The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has a fascinating study that compares belief in evolution against certain religious strata.
Here’s the Pew Forum graph, and several things surprise me:
1. Buddhists are at 81%
2. Jehovah’s Witnesses are at 8%
3. Catholics are above the mean at 58%
Are the “Unaffiliated” at 72% agnostics and atheists?
That graph may suggest more tolerance of Darwinism than is actually present in the populace.
Recent public opinion polls indicate that challenges to Darwinian evolution have substantial support among the American people. According to an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 63 percent of Americans believe that humans and other animals have either always existed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guidance of a supreme being. Only 26 percent say that life evolved solely through processes such as natural selection. A similar Pew Research Center poll, released in August 2005, found that 64 percent of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in the classroom….
This view is not shared by the nation’s scientists, most of whom contend that evolution is a well-established scientific theory that convincingly explains the origins and development of life on earth. Moreover, they say, a scientific theory is not a hunch or a guess but is instead an established explanation for a natural phenomenon, like gravity, that has repeatedly been tested through observation and experimentation. Indeed, most scientists argue that, for all practical purposes, evolution through natural selection is a fact. These scientists and others dismiss creation science as religion, not science, and describe intelligent design as little more than creationism dressed up in scientific jargon.
How do we resolve the chasm between scientific fact and religious dogma?
Are the scientists required to kneel and bow before the godhead; or are the true believers required to accept the irrefutable facts of the scientific method?