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BBC News: “Darwin Teaching ‘Divides Opinion’” Darwinism is a controversial topic, and many believe creation should be taught in the classroom. But why is that news?
A survey conducted by the British Council in ten countries has revealed that the majority of respondents who were familiar with Darwinism think it should be taught alongside other views on life’s origin. (The survey is part of the council’s year-long “Darwin Now” program.) But in spite of the support for teaching multiple views that the survey revealed, the council’s press release on the survey puzzlingly declares, “Darwin Survey Shows International Consensus on Acceptance of Evolution.”
Interestingly, in no country surveyed did a majority believe only evolution should be taught.
Surveyers interviewed 11,000 people from Argentina, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the U.S. Among those respondents who were familiar with Darwin’s theory (apparently just under two-thirds of all respondents; only 70 percent reported knowing who Darwin was), those from Argentina were most likely to believe (68 percent) that other perspectives on life’s origin should be taught in science classes alongside Darwinian evolution.
Interestingly, in no country surveyed did a majority believe only evolution should be taught. Respondents from India were most likely to have that view (49 percent), followed by those from Spain (42 percent). Also interesting is that Spain was the country with the smallest proportion of respondents who believed other perspectives should be taught alongside Darwinian evolution—but at 38 percent, that fraction is almost as large as the number in Spain advocating evolution-only.
As for the scientific merits of the idea itself, only 41 percent of American respondents who claimed to be familiar with Darwin and his theory agreed that enough scientific evidence exists to support it. In fact, in only one country—China—did a majority of respondents agree that life on earth, including humans, evolved as a result of natural selection, with no supernatural intervention.
Despite the press release’s title, then, the survey is a clear confirmation that many people worldwide are not convinced by the naturalism-infused science used to support Darwinism. Further, a global majority believes Darwinism shouldn’t have exclusive reign in science classes on life’s origin. (For all the results, see the press released linked above.)
Everyone is free to take an online version of the survey. Be warned, however, that many of the questions seem to be worded with little thought or awareness of young-earth creation views. (For example, question three implies that creationists do not believe life has changed at all since creation.)
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