Many physicians skeptical of Darwinism
The actual poll results are here. The first question, Q1, was, "what religion are you?" Questions Q2-Q5 are not specified. The poll results for questions Q6-Q10 may be seen by clicking on the boxes on the left sidebar. A lot depends on how the questions were asked. For example, when asked, "What are your views on evolution -- accept, reject, or undecided," 78% responded, "accept"; when asked "do you agree more with evolution or more with intelligent design -- evolution, intelligent design, or no opinion," 63% responded "evolution," and when asked, "What are your views on the origin and development of human beings?", only 38% said, "humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement" (the other choices were guided evolution, were created in present form, and "I don't like to think about such matters"). What I can say is that these results show much lower support for evolution theory than I have seen in other polls of professionals in scientific or technological fields. I think that all of the recent publicity about the evolution controversy may be having an effect on the opinions of such professionals by causing them to think more about the issue. A large number of them probably previously took evolution for granted but when they carefully examined it they did not find it convincing -- that is what happened to me. Also, when the results of polls are widely publicized, there may be a "bandwagon" or "critical mass" effect: when people see that a fairly large number of their peers are questioning evolution, they are more likely to question evolution themselves. Anyway, how can the Darwinists say that there is no controversy when such large percentages of physicians -- who are well trained in biology -- reject or doubt Darwinism?
Despite the great importance that is attached to scientific and technological professionals' opinions about evolution (particularly such professionals who work in the field of biology, and physicians fall into that category), these professionals are rarely polled on the subject. Prior to this 2005 poll, the next most recent reliable poll of such professionals that I am aware of is a 2002 poll of scientists in Ohio. In that poll, 90 percent of respondents said that intelligent design is not supported at all by scientific evidence, but for reasons stated above, this figure is subject to sudden drastic change. In contrast to the infrequent polling of these professionals, the general public has been polled about evolution several times a year. Darwinists of course scoff at the large percentages of the public that question evolution or favor teaching criticism of evolution in the public schools. One would think that the Darwinists would want to counter that public questioning of evolution by sponsoring polls of scientific and technological professionals, but maybe the Darwinists are afraid of what such polls might reveal -- and this poll of physicians shows that such fear is justified. This poll of physicians shows that the opinions of scientific and technological professionals may be starting to shift towards anti-Darwinism, and anti-Darwinists should try to take advantage of this apparent trend by sponsoring other polls of such professionals and by publicizing the results of such polls.
There have been letter-signing campaigns as well as formal opinion polls in this area -- there is the Discovery Institute's campaign called "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism", which now has over 600 signatures from professionals in science and technology; the "Project Steve" of the National Center for Science Education; and "Physicians and Surgeons Who Dissent from Darwinism", from Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity. These letter-signing campaigns are of course no substitute for formal opinion polling. One of the advantages of the opinion polls is that peer pressure is absent because these polls are anonymous.
Labels: Evolution controversy (4 of 4)