Will 'Better Science Education' Convince Americans They Came from Fish?
Brian Thomas, M.S., and Frank Sherwin, M.A*
A recent poll revealed that many Americans believe public school students should be taught all sides of Darwin’s theory of evolution, its weaknesses as well as its strengths.1 Evolutionists, in the face of this data, reason that if only the American public had more “education” on evolution, the poll numbers would reflect in their favor.
The poll was conducted by the market research firm Zogby International. Respondents were asked to choose between two statements regarding whether biology teachers should teach only the Darwinian theory of evolution, or if teachers should teach both Darwin’s theory and the scientific evidence against it.
The survey’s results were released by the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, an intelligent design think tank that commissioned the survey, through the nonprofit news source Cybercast News Services (CNSNews.com). According to the CNSNews online report, “of those surveyed 78 percent said [the statement that biology teachers should teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it] came closest to their own point of view on the issue, representing a 9 percent increase over 2006 the last time the question was asked.”1
Evolution-only dogmatists have criticized the poll partly because of the Discovery Institute’s failure to agree with the scientifically unverified tenets of macroevolution. Yet these Zogby results support those of other independent surveys, including ones conducted by Fox News and several by Gallup, that the majority of Americans don’t view the evidence for Darwin’s theory as watertight.2
Rather than consider the poll’s majority opinion as resulting from an informed citizenry, evolutionists fault mediocre science education, presuming that since Americans don’t adhere to the evolutionary explanation of origins, they must be ignorant of it. Chris Mooney of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry told CNSCNews.com, “Taken as a whole, polls about evolution certainly do suggest that we need much better science education in this country.”1
But creation scientists have long shown that a great gulf separates the data gathered through empirical science (observation and testing) and proof of evolution (Darwin’s hypothesis of descent-with-modification). The presence of only minor variations in colors and sizes among living creatures of the same kind, the pre-programmed exchange of resistance factors between bacteria, and the habitual and maddening lack of fossil intermediates overwhelmingly undermine the evolutionary case.3
Evolutionists’ efforts to “educate” are actually efforts to indoctrinate. Apparently, the American public largely understands that.
Insisting on “better science education” to convince people of evolution is tantamount to a “bait and switch,” showing the public how laboratory science is done, and then saying it is equivalent to the secular philosophy that states humans came from fish. But increasing the “quality” of science education should not convert thinking Americans to belief in a naturalistic origin of paramecia, plants, pandas, or people.
Reading the testimony of the One who was there “in the beginning,”4 however, should keep the story straight, especially considering how well-matched it is with observation-based science.
- Neefus, C. Zogby Poll: Most Americans Want Strengths and Weaknesses of Darwinism Taught in Schools. Cybercast News Service. Posted on CNSNews.com July 13, 2009, accessed July 13, 2009.
- Newport, F. American Beliefs: Evolution vs. Bible’s Explanation of Human Origins. Gallup News Service. Posted on Gallup.com March 8, 2006, accessed July 14, 2009. Also see Newport, F. On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution. Gallup News Service. Posted on Gallup.com February 11, 2009, accessed July 14, 2009, and Newport, F. Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin’s Evolution Theory. Gallup News Service. Posted on Gallup.com November 19, 2004, accessed July 14, 2009.
- See Figure 10.47 in Benton, M. J. 2005. Vertebrate Paleontology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 361. See also Figure 8.3 in Denton, M. 1985. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 173; and Figure 1-2 in Colbert, E. H., M. Morales and E. C. Minkoff. 2001. Colbert’s Evolution of the Vertebrates, New York: Wiley-Liss, 8.
- Genesis 1:1.
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer and Mr. Sherwin is Senior Science Lecturer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on August 3, 2009.