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The Critic's Resource on AntiEvolution

NCSE Evolution Education Update for 2009/07/10

(by NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch)

Dear Friends of NCSE,

A new report on attitudes toward evolution among scientists and the
public. Plus new selected content from the Expelled Exposed issue of


"Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have
evolved over time," while only 61% of the public agrees, according to
a new report (p. 37) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the
Press. Asked which comes closer to their view, "Humans and other
living things have evolved over time" or "Humans and other living
things have existed in their present form since the beginning of
time," 97% of scientists responding chose the former option, as
opposed to only 2% choosing the latter option; 61% of the public
responding chose the former option, as opposed to 31% choosing the
latter option.

Those who chose the former option were also asked whether they
preferred "Humans and other living things have evolved due to natural
processes such as natural selection" or "A supreme being guided the
evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and
other life in the form it exists today." Among scientists, 87%
preferred the former option and 8% preferred the latter option; among
the public, 32% preferred the former option and 22% preferred the
latter option. Members of the public were also asked whether
scientists generally agree that humans evolved over time; 60% said
yes, 28% said no.

"Views on evolution vary substantially within the general public," the
report observed (p. 38), "particularly by religion and attendance at
religious services." For example, among white evangelical Protestants
responding, a majority, 57%, agreed that humans existed in their
present form since the beginning of time, and among those respondents
attending religious services weekly or more often, a near-majority,
49%, agreed. In contrast, among the religiously unaffiliated
responding, 60% agreed that humans evolved due to natural processes.
Also correlated with acceptance of evolution were youth and education.

The questions about evolution were part of a larger project, conducted
by the Pew Research Center and the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, investigating the public's attitude toward
science and comparing it to the attitude of scientists. The report
relied on three surveys, two conducted by telephone among members of
the general public in the United States in April, May, and June 2009,
and one conducted on-line among members of the AAAS in May and June
2009. The broader significance of the project's results are summarized
in the Pew Research Center's overview report, issued on July 9, 2009.

For the full report (PDF), visit:

For the overview report, visit:


Selected content from volume 28, numbers 5-6, of Reports of the
National Center for Science Education is now available on NCSE's
website. RNCSE 28:5-6 was a special Expelled Exposed issue, with a
comprehensive debunking of the recent creationist propaganda movie
Expelled. Featured are Eugenie C. Scott's recounting of her rude
introduction to Expelled, Gary S. Hurd's discussion of the movie's
misrepresentations of scientific research on the origin of life, and
reports on the reaction from critics and from organizations with
stakes in the creationism/evolution controversy, the controversies
over alleged misuses of copyrighted material, and, of course, the box

If you like what you see, why not subscribe to RNCSE today? The next
issue (volume 29, number 3) features dispatches from Texas by Steven
Schafersman of Texas Citizens for Science, NCSE's Joshua Rosenau, and
Jeremy Mohn, who revealed Don McLeroy's penchant for quote-mining.
There's also a story about the crowning of the kilosteve -- Steve
#1000 in NCSE's Project Steve -- and a host of reviews, including
Peter Dodson on Donald R. Prothero's Evolution: What the Fossils Say
and Why it Matters, Andrea Bottaro on Kenneth R. Miller's Only a
Theory, and Donald R. Prothero on Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True.
Don't miss out -- subscribe now!

For the selected content from RNCSE 28:5-6, visit:

For NCSE's compendium of information about Expelled, visit:

For subscription information, visit:

Thanks for reading! And don't forget to visit NCSE's website -- -- where you can always find the latest news on
evolution education and threats to it.


Glenn Branch
Deputy Director
National Center for Science Education, Inc.
420 40th Street, Suite 2
Oakland, CA 94609-2509
510-601-7203 x310
fax: 510-601-7204

Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism -- now in its second edition!

Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools

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