Wednesday, June 13, 2007

creationism research

Recent research on creationism in the USA shows that almost half of Americans do not believe in evolution.

It seems, though, that the question was not framed in such a way as to allow for people who
believe that one of the seven "days" of creation was millions of years, and that evolution and the big bang are true, but God, a god, or the gods started the whole process - where do these people fit in the scheme of things?
  • 24% of Americans believe that both the theory of evolution and the theory of creationism are probably or definitely true
  • 41% believe that creationism is true, and that evolution is false
  • 28% believe that evolution is true, but that creationism is false
  • 3% either believe that both are false or have no opinion about at least one of the theories
Without further research, it's not possible to determine the exact thinking process of those who agreed that both the theory of evolution and creationism are true. It may be, however, that some respondents were seeking a way to express their views that evolution may have been initiated by or guided by God, and told the interviewer that they agreed with both evolution and creationism in an effort to express this more complex attitude.
Personally I believe in a multiverse in which universes appear and disappear due to the effects of black and white holes (many physicists have adopted this view), and where the processes of evolution, emergence and collapse are the physical correlates of the thought processes of the mind of the Universe.


Ali said...

Studies like this are why I become frustrated, sometimes. A minority view, such as creationism, is treated as the only religious viewpoint and is then set against a purely materialist scientific view (incidentally, I'm fairly sure the scientific definition of "evolution" was specifically worded so as not to preclude the possibility of a guiding Spirit, and to recognize that science does not speak about the nonmaterial and so cannot make judgments about it--but I can't remember where I read that). What ends up happening is that the majority of religious or spiritual individuals end up looking like they're either wholly ignorant, or functioning on a level of cognitive dissonance that borders on insanity.

As far as my personal view--I'm fascinated by cosmology and modern physics, as well, but for me the idea of "creation" is much more personal than vast universes blooming into existence. I believe in the idea of the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm--or the holographic nature of the universe(s)--and that creation is an on-going process that we can witness directly in this very moment, as well as finding it in the stars, blackholes and the mysteries of billions of years of history.

Yvonne said...

Yes, the study was far too quantitative. It's very difficult to get at the nuances of people's beliefs with this sort of questionnaire.