Darwin Losing in the Polls
Many scientists are celebrating Darwin as the greatest scientist in history on his Bicentennial, but public support for his theory is slipping. A new Zogby poll shows significant erosion over the past few years over the question of whether evolution only should be taught, and a new Gallup poll shows only a minority believe in evolution.
The results of the Zogby poll are explained on Evolution News with graphs. The demographics indicate that it is not just church-goers who support academic freedom to teach the strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory; a large majority of those calling themselves liberals, college grads and Democrats also responded affirmative to the question, “Would you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree that teachers and students should have the academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory?” Young adults were among the strongest in agreement.
In another article, Evolution News pointed out that the Zogby poll shows support for teaching “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution has risen 9 percentage points since a similar poll in 2006. They said that even after the Dover trial, the public remains unconvinced that the scientific debate over Darwin is over. “Indeed, support for the Darwinists’ position has dropped significantly while support for teaching the controversy over evolution has risen.” The original Zogby report has been reprinted on the Discovery Institute website.
Evolution News commented on Richard Dawkins’s reaction to the poll. Dawkins called it a “stupid poll” because it “presumes there is scientific evidence against evolution.” Dawkins does not accept that premise. He said the Discovery Institute ought to go into the lab and publish such evidence if it is out there. But as Anika Smith pointed out, whenever Darwin doubters do that, the evolutionists cover it up or prevent them from publishing it in the first place.
Fox News reported on a separate poll by Gallup that revealed, “Fewer Than 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution.” The percentages show that this feeling is not limited to the religious; 24% of those described as weekly church attenders said they believe in the theory of evolution, while 39% of all respondents believe it. See also the British poll reported last week on 02/04/2009). So on the eve of the Darwin Bicentennial, there is still only a small minority in the public that believe in Darwin’s theory as the explanation for life. 36% responded that they don’t have an opinion one way or the other.
Eugenie Scott, Ken Miller, Richard Dawkins, William Provine and the other Darwin bulldogs need to face up to the fact that 150 years of indoctrination has failed to convince the public of evolutionary naturalism. They are an elitist minority. What gives them the right to dictate to the world what the public shall hear? Is it philosophy of science? No; one cannot presume their definition of science rules, when no one has ever come up with a satisfactory definition of science. Is it the evidence? No; as we document day after day, week after week, month after month, the evidence must be twisted or put off into the future to support the neo-Darwinist position. Is it religion vs science? No; Darwinism is just as religious as theism; it is an all-encompassing world view that goes far beyond observation. Is it naturalism vs supernaturalism? No; the definitions of nature and natural are as slippery as a greased eel. Is it the privileged status of scientific institutions? No; some of the best science has been done outside the institutions and by bucking the consensus. Surely one needs to be well-trained in mathematical physics to speak credibly on quantum mechanics or nuclear fusion, but Darwinism is not that hard to understand: spontaneous variation (which everyone can see), and survival of the fittest (which is as intuitively obvious as “Boys will be boys”). When they say this combination of intuitively-obvious statements produced giraffes from bacteria, that is not intuitively obvious. They know you cannot get from here to there, PhD or not.
In spite of the public demand for academic freedom, the Darwin elitists continue their biased propaganda. Darwin 200 website of London’s Natural History Museum, and the Nature Darwin 200 celebrations, for instance, contain only gushy praise for the Bearded Buddha written by Darwin Party operatives, without a hint of dissent. They completely ignore the criticisms of Darwin’s ideas coming from many directions (even some from within the camp, like the 01/28/2009 and 01/22/2009 entries show).
If scientists want to get public support for the DODO policy (Darwin-only, Darwin-only), they must deal honestly with the strengths and weaknesses of the theory in open debate. They must tear down the Berlin Wall (as explained in Expelled) that protects one side from criticism, imprisons the citizenry and punishes those trying to escape. They must face the strong critiques from intelligent design, the fossil record, the fine-tuning of the universe, epistemology, the logical fallacies in philosophical naturalism, the philosophical critiques of methodological naturalism, and much more. They cannot just go to a judge in Pennsylvania for a local ruling pushed by the ACLU, and announce the debate is over. They must stop the persecution and expulsion of well-reasoned alternative viewpoints. They must stop the Stalinesque indoctrination in the schools. They must own up to the bitter implications of evolutionary naturalism on society (01/15/2009) and explain why altruistic humans should tolerate destructive ideas. They cannot act like a religious tribunal. Science is all about debate, open discussion, and thinking outside the box. As long as the Darwin-only dictators arrogate to themselves to sole right to speak on such topics, they are going to continue to erode their support.
The public sees them for what they are: elitist totalitarians who want to dictate not only what you can say, but what you can think. The ivory-tower Darwin bulldogs need a concentrated and sustained dose of humility. Let’s celebrate Lincoln, who emancipated slaves, and Darwin, who understood that facts could be adduced for the opposite conclusions to his viewpoint, and therefore promoted balanced debate on both sides of each question (see quote above). To the Darwinists we ask, why don’t you celebrate Darwin Day by following his advice? What could possibly go wrong if we all had that spirit?