March 2, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Polls Produce Politically-Incorrect Results

Polls are like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.  In a survey conducted by the Channel One Network, a broadcast service for public schools, students were asked if they thought schools should teach only intelligent design, teach only evolution, or teach both.  A majority (52%) responded for teaching both ID and evolution; another 31% voted for teaching ID only.  Only 17% thought evolution alone should be taught, yet that is the position of all the major science institutions and science teacher organizations.  ChannelOne.com has apparently taken the results page offline, but Answers in Genesis commented on it.  Though not conducted scientifically, the poll is in keeping with other national surveys on the subject.
    In another poll sure to provide grist for the talk radio mill, only 38% of Democrats described their mental health as excellent, compared to 58% of Republicans.  World Net Daily talked about this Gallup poll to Dr. Lyle H. Rossiter, a psychiatrist who thinks liberalism is a mental illness.  The author of a book The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness was not surprised by the results: “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave,” he said.
    The overwhelming majority of pro-evolution college professors describe themselves as liberals or Democrats (08/05/2004, 12/02/2004).

A reader noticed that the Channel One poll designers put Evolution only as the default answer.
    Polls are thermometers, not yardsticks.  Any conclusions from these polls should be balanced by readings from other instruments before making a diagnosis.  But if pro-evolution liberals are suffering depression from the Channel One poll on top of their mental illness from the Gallup poll, the most effective treatment for all concerned might be quarantine.

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