Overwhelming Support in Ohio For Teaching Both Sides of Evolution, Zogby Poll Shows - Evolution News & Views

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Overwhelming Support in Ohio For Teaching Both Sides of Evolution, Zogby Poll Shows

By more than a 3-to-1 margin, Ohio residents strongly support public school teachers presenting both the evidence for evolution, as well as the evidence challenging the theory, according to a new poll by Zogby International released today. (full poll report here)

"Ohioans want Darwin's theory of evolution fully and completely presented, including the theory's strengths and weaknesses," said Robert Crowther, director of communications for Discovery Institute, which commissioned the Zogby poll. "The public is solidly behind the approach to teaching evolution that the Ohio state board of education has already adopted. Those attacking the school board for supporting teaching both the evidence for and against evolution don't represent the views of the majority of Ohioans."

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they agreed with the following statement: Biology teachers should teach Darwin's theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it. Less than 20 percent supported the alternative statement: Biology teachers should teach only Darwin's theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.

The poll updates a similar poll conducted in Ohio in 2002 and shows a slight increase --up from 65% to 68.8%-- in public support of teaching both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwin's theory. It shows that Ohioans are in line with, but slightly less supportive than those in California and Texas where recent polls show support for teaching both strengths and weaknesses was 73.5% and 76% respectively. In 2001 a poll showed strong support across the country with 71% nationally favoring a critical analysis approach to teaching evolution.

"When we polled Ohio in 2002 and found strong support for teaching both the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution there were skeptics in the media," Crowther said. "So the Cleveland Plain Dealer took their own poll and found out we were right. Ohioans want to know more about evolution, not less. They don't want the state dumbing down the teaching of evolution by not presenting all the evidence."

"Surprisingly, Ohioans want to go further than their leaders with 75% favoring teaching intelligent design alongside of Darwinian evolution," added Crowther. "Even after all the attacks on intelligent design by the dogmatic Darwin-only lobby, the public clearly wants to know more about the theory and make up their own minds."

The report outlining poll results will be made available on Monday morning on the Discovery Institute website. If you'd like to request a copy of the report you can e-mail rob@discovery.org.

Discovery Institute is the nation's leading think tank dealing with scientific challenges to Darwinian evolution. It believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues. The Institute opposes any effort to mandate or require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education.