Darwin & Evolution vs Creationism & Intelligent Design: Who Believes? (updated 7-20-12)
This Hub is About Surveys, Please Take These Surveys First
This hub is about the results of some surveys regarding Creationism and Evolution that I found very interesting. I would very much appreciate it you would take these few surveys before you read the hub. I am requesting this for comparison purposes to see if the results of this survey approximate those by Gallup and others. Come back often to see if people are voting and see what the results might be.
Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings
Your Knowledge of Evolution
How much have you heard or read about the Theory of Evolution:
Evolution and Your Religion
In general, would you say the theory of evolution conflicts with your own religious beliefs, or is mostly compatible with your own religious beliefs?
The Politics Of It
If a presidential candidate stated that he or she DID NOT believe in the theory of evolution, would that make you much more likely to vote for that candidate, a little more likely, not make a differen
GRANTED, THE ABOVE POLL only has 34 responses so far (the bare minimum needed) we see that how one believes in evolution DOES have an impact on who the President of the United States will be. Has you can see, only 18% (~6 ppl) don't think what a candidate believes will influence their vote.
For those to whom belief in evolution is a factor in their voting it appears at the moment that NOT believing in evolution could be an impediment to their ultimate victory. The results currently show believing in the theory of evolution gives a candidate an edge, 50% (17 ppl) to 33%.(~11 ppl); as large a difference as that appears to be, that IS NOT a statistically significant difference ... at this point in time.
What is the highest education level you have attained?
I am in the process of buying this game for my grandkids
THE LATEST GALLUP POLL GOMES IN with consistent results.where 42% of Americans still hold the 10,000 year creationist view, 31% are still creationists but think it all started millions of years ago, while a meager 19% hold the evolutionist position. It is interesting to note that the degree of what one believed in is highly correlated with the amount of education one has and the amount of church attendance, and how old you were. So, the less educated, more church-going, and older you are, the more likely you are to believe in creationism; while the more educated, less church-going and younger you are, chances are you believe in evolution.
Some Amazing (to me anyway) Statistics
I heard about these statistics one or two years ago but blew them off as being something the far right would put out; very biased in other words. Well, I heard them again in December 2010 with the name Gallup attached to them and my curiosity was immediately peaked; I wasn't sure I heard right. I Googled it. Boy was my INTP system in for a shock!!
Fully 40% of the 1,109 adults polled between 12/10/2010 and 12/12/2010 said they believe that human beings were created by God within the last 10,000 years! I was floored, to say the least. This had to be wrong, just a statistical fluke. Nope, I was wrong. I found this number is the lowest it has been since at least 1982! Measurements between then and now have fluctuated between 43% in 2007 and 47% in 1993 and 1999.
Another, more believable, for me at least, 38% believe that human beings evolved the way that evolution theory says it does but God guides this process. Finally, a meager 16%, that is up from a low of 9% in 1982 and 1999, go completely along with Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. (Note - I inserted one word "active" into my survey that wasn't in the original to allow for those who are spiritually inclined, agnostic, or atheistic to vote in the same category. I am one of those with a definition of God that doesn't fit either of the original answers.)
To gauge the above results are a few more numbers:
How much have you read about the Theory of Evolution? (VA Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey, 2010)
- A Lot - 44%
- Some - 32%
- Not Too Much - 13%
- Not At All - 10%
In general, would you say the Theory of Evolution conflicts with your own religious beliefs or is mostly compatible with your religious beliefs? (VA Commonwealth University Life Sciences Survey, 2010)
- Conflicts - 42%
- Mostly Compatible - 43%
- Unsure/Refuse to Answer - 16%
(Note - the VA survey asked a similar question as did the Gallup poll and came out with somewhat the same results.)
Do you believe man and ape have the same common ancestry? (Harris Poll, 2005)
- Do Believe - 46%
- Do Not Believe - 47%
- Unsure - 7%
Well, there is some food for thought and comments. I hope you voted. If not, please do, I and the rest of the hubbers would appreciate it. As always, I will have more to say on this later but thought it would be fun to get this out now.
THIS EXPLAINS A LOT ABOUT WHERE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR CAME FROM
DEMONIC MALES was a fascinating book to read if you are interested in where we came from. It traces the history of primates comparing their traits with ours and ending with description of WHY and HOW we evolved with Gorillas and Chimpanzees being our closest cousins (I wish it had been the Bonobo; there would have been a lot less bloodshed in our history). One hint, a river played a major role.
Why Were the Results Amazing to Me?
Well, like the mountain, because they were there! ... just kidding.
Only one result really got my attention; the gargantuan number of Americans who actually believe the earth, or at least the human race is no more than 10,000 years old. That is double my expectations. The reason this is double my expectations is the last survey figures I "thought" I saw told me that somewhere around 20% of Americans are hardcore Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christian who firmly believe the Bible is the unalterable word of God. If you do a genealogy from the Bible (I have by the way) you can easily get between 6000 to 10,000 years, give or take, depending on some assumptions you make. Well, with a figure like 40% believing humans have been around only 10,000 years left me wondering about what I "thought".
As it turns out, what I "thought" was of the mark it bit, like about by 20%! A 2004 ABC poll has Evangelicals at around 37% and a 2005 Harris poll came in at 39%. I had no idea! Now, my only solice is that this is an American phenomenon. If you bring in the rest of the world, Evangelicals as a percentage of all Christians, let alone all religions, drops significantly, maybe into the single digits, because the ratio of Protestants to Catholics changes radically.
I know from personal conversations with a few friends who are or were deeply into this brand of Christianity that they firmly believe that, and I forget now the exact reasons why, God has made the Earth to look like it is millions and billions of years old and to make life, of one sort or another, to appear to have been around for hundreds of millions of years, when in fact it has only been around for 10,000 years or less. This has to be the case, the reasoning goes, because the Bible simply cannot be wrong. All of the archaeological finds to the contrary are false; God is deceiving us from the real truth for some unknown reason but you must have faith that the Bible is correct. I have argued with one particular friend until I was blue in the face, but, to no avail.
For whatever reason you have people who run the gamut from the very uneducated to the very educated. from the lower IQ to the very high IQ, and from the very poor to the very rich who absolutely believe the above to be true. Why people can turn away from what I would consider irrefutable proof of the age of the earth (I am not talking about evolution yet) and the history of plant and animals on Earth in order to continue to believe an interpretation of Scripture that leaves absolutely no room for compromise is beyond my understanding. But this is reality in America and America alone to such a degre. Such structured, immovable belief systems have gone to extremes as we have seen with such sects as Jim Jones and Waco, which clearly are aberrations, but nevertheless show how far this blind devotion can go. (I will share some of the ABC poll results in the last section.)
I don't make fun or ridicule those with these beliefs, as alien as they are to me, for these people are most definitely sincere about them. I simply cannot understand them; as somebody from Star Trek might say "it does not compute." The only time I start getting my back up, by the way, is when my rights start becoming infringed by religious political action.
Occasionally, one or two souls will see one too many discrepancies in the Bible for their comfort level and start looking closer with a more inquiring mind. Two friends of mine from Idaho did that before I met them and went from one extreme to the other. Now they are as hardcore atheist as they were hardcore Evangelicals years ago. Another friend who was just as Evangelical as the other two became unenamoured when after spending her youth and young adulthood serving the church, it turned on her when she rejected and divorced her abusive husband. She is still giving God a chance, but not the church.
I think I have wandered off couse here a bit. So back on point. I guess that now that I know that in America, almost 40% of Christians are Evagelicals. I guess I have to say that I am NOT too amazed at the poll results because it IS consistent with the religious tenets of their particular brand of of faith. Further, given the general belief in God among most Americans, the remaining results didn't surprise me in the first place nor do they now.
2004 ABC News Poll Results on Religious Preferences
- Other Christian Religions
2004 ABC News Poll Results on Religious Preferences
% of Denomination who say they are evangelical
- Baptist - 62%
- All other Protestant Denominations together - 47%
- Non-Denominational - 36%
% by Region who say they are evangelical
- South - 55%
- Northeast - 21%
- Midwest - 26%
- West - 31%
% by Ethnicity
- Black - 67%
- Caucasian - 33%
Among households that earn less than $35.000/yr, 45% are evangelical. That figure drops to 31% as income rises
49% of evangelical Protestants have incomes under $50,000, as do 43% of non-evangelical Protestants, compared to 36% of Catholics. .
36% of Catholics are college graduates; that declines to 23% of Protestants, and 17% of Baptists.
40% of white evangelical Protestants identify themselves as Republicans, as do 34% of white non-evangelical Protestants. By contrast only 5% of blacks, and 11% of non-Christians, are Republicans.
62% of evangelical Protestants say it should be illegal in all or most cases; by contrast, 65% of non-evangelical Protestants say abortion should be legal (as do 55% of Catholics).
44% of white evangelical Protestants say they're conservative on most political matters; that compares to 33% of white non-evangelical Protestants and white Catholics alike. Blacks are different in this regard; just 24% of blacks say they're conservative politically. And among people who have no religion, only 19% are conservatives.
I included a poll at the top which, so far, has only garnered 13 votes. As a statistician, I can definitively say, that isn't enough votes to say anything intelligent about the results yet, I need at least 30. However, as a commentator, as is the habit with most commentators who don't provide their sources, I have no problem making statements of fact anyway, sort of like the myth that Obama promised to keep unemployment below 8% ... never happened. In this case, I am telling you there isn't enough data to draw conclusions I am going to give you.
You will notice in my poll, I included a question on Education. That is because of the information presented in the 2004 report I just cited. Now the limitations of Hub Polling prevent me from getting a direct answer, I can make inferences. My going position is that the more educated a person is, the less religious they are, or at least Christians; the data at the bottom of the 2004 survey seem to suggest that. I am hoping my poll will help me in my research on this question.
As I said, Hub Polling has its limitations, so I can't ask a two-part question at the same time, belief and education level; I have to ask them separately. So, the best I can do is determine if education plays any role at all. I can be a bit more precise with the question, "Does Christian belief play a significant role in choosing a President."
What are the results as of this moment in time?
- To the question of "Does one's education level influence their belief in evolution?", the answer, after 13 votes, is "Can't tell, but maybe not." Why do I say that. With 13 votes those who believe in evolution of some sort and those who don't is statistically 50/50; even though the actual results are 46%-Yes and 38%-No, the margin of error is so large there is no difference between the two, statistically speaking. 92% say they have some college level schooling and 50% say they have post-graduate work. Because almost everybody has some college-level education, I can't draw a distinction between education level and belief in evolution. The best I can say, if I want to go way out on a limb, and say maybe post-graduate level education does, but then that falls in the category of saying Obama promised no more than 8% unemployment.
- Something can be said about the other question, however, ""Does Christian belief play a significant role in choosing a President." In tis case both of the poll results are 50/50. Even with only 13 votes, that suggests strongly, but doesn't prove, that if the Presidential candidate and the voter believe the same way about evolution, then the voter is more likely to vote for that candidate.
Take it for what it is worth.
RESPONSE TO A COMMENT TO THE QUESTION "
Honestly, people may say Darwinism is a proven theory, and anthropologists and scientist may find many ways to prove that we evolved from nothingness or from the big bang, but this cannot be true, because how can something in our superior intellect and advanced creation be a product of mere evolution, if you think about it, only something unlike us, or anything in this world could have pieced something together like a human being. Even trillions of years of evolution couldn't bring an animal to our specific creation. Only something with an incomprehensible power could be responsible and directly because saying indirectly is like saying it was evolution's responsibility.
A reasonable response for a person who has absolute faith in the Judeo-Christian-Islamic (monotheistic) view of religion; but, not accurate, even if you believe in a God in such a way, because of the lack of understanding, or even fear, purely religious folks have of science. The Catholics burned scientists at the stake, literally, Geordano Bruno, executed February 17, 1600, back in the day because scientific theory, such as "the Earth is not the Center of the Universe". A sad fact in Christian history for sure but no different than today's brewhaha over Creationism vs. Evolution.
Let me pose this theory for starters, "I claim there will be a dawn tomorrow." Most everyone, I suspect, believes this to be a fact, yet, it is not; it is just a theory. It is a theory because we cannot predict with 100% certainty that our sun won't go Nova tonight and obliterate the earth before when dawn should have been. Now, our science tells us that there is a 99.9999999% chance will show up in the East tomorrow, but it simply cannot be guaranteed.
Evolution is exactly the same, our science tells us with probably 99% certainty that a Darwinian-type evolution is a reality. What is nailing it down to that 99.9999999% is the science of DNA, even though archeology may not be able to find the few "missing links" that are left to find, Other science, like DNA, is filling in the gaps in our knowledge.
If fact, science has progressed so far that scientists are, as a group, convinced that the "Big Bang" concept of how the Universe was created is the correct theory. They are convinced because they can make predictions from their theoretical calculations and have them borne out in observations. Scientists have a very good idea of what took place from about 300,000 years after the "Big Bang" to the present; they can account for just about everything except something called "Dark Energy". What happened from 0 to 300,000 years is somewhat murkier, but totally opaque anymore, even though the Universe was up until that time.
What scientists can't explain, however, is what it was that exploded at the moment of the "Big Bang". It is that "what it was" which I conceive of as God because it is at that point creation, in today's Universe, began. In that "what it was" is the template of life, and everything else. If you want to say a that a thinking God, whom we happen to look like, but separate from its creation, created that template, fine; but science takes over from there.
A NOTE ON ONE OF MY POLL QUESTIONS
7/9/2012: I DON"T TRY VERY HARD NOT TO JUDGE the answers I get to my poll questions, I really am interested in what people think and my opinions have no place anywhere around them .. just wanted you to know. I have had very few respondents so far to any of the questions, but, even so, one stands out as very interesting with only 16 votes, the fourth one on politics, whether a candidate's belief in evolution would affect your vote. Preliminary results say emphatically, YES! That was a surprise. Only 13% or 2 votes said it wouldn't, meaning the other 14 said it would; now that is polarizing, don't you think? Even at 16 votes, it will take long string of "It doen's make a difference" responses to bring that back into balance.
THE FAMILY TREE
CHROMOSOME 2 - POWERFUL EVIDENCE OF HUMAN EVOLUTION
THE DNA EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION
BECAUSE THIS FIELD IS SO NEW, there is much more work to do to flesh out the full picture, but, even at this early stage, the DNA evidence supporting evolution is overwhelming! First let's orient ourselves before diving into the specifies, which I will try to keep brief and talk, if you are an evolutionist about our family tree; it is pictured above with all of its scientific jargon, which I will try to decode.
- Hominoidea is just the name given to the Superfamily that contains humans
- Hominidae is the name given to the Family that contains humans
- Homininae is the name of the Subfamily
- Hominini is the Tribe from which humans, chimps and bonobos dirive from, and
- Homo is the Genus that contains modern humans
While there is much evidence of many different types, the DNA evidence found in the human Chromosome 2 is extremely persuasive and gets around many of the dodges used by creationists such as, "where are all of the fossils?"; which to a degree, isn't a bed question. At a gross level, one piece of DNA evidence that leads one to believe in the common ancestry theory is the fact the Chimpanzees and Humans share roughly 99% the same DNA sequencing, something I suspect is very hard for creationists to explain. Why is there only a 1% difference between humans and chimpanzees and bonobos (the only truly peaceful species of the primate family)?
But the crucial piece of evidence for the "evolution of Homo sapiens from a common ancestor with chimpanzees is found in the number of chromosomes in humans as compared to all other members of Hominidae. All Hominidae, with the exception of humans, have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Humans have only 23 pairs. The human chromosome 2, as it turns out, is a result of an end-to-end fusion of two ancestral chromosomes." (from a Wikipedia article on DNA research)
The evidence for this includes:
- The correspondence of chromosome 2 to two ape chromosomes. The closest human relative, the common chimpanzee, has near-identical DNA sequences to human chromosome 2, but they are found in two separate chromosomes. The same is true of the more distant gorilla and orangutan.
- The presence of a vestigial centromere (created when two chromosomes cross during mitosis). Normally a chromosome has just one centromere, but in chromosome 2 there are remnants of a second centromere,meaning two other chromosomes joined together.
- The presence of vestigial telomeres, (end caps of chromosomes). These are normally found only at the ends of a chromosome, but in chromosome 2 there are additional telomere sequences in the middle; again implying that two chromosomes fused together
Chromosome 2 thus presents very strong evidence in favour of the common descent of humans and other apes. According to J. W. IJdo, "We conclude that the locus cloned in cosmids c8.1 and c29B [Chromosome 2 for short] is the relic of an ancient telomere-telomere fusion and marks the point at which two ancestral ape chromosomes fused to give rise to human chromosome 2." - end of Wikipedia article.
So, what does all that say? It says that ALL other members of the Hominidae Family (Humans, Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and the gentle Bonobos) share nearly identical pairs of 22 chromosomes. Non-humans have two other chromosomes to make 24 pairs while humans have only 23 pairs. It is this last two pairs of ape chromosomes and the last pair of human chromosomes (#2) that is of interest hear. As pointed out in bullet one above, the DNA in the two Chimp and Bonobo chromosomes are almost identical to the DNA in chromosome 2 in humans.
Hard evidence to refute, don't you think.
- Musings On The Meaning Of Life
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