conducted in
      September. A summary analysis of the data by UC's George Bishop accompanies
      this release.

      Bishop is a professor of political science and director of UC's Internet
      Public Opinion Laboratory. A widely-known expert on public opinion surveying,
      he has done extensive work on the topics of Americans' religious world views
      and beliefs about human origins. Bishop can be reached in his office this
      afternoon after 3 p.m.

      Case Western's work was led by Joseph Koonce, chair of the biology department.
      Case Western will host a press conference in Cleveland this afternoon at 2:45
      p.m. in Room 405 of Clapp Hall to discuss the study.

      Media contacts: George Bishop, University of Cincinnati.
      Joseph Koonce, Case Western Reserve University.
      Susan Griffiths, Case Western Reserve University Communications Office.

      110-02 -30-


      *******************************************************************************


      Case Western Reserve University

      October 10, 2002 Contact: Susan Griffith
      Senior Media Relations Representative


      CWRU FACULTY REPORT FINDINGS
      ON EVOLUTION, INTELLIGENT DESIGN POLL OF OHIO'S SCIENTISTS

      CLEVELAND--Nine out 10 Ohio scientists from secular and religious colleges and
      universities responding to a survey say that intelligent design is primarily a
      religious view and not part of science. Case Western Reserve University
      faculty reported on the findings of the Internet poll during a news conference
      Thursday, October 10.

      "This is the first time we have hard data on what Ohio's scientists think
      about the issue of intelligent design versus evolution," says Joseph Koonce,
      CWRU chair and professor of biology.

      Koonce designed the Internet survey with the Internet Public Opinion
      Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati. He sent out e-mail messages around
      the state to faculty in departments of astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology,
      physics and other natural sciences, urging them to answer a set of questions
      and to give their thoughts about the evolution-intelligent design debate. The
      survey was conducted between September 26 and October 9.

      Prior to polling the scientists, the Institute for Policy Research at the
      University of Cincinnati included questions on the September Ohio Poll
      (conducted September 4-15) about intelligent design, asking the general public
      to respond to a similar Internet poll on their views of intelligent design and
      evolution. Like the scientists, a clear majority of Ohio residents found
      intelligent design to be religious, and not a scientific view.

      Findings from the polls, come days before the State Board of Education faces
      the issue at its meeting on next Monday on whether to include intelligent
      design or other forms of anti-evolutionism in the new K-12 science standards.
      Intelligent design advocates claim life is too complex to have developed
      without the intervention of a supernatural being or force, and they claim their
      view is scientific.

      Most all of Ohio's science professors (92%) thought "Ohio high school students
      should be tested on their understanding of the basic principles of the theory
      of evolution in order to graduate." Scientist responded negatively (90%) to
      the testing about the knowledge of "intelligent design" as a requirement to
      graduate.

      The survey also explored scientists' views on antievolutionism beyond the
      intelligent design movement. Some critics of evolution claim evidence against
      the theory of evolution has caused it to fall out of favor among scientists.
      This is clearly not the case in Ohio where the vast majority (93%) of science
      professors said they were not award of "any scientifically valid evidence or an
      alternative scientific theory that challenges the fundamental principles of the
      theory of evolution."

      Finally, the survey investigated the popular theme of a war between science
      and religion in America and found no such conflict. The great majority of Ohio
      science professors (84%) thought that accepting the theory of evolution was
      "consistent with believing in God." Only nine percent thought it was not; and
      the rest (7%) were not sure. Most critics of teaching evolution in Ohio's
      schools commonly assume it is inconsistent with believing in God. Evidently,
      most of Ohio's science professors-those who understand the theory of evolution
      best-do not share that view.

      Among the survey's findings were:

      - Nine out of 10 scientists (91%) felt the concept of intelligent design was
      unscientific and the same number responded that it was a religious view

      - A vast majority (93%) of the scientists were not aware of "any scientifically
      valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the
      fundamental principles of the theory of evolution"

      - Almost all scientists (97%) said they did not use the intelligent design
      concept in their research

      - Ninety percent of the responding scientists stated that they felt no
      scientific evidence supports intelligent design, while 2% were unsure

      - Approximately 7% felt that intelligent design had some support from
      scientific evidence

      - Some 84% felt acceptance of the evolution theory was "consistent with
      believing in God"

      A total of 460 professors responded or a rate of 31%. The survey had an
      error of plus or minus 4.5%. "We are extremely pleased with the response,"
      says Koonce

      For further information, contact Koonce.



      *******************************************************************************


      October 10, 2002
      Press Conference Statement of
      Professor Joseph F Koonce
      Chair, Dept of Biology
      Case Western Reserve University



      Many claims have been made in recent months as to what Ohio scientists think
      about intelligent design "theory." However, until now, no data existed on
      this issue. My colleagues and I set about to collect the data so that the
      public may gain an accurate impression of what Ohio's scientists think. The
      results are gratifying and unequivocal.

      Nine out of ten Ohio scientists from Ohio public, private (including both
      secular and religious) universities say that intelligent design is primarily
      a religious view and is simply not part of science.

      We designed and conducted this survey with the Internet Public Opinion
      Laboratory at the University of Cincinnati. We sent out email messages
      around the state to faculty in departments of astronomy, biology, chemistry,
      geology, physics and other natural sciences, inviting them to answer a set
      of questions and to give their thoughts about the evolution-intelligent
      design debate. The survey ran between September 26 and October 9.

      Prior to polling the scientists, the Institute for Policy Research
      at the University of Cincinnati included questions on the September Ohio
      Poll (conducted September 4 through 15, 2002) asking the general public to
      respond to two questions about intelligent design. Like the scientists, a
      clear majority of Ohio residents found intelligent design to be religious,
      and not a scientific view.

      Next Monday and Tuesday the Ohio Board of Education will vote on
      whether to include intelligent design or other forms of anti-evolutionism in
      the new K-12 science standards. Intelligent design advocates claim life is
      too complex to have developed without the intervention of a supernatural
      being or force, and they claim their view is scientific. Clearly Ohio's
      citizens are not convinced that this argument should be taught as science.

      I want to make clear that I am a religious person myself. As a Roman
      Catholic, I do believe in God and in concurrence with teachings of the
      Catholic Church, I have never found these beliefs in conflict with
      Evolutionary Theory. Science addresses the nature of the physical universe,
      not the supernatural or the eternal. Like me, 84% of my colleagues also
      report that they find evolutionary theory compatible with belief in God.

      I wish this would lay to rest the destructive notion that science and
      religion are at war in America. There is no such inherent conflict. Science
      and religion can promote and enhance each other without having to pretend we
      know less than we actually do about how the world is constructed and how it
      functions.

      Most all of Ohio's science professors (92%) thought "Ohio high school
      students should be tested on their understanding of the basic principles of
      the theory of evolution in order to graduate." When asked if such students
      should also be tested on their knowledge of the concept of "Intelligent
      Design" in order to graduate, 90% said "no." Only 2% said that intelligent
      design was strongly supported by scientific evidence.

      The survey also explored scientists' views on antievolutionism beyond the
      intelligent design movement. Some critics of evolution claim evidence
      against the theory of evolution has caused it to fall out of favor among
      scientists. This is clearly not the case in Ohio where the vast majority
      (93%) of science professors said they were not aware of "any scientifically
      valid evidence or an alternate scientific theory that challenges the
      fundamental principles of the theory of evolution."

      We are extremely pleased with the response. Nearly 500 scientists responded,
      a rate of 31%. The survey had an error of plus or minus 4.5 percent.
      Equally pleasing was the outpouring of gratitude for providing the
      opportunity to express their concern with the erosion of scientific literacy
      in the developing K-12 standards for Ohio.




      *******************************************************************************





      Please see the Ohio Citizens for Science's web page at:

      http://ecology.cwru.edu/ohioscience/


      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Steven A. Edinger, Physiology Lab Instructor

      064 Irvine Hall
      Department of Biological Sciences steven.edinger.1@...
      Ohio University Office: (740) 593-9484
      Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 Fax: (740) 593-0300
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      ******************************************************
      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973
      ******************************************************




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      ******************************************************
      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973
      ******************************************************
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