‘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

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Evangelical Alliance and Attitudes to Evolution

There is a new report by the Evangelical Alliance that includes attitudes to evolution amongst evangelicals. The Church of England newsletter suggests it reveals that attitudes are changing to evolution with 6 out of 10 evangelicals now believing that evolution is compatible with Christianity.

Although it is a large sample of more than 17,000 church members and conference goes, the question on evolution is suitably vague and in two parts. Why do experts in this field insist on asking people two questions and allow only one response? Also it is not very well qualified because it doesn't specify clearly what is meant by evolution; even young earth creationist Henry Morris accepted the possibility of fairly rapid micro-evolution for instance. So I don't think it is a particularly meaningful result.

The question; "I believe that evolution and Christianity are incompatible: you cannot believe both"

Personally speaking, if asked this I would want to answer; 'what do you mean by evolution?' If micro-evolution I would disagree with the first part; if macro-evolution I would agree with the first part. And I would want to answer that you can be a Christian and believe in macro-evolution, even though I believe macro-evolution is untrue.

Responses are as follows.
Agree a lot; Agree a little; Unsure; Disagree a little; Disagree a lot.
Evangelical Christian (festival sample)
18% - 8% - 14% - 20% - 39%
Evangelical Christian (church sample)
30% - 9% - 18% - 16% - 27%

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