‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Theos / Comres report - intelligent design supporters 'highest educated'

The Theos funded report on attitudes to evolution and creation in society has now been published. It gives a confusing picture, although that didn't stop the Guardian taking one figure out of context to give the spin required by the paper. Guardian news item Theos news item

The report, Faith and Darwin written by Comres not Theos to avoid bias, commented on page 102.

"Despite the decrease of religious practice in the UK and the recent media coverage of issues of science and faith, there is still a core of people who hold to Young Earth Creationism. However, interestingly, the youngest generations and highest educated people show inclinations towards believing in Intelligent Design. Could this be a pointer towards the dominant trend of tomorrow?"

Elsewhere, on pages 18-19, it gave a profile of a typical intelligent design supporter.

"[He is typically] 25 has just completed a master’s degree, believes that the complexity of life on earth can only be explained by Intelligent Design. He believes there is a God or higher power of some sort, though is unwilling to be drawn on whether that is the God his grandmother believes in or some other force. Evolution, he says, is still just a theory that is waiting to be proved or disproved by the evidence. It doesn’t offer a serious challenge to the question of ultimate purpose in life, and does not contradict his view that humans have unique value and significance. He thinks science challenges religious faith, but is happy to live with this tension and remains open-minded about how evolutionary theory and Christianity relate to each other. Unlike his father, he thinks children should be introduced to Intelligent Design in school, but while his grandmother would like to see it taught in science lessons as an alternative to evolution, he agrees with his mother that it is a more appropriate subject for discussion in subjects such as RE."

However, Paul Wolley of Theos continues to promote his belief in theistic evolution, calling on people to carefully weigh the evidence for evolution. It would seem though that many of the best educated have concluded that Darwinian explanations cannot explain all of life.

Furthermore, Theos continue to assert that Darwin's ides have little consequence for theistic belief despite the fact that Darwin's writing, correspondence and acquaintances are complicated and Darwin seemed to have had feet in a number of camps. Darwin for instance seemed to give tacit approval to the activity of T.H. Huxley who was develop a sense of conflict between science and faith while promoting Darwin's work; at least there is little evidence that Darwin did anything to question Huxley.


Anonymous said...

Highest educated in the group of people who believe in religious silliness.

Which lets face it is not a very highly educated or intelligent group.

Anonymous said...

Anon - read the report - it suggests an evolutionist will typically have a BSc, an IDer an MSc - p.18-19.

Anonymous said...

Yes but what in...by any chance Basket weaving?