60 Percent of Doctors Polled Reject Neo-darwinism

Jonathan Witt has an interesting post on a recent poll of doctors and their views on evolution and I.D. The headline of the press release spins the findings of the poll as the Majority of Physicians Give the Nod to Evolution Over Intelligent Design.

A closer look at the details of the poll, however, are quite revealing. Question seven asks, "What are your views on the origin and development of human beings?"

Only 38% of almost 1500 physicisians surveyed were willing to sign on to the following statement: "Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement - no divinity played any role."

Since entrance into the design camp only requires that an intelligent agent played some role, it would seem that only 38% of physicians fall outside the design camp. This would seem to contravene the headline attached to this press release.

As our knowledge of the information systems within the cell grows, look for the number of those willing to cling to the "divinity had nothing to do with it" position to shrink further.


Anonymous said…
Your "it would seem" in the fourth paragraph does not necessarily follow from the evidence you have given. You identify those that are unwilling to deny a divine role categorically as in fact positively asserting some divine role. What warrant do you have for this identification? It appears to be a non-sequitur, as they might be allowing for the possibility of a divine role without asserting it.

Jeff said…
Q7 asked, "What are your views on the origin and development of human beings"

The results were:

God created humans exactly as they appear now. 18%

God initiated and guided an evolutionary process that
has led to current human beings 42%

Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement -
no divinity played any role. 38%

I don't like to think about such matters 2%

So ... 60% believed that God played a role ... 38 % said no way, and 2 % punted.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for pointing me to the poll questions. The way that the questions are asked is not very sophisticated. As far as I can see, the respondents are asked for their views, apparently without specifying whether they are supposed to be limiting themselves to the scientific evidence or include broader personal beliefs as well. They are asked either to either to affirm or deny a divine role in the origin of human beings. There was no “I believe man evolved, but take no position on whether God was involved or not” or maybe “I believe man evolved, but this there is no scientific evidence as to whether this was divinely guided or not”. I am amazed that about 20% of the Christians denied a divine role in human origins. That number is remarkably.

The way that the questions were asked forced the respondents to fit themselves into pigeonholes that don’t really describe their views well. I would bet if there were an agnostic option that advocated evolution without either denying or advocating divine involvement, it would have drawn heavily from the respondents who ended up placing themselves in either the “no supernatural involvement” or the “God initiated and guided” camps.

It also seems that many of the respondents would not be comfortable with Jonathan Witt’s and Weekend Fisher’s interpretation of what constitutes the intelligent design camp. According to the responses to question 10, 58% of all respondents took the position that intelligent design is religiously inspired pseudo-science. Would this not mean that a minimum of 30% of those that Witt and Fisher are claiming to be in the design camp (58-40 = 18; 18/60= .3) stated that the theory of intelligent design is religiously inspired pseudo-science?

BK said…
"According to the responses to question 10, 58% of all respondents took the position that intelligent design is religiously inspired pseudo-science." Of course they would. That is the result of the actions of those in the hard-line Darwinist camp to paint it that way. They get most of the press and control how ID is viewed.
Weekend Fisher said…
Gadfly said, "... Jonathan Witt's and Weekend Fisher's interpretation of what constitutes the intelligent design camp".

Hmm. I'm fairly sure I've never posted my views on ID. That's a topic I usually leave to those more interested in it and who keep on top of the literature. The only somewhat-related post I've made on this blog is how little of the debate actually focuses on the data, which is (to my thinking) a bad thing. There's a passing comment in there as to ID'ers having one thing in common with creationist literalists: a different view than pure naturalists as to why certain things happened.

As a blogger I'm glad to stand by the pieces I've posted. But I always say something when I notice someone putting my name (or pen-name in this case) by something I haven't discussed.

Take care & God bless
Anonymous said…
Sorry Weekend Fisher. I confused you with one of the other contributors on this blog. That should have read "Jonathan Witt's and Dawn Treader's interpretation." I have no idea what your views on intelligent design are and apologize for the confusion.


Forget the labels for a moment, and reflect on the fact that only 38% of a group which is highly trained in science and biology were willing to say that human beings evolved in a 100% naturalistic way.

The choice for common descent via natural selection only was crystal clear. Sixty-two percent did not fill in that circle.

This is telling -- especially when the hard line Darwinists claim that the reason that so few are buying into naturalistic evolution in this country is because of a poor science education. This poll is not helpful to their case.

Popular posts from this blog

Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"

How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

The Bogus Gandhi Quote

Exodus 22:18 - Are Followers of God to Kill Witches?

Asherah: Not God's Wife

Discussing Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Space Aliens and Assumptions

God Argument: from cosmological Dependence

Space Aliens and Assumptions

Restoring Apologetics to Evangelism, Part 1