Americans Overwhelmingly Support Teaching Scientific Challenges to Darwinian Evolution, Zogby Poll Shows - Evolution News & Views

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Americans Overwhelmingly Support Teaching Scientific Challenges to Darwinian Evolution, Zogby Poll Shows

A new nationwide poll by Zogby International shows that 69 percent of Americans support public school teachers presenting both the evidence for Darwinian evolution, as well as the evidence against it.

"This poll shows widespread support for the idea that when biology teachers teach Darwin's theory of evolution they should present the scientific evidence that supports it as well as the evidence against it," said Casey Luskin, program officer for public policy and legal affairs with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.

By more than two to one, voters say that biology teachers should teach Darwin's theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it. Approximately seven in ten (69%) side with this view. In contrast, one in five (21%) feels that Biology teachers should teach only Darwin's theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.

Not only do a majority of people in virtually every sub-group agree that both sides should be presented when teaching evolution, but people in every sub-group are at least twice as likely to prefer this approach to science education. Among the biggest supporters are 18-29 year-olds (88%), 73% of Republicans, and 74% of independent voters. Others who strongly support this approach include African-Americans (69%), 35-54 year-olds (70%) and 60% of Democrats.

The public is also strongly supportive of students learning about the evidence for intelligent design in biology class. More than three-fourths of respondents (77%) agree that when Darwin's theory of evolution is taught in school, students should also be able to learn about scientific evidence that points to an intelligent design of life. Furthermore, a majority (51%) agrees strongly with this statement. In comparison, one in five (19%) disagrees with the statement.

"While we don't favor mandating the teaching of intelligent design we do think it is constitutional for teachers to discuss it precisely because the theory is based upon scientific evidence not religious premises," added Luskin. "The public strongly agrees that students should be permitted to learn about such evidence."

Seventy percent or more of people in just about every sub-group agree that when Darwin's theory of evolution is taught in school, students should also be able to learn about scientific evidence that points to an intelligent design of life. Just over two-thirds of Hispanics (68%) strongly agree with the statement, as do good majorities of Republicans (57%) and residents of the South (57%) and rural areas (58%). Others who highly agree include over four-fifths of 18-29 year-olds (87%), African Americans (83%), and Catholics (83%).