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 13% of atheists and agnostics reject evolution
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SFN Die Hard

3739 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  10:18:18  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recently found this chart which shows that a Pew poll done in 2007 found 13% of atheists and agnostics do not agree that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of life on earth.

So now I'm wondering what those 13% do think the best explanation for the origin of life on earth is.

I know IDers insist that their "theory" is secular in the sense that the intelligent designer could be aliens. Now that they've put that idea out there, are their atheists and agnostics who also enthusiastically believe in aliens who have picked it up and are promoting it?

Another possible explanation is that the 13% are simply too intellectually lazy and disengaged to have a strong opinion one way or another, so when Pew asked they just answered "No" to plead ignorance.

Or something else I haven't thought of.

Does anyone know of any evidence of who these 13% are and what they do think about the origins of life on earth?

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

26020 Posts

Posted - 03/21/2014 :  12:10:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The original data is on page 99 of the Pew report (PDF). Among atheists, it was 87% mostly/completely agree with the evolution statement, 9% mostly/completely disagree, and 3% don't know or refused to answer. Among agnostics, it was 87%, 11% and 2%.

Unfortunately, in the more-detailed results (page 210), they lumped atheists and agnostics in with "secular unaffiliated" and "religious unafiliated," so those numbers can't tell us, for example, if only 1% of atheists "completely disagreed."

The specific question was Q.10c:
...Do you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly DISagree or completely disagree?

c. Evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth
I'm going to guess that some part of the 9% were like me, and on first reading (hearing) accidentally elided the word "human." I strongly disagree that "evolution is the best explanation for the origins of life on earth," since evolution isn't abiogenesis and evolution only explains what happened after something that could be called "life" appeared here.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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SFN Addict

2830 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2014 :  17:48:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send sailingsoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After thinking about it, I don't find the results so surprising marfknox, even if accurate enough and here's why. For reasons in addition to Dave's reply. Let's face it, polling is an imperfect activity or endeavor. I'm uneasy calling it a science. Atheists can have some pretty different beliefs because being an Atheists only addresses one's lack belief about the existence of a God", which is only one issue. The definition of God has different meaning to different people so there's another variable that would have some of those 13% not so soundly in the Atheist group. They might not really belong there. If those 13% or even all those labeled Atheists in that poll have some different definitions should they all really in the same group? I don't know but this article raises some of what I thinking and it's by the PEW Research Center.
14% of those who call themselves atheists also say they believe in God or a universal spirit.
Are those 14% the biggest part of the 13%? That right there could explain a big part, you decide.

Perhaps what's more important in the results of the poll is that it indicates Atheists out of all the other groups listed (14) have the greatest % of acceptance that evolution is the best explanation for the origin of life on earth. Along with Atheists are 6% larger than the nearest group accepting Evolution. That says a lot I would think.

There are only two types of religious people, the deceivers and the deceived. SS
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Snuggle Wolf

1475 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2014 :  09:51:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Me thinks that all polls should have the choice of "badly asked question".
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Evil Skeptic

13474 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2014 :  12:33:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

Me thinks that all polls should have the choice of "badly asked question".

The conclusion might be valid. It just doesn't tell us what WE want to know.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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