Secular Evolutionists Are a Small Minority
A new Gallup poll shows that only 16% of Americans subscribe to the view that “Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in the process.” About 40% believe in Biblical creationism (recent creation within 10,000 years); that percentage climbs to 60% among churchgoers. Another 38% believe God guided the process of evolution. These results were summarized by Live Science, republished on MSNBC.
The Gallup site shows the questions that were asked and how the results have varied over the years. The Biblical creationist and secular evolutionist numbers have changed since similar polls starting in 1982, while those in the middle ground have varied, but remain right where they were in 1982 (38%). The number espousing secular evolution has climbed 9%, and the number of Biblical creationists dropped about 7%, but has wobbled between 47% and 40% over the last 12 years, and is only 4% lower than its 1982 value. Secular evolution remained fairly low for 17 years since 1982 (9-11%), but has seen a slow, steady climb since 1999, from 9 to 16%.
Biblical recent creationism was highest among Republicans (52%) compared to Democrats and independents (34%). Secular evolution was lowest among Republicans (8%) and highest among Democrats (20%) and independents (21%). “Gallup officials wrote that it’s not surprising some 80 percent of Americans hold a view of human origins that involves God,” the article ended, “since most Americans believe in God and about 85 percent identify with a religion.”
Jeanne Brynner in her Live Science article claimed that “The findings also stand in stark contrast to another announcement Friday, this one by John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy” about scientific integrity. That document, however, said nothing about evolution or human origins. One of its opening tenets said, “Scientific progress depends upon honest investigation, open discussion, refined understanding, and a firm commitment to evidence,” principles rarely encountered in evolutionist handling of issues involving creation and intelligent design.
In addition, the Holdren announcement called for “openness and transparency with the media and the American people,” and was very clear about transparency over scientific uncertainties in particular: “Agencies should communicate scientific and technical findings by including a clear explication of assumptions; accurate contextualization of uncertainties; and a description of the probabilities associated with both optimistic and pessimistic projections, including best-case and worst-case scenarios where appropriate.” The document further called for scientists working for the executive branch of the Government to be selected based on merit, free of political influence, with protection for whistleblowers in a culture that fosters “free flow of scientific and technological information….” If these principles were applied in an unbiased way with regards to the question of origins, Republicans and intelligent design proponents would not be such outsiders in today’s lopsided scientific community, where policy makers, journalists and leaders of scientific societies are overwhelmingly pro-evolution members of the Democratic party (see 12/05/2010).
If Brynner and Holdren really believed in integrity, they would have to become creationists, because integrity that evolves is not integrity – what counts for integrity today could morph into dishonesty tomorrow if it produces more offspring. Must be consistent. (Actually, evolutionists feel no need to be consistent, either, except when appearing to be consistent or honest aids their cause. That’s why you have to watch these guys.) As could be expected, Brynner regurgitated Live Science’s standard creation-mocking links at the bottom of her article. While Biblical creationists can be encouraged at their strong showing in spite decades of merciless, one-sided indoctrination, there is cause for alarm at the slow rise of secularism with its roots in Darwinism. The Battle for the Beginning still rages (02/17/2002).
The middle group, whom we could call compromisers, actually includes quite a few Bible-believing creationists, too – including proponents of the day-age theory, gap theory, progressive creation, and other schemes that subscribe to the rest of the Bible after Genesis 11, including the fundamental doctrines of the deity of Christ, God’s sovereignty to work miracles, and Christ’s second coming – and hold to a literal creation of Adam and Eve. Members of these subgroups are just uncomfortable with trying to put Genesis 1-11 in 10,000 years or less.
The compromise category also includes theistic evolutionists, who accept gradual natural selection after a fashion, but believe either that all the variations were front-loaded to produce humans, or that God superintended the variations to work out His plan for the arrival of humans. Many of these also are Christians with sincere faith, misguided and inconsistent as we would think them to be. And even the “secular evolution” group could include some proponents of intelligent design, though not ones ready to concede the designer is God (notice the way the Gallup question was worded: “but God guided the process”). Evolution News commented on the ambiguities of the categories.
One should beware of the assumptions in the word religious. The impression is given of a dichotomy between those with “religiosity” (whatever that big tent zoo includes) and the secular purists, devoted only to evidence and reason. Don’t be fooled. That’s a category error. The “secular evolutionists” are just as religious as anyone in the species Homo religiosens, even if they don’t hold hymnals in a church. They are just as religious as other pantheists, like the animists who envisioned spirits in the trees and animals, only our modern academic pantheists are better at math and more sophisticated in their ignorance. It’s impossible to be truly secular, because either one steals from the smorgasbord of Christian assumptions (02/09/2009) about the nature of reality and the preconditions for intelligibility (03/18/2009), or ends up ascribing creative powers to material stuff and imbuing it with all the attributes of God (05/20/2002).
No, the faithful in the Church of Darwin can best be described as pantheists and polytheists, meditating on their own scriptures (The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man), chanting their mantras Ummmm, Stufffff Happpppennnnzzz (09/22/2009), singing their favorite hymns (It’s a Long Way from Amphioxus [10/06/2005] and others), encouraging one another (Onward EugenieScott Soldiers), and bowing at the shrines of their idols in the Evolutionary Pantheon – Emperor Charlie (the Bearded Buddha), Sir Lyell Lot, and Tinker Bell – those all-wise spirits empowered (given enough time) to call out the life-potential in stuff and make life “emerge” from particles.