Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pew Research Science Poll

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has just released a survey centered on science in the U.S.

The survey compares the attitudes of the general public versus those in the science profession on a wide of variety of topics but I would like to discuss the findings associated with Evolution and a related topic or two.

According to the survey, 97% of scientists and 61% of the general public accept that living things evolved over time. 87% of scientists, but only 32% of the general public, believe that evolution was due to natural processes. Only 31% of the general public, and a minuscule 2% of scientists, believe that living things have always existed in their present form.

The 61% number is the largest number I’ve ever seen supporting Evolution. This is very encouraging even if 22% think Evolution was guided by a supreme being. Let’s see now, 32% plus 22% equals 54%. I wonder what the other 7% think?

Males, 36%, and younger people between the ages of 18 and 29, 40%, are more likely to accept Evolution by natural processes than women, 29%, and those over 65, 23%.

College graduates, 45%, and the religiously unaffiliated, 60%, are more likely to accept Evolution by natural processes than those with a High School education or less, 26%, and evangelical Christians, 9%.

Only 4% of the general public admits to being atheist or agnostic while 28% of scientists say they’re either atheist or agnostic. An additional 12% of the general public, and 20% of scientists, say they’re “Nothing in Particular.”

Now here’s the really interesting one. Pew asked about Party affiliation. In the general public, 35% said they were Democrats, 33% Independents and 23% Republican. Among scientists, 55% said they were Democrats, 32% Independents and a paltry 6% Republican.

I’ve never seen that question before but, to be honest, it doesn’t surprise me that the most intelligent and best educated people in the country shy away from the current Republican Party where the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Tony Perkins wield such influence.

No comments: