Nine out of ten americans doubt the theory of evolution

Tensions over evolution in u.S. School education leave knowledge gaps

A bill is being introduced in the state of missouri that would require school principals to inform parents when evolutionary theory is being taught in class. In addition, the law provides that parents can opt their children out of these classes if they so choose. The teaching of darwin’s theory of evolution is a "absolute violation of faith", argues republican congressman rick brattin, who supports the bill.

Primate pin from the museum of comparative zoology, harvard university. Image. Image: christopher walsh, harvard medical school/cc-by-sa-2.5

A similar report was published at the end of january. In it, teachers in the u.S. State of virginia spoke out against a bill that, as the washington post reported, would open classrooms to teaching topics that question the theory of evolution.

Teachers objected to scientific evidence being treated on the same level with beliefs and opinions. In texas, writes a forbes columnist, a powerful lobbying group has been trying for several years to give creationist content a greater presence in textbooks and classrooms.

My fear is that it will (through the missouri bill, intro. D. A.) is possible to systematically remove from the curriculum every mention of a fossil, every teaching talk about the development of organs and living structures, every single mention of genetic similarities that we share with other organisms. This has resulted in gross gaps in education that put students far behind not only in comparison to others, but also to the rest of the world, which they will not easily be able to make up for.

Comment of a student of the university of alabama

The importance of the status given to the theory of evolution in schools – that is, that scientific knowledge is clearly distinguished from the content of faith – is currently demonstrated by studies from the usa, which call for corresponding gaps in knowledge to be revealed.

One in four women does not know that the earth revolves around the sun

The first survey result, taken from the report "science and engineering indicators" by the american association for the advancement of science (aaas), caused amusement in the global classroom over the weekend, as it revealed that one in four americans did not know what copernicus discovered nearly 500 years ago: that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa (cf. One in four americans ‘do not know the earth circles the sun).

In the same study, the question was also asked about whether "humans, as we know them, are descended from earlier species of living beings". 48 percent stated that this is true. Remarkable in connection with the above mentioned is, that the percentage increased to 72, if the statement was answered with the words "according to the theory of evolution" was initiated. By the way, a similar phenomenon was shown with the question about the big bang. For 39 percent of the americans surveyed, this is the beginning of the universe. This becomes 60 percent when this is added to "according to astronomers."

The result was presented at the annual meeting of the science association, which is currently underway. Another study was also presented there with interesting insights into the state of the controversy between science and religion. There are real tensions, particularly on the ie of evolution, noted study author elaine howard ecklund of rice university.

Evangelicals consult religious books on science ies

The finding, which made the rounds via news outlets: nine in ten americans have doubts about the theory of evolution. "Only about 9.5 percent are convinced that god or another higher power had absolutely no influence on the origin of the universe and human life."

While in europe the apparently widespread doubts about the theory of evolution in the usa formed the core of the reports, american publications focused on other things.

For example, the report from rice university, where the study was conducted, that religionists are much more convinced than the majority of americans that science and religion can work together.

We found that 50 percent of evangelicals believe that science and religion can work together and support each other. This contrasts with the fact that only 38 percent of americans surveyed (sample: 10.000; introduction. D. A.) feel that science and religion can work together.

Elaine howard ecklund

The sociologist goes so far in interpreting the results of the study1 that she considers media reports about controversies between the two groups, scientists and religionists, to be exaggerations that are due to a stereotype that is better reflected in the media – "not very good information", because the two groups often understand each other better in the real world than is apparent from such reports.

However, she also notes that a certain proportion in both camps are very much anchored in opposing positions, as evidenced among evangelicals, for example, by the fact that they are twice as likely as the general population to have "seek out a religious text or a religious guide in order to clarify a scientific question".

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