The problem is that evolution has become mixed up with all sorts of ideas – like the belief that there is no God, or no purpose or no absolute morality in life – which people find very difficult to accept. The tragedy is that this was never Darwin’s position. Three years before he died he wrote "it seems to me absurd to doubt that a man may be an ardent Theist & anThe survey, carried out by the polling and research consultancy firm ."ComRes, performed telephone interviews with 2060 people representing a balanced cross-section of age, gender and locales across the whole of the United Kingdom and aksed four questions;
- Young Earth Creationism is the idea that god created the world sometime in the last 10,000 years: 33% said it was definitely or probably true versus 60% saying it was definitely or probably untrue
- Theistic Evolution is the idea that evolution is the means that god used for the creation of all living things on earth: 44% said it was definitely or probably true versus 46% saying it was definitely or probably untrue
- Atheistic Evolution is the idea that evolution makes belief in god unnecessary and absurd:34% said it was definitely or probably true versus 57% saying it was definitely or probably untrue
- Intelligent Design is the idea that evolution is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is required at key stages: 51% said it was definitely or probably true versus 40% saying it was definitely or probably untrue
Image via Wikipediahe likely response from the above four questions and it would not significantly alter these worrying conclusions.
So, in the UK, one third of the population believes in Young Earth Creationism, over half the population believes in Intelligent Design and only one third accepts "atheistic evolution".
Accompanying this survey is a rather interesting report, really a short book, called Rescuing Darwin- God and Evolution in Britain today by Nick Spencer and Dennis Alexander, which I have not had a chance to read yet.
Rescuing Darwin argues that Darwin and his theory have become caught in the crossfire of a philosophical and theological battle in which he himself had little personal interest. On the one side stands a handful of modern Darwinians who insist that evolution has killed God and ideas of design, purpose, morality and humanity. On the other side are their mainly, but not exclusively, religious opponents who, unwilling to adopt such a bleak vision, cite Genesis and Intelligent Design as evidence of evolution's deficiency.Download it it looks like a interesting summary including history of these issues.