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FW: Evolution education update: the latest polls on evolution, Gilkey dies, evolution on NPR

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:steven.edinger.1@ohio.edu] Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 11:08 AM To: Science Education Subject: Evolution education
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2004
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      From: Steven A. Edinger [mailto:steven.edinger.1@...]
      Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2004 11:08 AM
      To: Science Education
      Subject: Evolution education update: the latest polls on evolution,
      Gilkey dies, evolution on NPR

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      Dear Colleagues,

      A forward from Glenn Branch, Deputy Director, National Center
      for Science
      Education, Inc.

      SAE


      Dear Friends of NCSE,

      There are new public opinion surveys about evolution and creationism
      from
      Gallup and CBS News; Langdon Gilkey dies; and the Science Friday show
      for
      November 19 is now available on-line.


      THE LATEST POLLS ON EVOLUTION

      A recent article from the Gallup News Service reports on the pollster's
      latest results concerning public opinion on the evidence for evolution,
      creationism, and biblical literalism. On the question of whether
      evolution
      is well-supported by the evidence, 35% of the respondents said that it
      is,
      35% said that it is not, 29% said that they didn't know enough about it
      to
      reply, and 1% expressed no opinion. On the question of the origin and
      development of human beings, 38% of the respondents agreed with "human
      beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of
      life, but God guided this process," 13% agreed with "human beings have
      developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but
      God
      had no part in this process," 45% agreed with "God created human beings
      pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000
      years
      or so," and 4% offered a different or no opinion. On the question of
      biblical literalism, 34% of respondents regarded the Bible as to be
      taken
      literally, 48% regarded it as divinely inspired but not always to be
      taken
      literally, 15% regarded it as a collection of fables, etc., and 3%
      expressed no opinion. All of these results are consistent with earlier
      Gallup polls, which extend as far back as 1982 (for the origin and
      development of human beings question).

      A recent poll conducted by CBS News also investigated public opinion
      about
      evolution and creationism. One question (the exact wording of which was
      not given in the story) was apparently similar to Gallup's question
      about
      the origin and development of human beings. Compared to the Gallup
      poll,
      the results showed more support (55%) for "God created humans in present
      form" and less support (27%) for "humans evolved, God guided the
      process),"
      with the same level of support (13%) for "Humans evolved, God did not
      guide
      process." The CBS News poll also asked whether creationism should be
      taught alongside or instead of evolution in the public schools: 65% of
      the
      respondents said alongside; 37% said instead of. In a 2000 poll
      commissioned by People for the American Way, however, only 16% of
      respondents said that creationism should be taught instead of evolution,
      and only 13% said that creationism should be taught as a "scientific
      theory" alongside evolution. Since the PFAW poll offered a
      finer-grained
      set of choices for its respondents, comparisons between the CBS News
      poll
      and the PFAW poll may not be entirely meaningful.

      For the Gallup News Service article (subscription required), visit:
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=14107

      For the CBS News poll, visit:
      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml

      For the PFAW poll (in PDF form), visit:
      http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/dfiles/file_36.pdf

      GILKEY DIES

      Theologian Langdon Gilkey died on November 19, 2004, at the age of 85,
      in
      Charlottesville, Virginia. Gilkey testified for the plaintiffs in
      McLean v.
      Arkansas, the case that challenged the constitutionality of Arkansas's
      "Balanced treatment for creation-science and evolution-science act" of
      1981. In his account of his experiences, Creationism on Trial:
      Evolution
      and God at Little Rock (1985), he explained his antipathy to the law:
      "I
      came to the conclusion that this law and ones similar to it are ... in
      fact
      dangerous to the health of our society; and that through its wide
      enactment
      it would represent a disaster to our common life, especially our
      religious
      life. ... This law, I was convinced -- and this was my subsequent
      argument
      -- would serve to establish a particular form of the Christian religion
      in
      the teaching program of the public schools; therefore, it presented a
      grave
      threat to the free religious life of our country."

      For the Washington Post's obituary of Gilkey, visit:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3049-2004Nov21.html

      To purchase Creationism on Trial from Amazon.com (and benefit NCSE in
      the
      process), visit:
      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0813918545/nationalcenter02/

      EVOLUTION ON NPR

      In the first hour of NPR's show Science Friday for November 19, 2004,
      host
      Ira Flatow and his guests discussed the recent decision by the Dover
      (Pennsylvania) Area School District to require the teaching of
      "intelligent
      design" in its science classrooms, as well as other recent battles over
      evolution education. Appearing on the show were NCSE's Nicholas J.
      Matzke
      and NCSE Supporter Kenneth R. Miller, as well as Charles Haynes of the
      First Amendment Center, law professor and Senior Fellow of the Discovery
      Institute's Center for Science and Culture David K. DeWolf, and two
      former
      members of the Dover Area School Board who resigned to protest the
      "intelligent design" decision.

      For the archived version of the show, look under the "Archived Audio"
      section of:
      http://www.sciencefriday.com/pages/2004/Nov/hour1_111904.html

      For NCSE's report on the situation in Dover, visit:
      http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2004/PA/39_a_dubious_first_for_int
      ellige_
      10_21_2004.asp

      Thanks for reading! And as always, be sure to consult NCSE's web site:
      http://www.ncseweb.org
      where you can always find the latest news on evolution education and
      threats to it.

      Best wishes for the Thanksgiving holiday,

      Glenn Branch
      Deputy Director
      National Center for Science Education, Inc.
      420 40th Street, Suite 2
      Oakland, CA 94609-2509
      510-601-7203 x305
      fax: 510-601-7204
      800-290-6006
      branch@...
      http://www.ncseweb.org

      Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism is now available:
      http://tinyurl.com/25tcf



      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---
      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
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---

      ******************************************************
      "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
      ******************************************************


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

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


      ********************************************************
      "It has been my experience that folks who have no
      vices have very few virtues." Abraham Lincoln

      "The first human being who hurled an insult instead of
      a stone was the founder of civilization." Sigmund Freud

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


      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---
      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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