Majority of Britons want creationism taught in schools (WTF???)

I’m frustrated this morning. I just finished reading this article, and I have to admit that I’m very disappointed in our Commonwealth Big Brother. A recent poll indicates more than half of Britons support the teaching of both creationism and evolution in schools. That’s actually more than their American counterparts. You guys are officially the new retard on the block.

So feel proud that Egyptians were three times less likely to want this fucking nonsense taught in their science class. So, just what the hell is going on here? Are Brits slowly losing their minds? First, a not-so-small percentage of your population keeps trying to vote for a fascist party (The British National Party, a white only anti-immigration political disaster) and now you want creationism in schools. I’m going to say this as nicely as possible to all you British fans of the site so you don’t get too upset: Get your fucking act together, people!

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Comments (46)

  • avatar

    Pete

    You read that in a newspaper! Didn’t you know that journalists never let the truth get in the way of a good story?

    Surveys have a habit of being wrong, they take a sample of the population, they certainly didn’t ask me.

    Be wary of statistics, for instance, did you know tha 89% of statistics are made up…………. including this one!

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    Statistics can be fuzzed, but the fact that they asked this same survey in other countries (who scored lower) makes me depressed.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    This isn’t as surprising as it seems. People from the USA have been constantly reminded, throughout their lives, that there is a separation between church and state. Since it’s in the constitution and we “Americans”, are told throughout our lives how great the constitution is – we tend to value keeping them separated in a big way.

    Evidence of this, is that despite being much more religious, as you outlined there, people from the USA don’t want creationism taught in schools in a higher % than Brits.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    This is one reason why the separation of church and state should be in every countries’ constitution

  • avatar

    Jacob Fortin

    It’s really the most amazing thing about your Constitution, IMO; The foresight to get religion the fuck away from government.

  • avatar

    Jim

    what’s the source of this poll? I’m certain the inherent bias in the audience and the source are driving these numbers waaaay up.

  • avatar

    Zac

    //A recent poll indicates that more than half of Britons support the teaching of both creationism and evolution in schools. That’s actually more than their American counterparts.//

    Notice that it say, “both creationism and evolution”. That’s the key to why Britain scored higher than Americans, because I’m sure that over half the Americans that said that they wouldn’t want both taught in school said it because it included teaching evolution. If the survey had simply asked about teaching Evolution in school, than I’m sure the numbers would have been shockingly different.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //If the survey had simply asked about teaching Evolution in school, than I’m sure the numbers would have been shockingly different.//

    This speaks to your query, somewhat indirectly – but I think it shows that around 75-90% of people in the USA want evolution taught in schools

    http://www.discovery.org/a/11631

    I bet the Brits are around the same

  • avatar

    Cintoast

    Give any statistician enough data and they can make it say anything. And yes we need to sort out the BNP.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    When i say evolution taught in schools – im saying AT ALL. This includes people who want other things taught with it, but that does cover what you wanted.

  • avatar

    Sam

    Couldn’t agree more, and I’m incredibly disappointed with my country right now. Question time with the BNP, although hilarious didn’t tackle the real issues and it was a fantastic opportunity to blow their policies out of the water which was missed (and easy to, I mean come on they say ‘we will reject any asylum seeker who passed through a ‘safe’ country on the way’ on their website). And now this creationism bullshit, you know I agree with the BNP on one thing, political correctness is going way to far in this country. You can’t stand up to creationism and tell them to stuff it because it would be considered ‘offensive’.

  • avatar

    Jessica

    While this is shit it isn’t particularly surprising. Most people I know, most of whom do actually accept evolution, think you should ‘teach both sides of the story’. This is all down to being ignorant of the vast evidence for evolution.

    To be honest I think both of these problems come from the ‘ignorant masses’. It sounds really snobby but there are many people who are generally ignorant in the UK. Many of these people see foreign immigrants and go into a South Park-esque ‘They took our jobs’. If people knew that evolution is as close to scientific fact as you get and were sensible enough to know what the BNP stand for I could be much less ashamed of my country.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    Don’t ever be ashamed of your country. Don’t ever be proud of it, either. To me, you should only feel these emotions towards things you have the ability to substantially change yourself.

  • avatar

    RacingHippo

    Look at the way the question was asked:
    “Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.”

    Would you say “no” to that?

    If they’d said:
    “Other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism should be taught in science lessons in schools together with evolutionary theories”
    …they’d have got a VERY different result.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //“Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.”

    Would you say “no” to that? //

    I would indeed say no.

  • avatar

    Dean Sinfield

    In our defence how about this poll?
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/georgepitcher/100014625/sad-atheists-try-to-vote-god-out-of-power/
    a larger poll and one that seems to have backfired on the evangelists

    Sid (a British atheist)

  • avatar

    Razzle

    Thats really not in your defense – sounds like a bunch of atheists with time to waste clicking and not a very accurate poll at all. (I’m atheist but cmon – it does seem this way)

  • avatar

    Openbloater

    ok fair comment. But 960 people doesn’t seem statistically valid given a population of nearly 60 million. Was there a question asking if evolution should be taught but not creationism?

  • avatar

    Jim (elbuho)

    On the one hand, this is the result of the state promotion and funding of faith-based schools, as has been happening in the UK over the past 15 years. On the other hand, there are a lot of things wrong with the wording of the question. Why was evolution put first, for example, “alongside” creationism? The statement that “Britons were almost three times more likely than Egyptians to want creationism and intelligent design to be included in the teaching of evolution” is bullshit – it could be argued that three times as many Egyptians answered no to this question because they DON’T want evolution taught, they ONLY want creationism taught. It’s shocking that a reputable polling company like MORI would allow a question to be framed in such a way. Maybe they just ask what their clients tell them to ask, in which case I wonder who their clients were. There’s no clue on the Ipsos MORI website http://www.ipsos-mori.com, no reference whatsoever to the survey, despite the site listing research published up to 3 days ago.

  • avatar

    bill

    A worrying factor of the teaching any science in schools, but especially evolution, is that teachers are running scared of religion. Any good science teaching, or any good teaching, is to encourage young people to think for themselves and scrutinize the evidence. If young people are given unquestioned faith positions in their family circles, the teaching staff are in a no win situation. They dare not teach in a way that contradicts these faith positions, for fear of complaints on the basis of, say, freedom of religion, and therefore cannot teach effectively. One upshot of this is that the whole class suffers from defensive and inadequate teaching and young people who are not hampered by religious/cultural constraints are denied the opportunity of receiving and participating in the best teaching/learning processes that can be created.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //But 960 people doesn’t seem statistically valid given a population of nearly 60 million.//

    Surveying 960 people to represent a big population is exactly how polls work and good ones are pretty accurate. A couple thousand is more common sometimes, but 960 should give you something like a 5-10% margin for error, assuming the poll was good.

  • avatar

    tacitus

    Come on guys, let’s keep this in perspective. Fewer than 10% of the British population even sees the inside of a church on a regular basis, so this poll isn’t a reflection of some resurgence of religious fundamentalism at work — it is still a far more secular nation than America, and will continue to be so.

    As others have pointed out, this is simply a case of people wanting to be fair — teach both sides and let the kids sort it out. Now, it doesn’t reflect well on the British population’s understanding of science, but that’s not really surprising I’m afraid.

    So I see the result as a combination of three things:

    1) It appeals to people’s innate sense of fairness to hear both sides.
    2) It reflects a lack of a basic understanding of what science is.
    3) It also reflects the fact that most Brits were brought up in schools that had religious services/assemblies and religious instruction (RI/RE) lessons on a regular basis, thus there is not particular objection to another religious idea being taught in school.

    I have no doubt the poll is an accurate reflection of how the British nation as a whole would answer the question, but it should bring no succor to the American creationists who are reading this result. It’s more a reflection of the innate sense of British fair play combined with an ignorance and general lack of interest in science. Nothing more.

  • avatar

    Kevin O'Leary

    This poll is cobblers. The majority of people in the UK do not want creationism taught as science in school no matter what this poll says. The average joe on the street here doesn’t even know what Intelligent Design is; we just don’t have the sort of debate going on as in the US to make people aware of the term. The result is due to(as other posters have noted) a combination of the ignorance of those polled, and the way the question has been worded – which actually looks a little like it’s asking for an ENDORSEMENT of Evolution.

  • avatar

    Fraser

    well to be fair, it isn’t being taught in our schools at present (small minority of those stupid bloody faith schools aside). the contingent of people demanding this shit be taught is relatively very small compared to north america, and in my experience religiosity in t is country (and certainly the type that would advocate this sort of thing) is pretty low.

    i would suggest that this is one of those surveys whereby the question is phrased in the ‘surely you could have nothing against teaching both sides of the controversy’. being largely apathetic on this sort of subject, i reckon most people in the uk might well find that a compelling enough argument.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    The survey question:
    “Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism” (Agree Or Disagree)

    54% of Brits agreed to this, while 51% of Americans agreed.

    //well to be fair, it isn’t being taught in our schools at present (small minority of those stupid bloody faith schools aside)//

    In America, creation is illegal to be taught in public schools. Actually, it’s beyond just illegal, in order to change that law, the constitution would have to be amended – and the “holiest” of all of the amendments (The 1st Amendment), would have to be changed.

    Not only that, but from what i’ve read about the Brits, some schools do teach creation, since there isn’t a separation of church and state.

    You guys should adopt the US constitution’s Bill of Rights.

  • avatar

    tacitus

    Razzle, as a Brit living in the US, I’ve yet to be convinced that adopting the Bill of Rights, or something like it, would be a net benefit to the UK mainly for a couple of reasons:

    1. Many of the British election laws restricting the amount of money spent to a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars used in an American election cycle would be deemed illegal. Very bad idea.

    2. I have a strong suspicion that the separation of Church and State is actually one of the reasons (and an important one) that religion is still thriving in the US. The institutionalized British religious practices — like forcing kids to endure religious school assemblies every morning of their school career (as I had to) — probably had a hand in why so many of my generation (mid 40s) and younger became so apathetic about religion. In the US, while fundamentalists may chafe under the separation clause, it has allowed such beliefs to thrive without government interference. In fact, the clause has been very effectively used as a rallying cry that has bolstered the fundamentalists by giving them something to fight over.

  • avatar

    Iain

    The same article says:

    “The UK government has been quick to denounce creationism and intelligent design as unrecognised scientific theory that did not meet the requirements of the national curriculum, but it has said that young people can “discuss creationism as part of their religious education classes”. Neither the primary nor secondary school science curriculums mention creationism or intelligent design.”

    Christine Blower, acting general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “It would be wholly wrong to include creationism in the science curriculum. An overwhelming body of evidence, not assertion, supports the concept of evolution and therefore evolution must form the basis of the science curriculum. Consideration of creationism might not be out of place in religious education.”

    Thankfully our politicians and government seem to have a handle on the right way to go. I would like to see the original questionnaire as I wonder if people failed to take into consideration that we were taking about “school science classes” as opposed to “in school” generally? Was the distinction strongly emphasised? Did the survey ask people specifically if they thought it should be taught in science classes or RE?

  • avatar

    Razzle

    Tactius, If i understand correctly, at any time you guys could turn into a theocracy by a simple majority vote.

    //it has allowed such beliefs to thrive without government interference//

    The separation of church and state is what has allowed the USA to avoid religious civil wars. It really doesn’t matter if people are religious as long as they can hardly do anything about it – which is what the constitution says.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    Imposing religion on the masses, has always been met with huge resistance, thanks to the constitution.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    The Irish would have probably benefited from a separation of church and state eh?

  • avatar

    tacitus

    Razzle, I guess in theory that’s true, though I have no doubt that there would be numerous laws that would have to be overturned before that could happen, including membership of the EU whose constitution prohibits such a government. But given that it’s Parliament that has the final say, then yes, if a theocratic party wins a majority in the House of Commons, they could in theory turn the UK in to a theocracy.

    Scary right? Maybe to Americans, but not really to the Brits. Frankly, nobody thinks that’s even remotely possible, probably not even the radical Muslims who are calling for the implementation of Sharia Law. The profound American skepticism in government I have seen her in the US doesn’t really exist in the UK — at least not in the sense that any government action should be looked upon with the same mistrust and suspicion. Of course Brits do get angry about specific governments — like they are with the current Labour party government, but they still have confidence that, when push comes to shove, the government is trying to do its best by the British nation and people. (That’s probably oversimplifying it, but you get the idea, I hope.)

    That may come across as horribly naive to skeptical Americans, but there is no evidence that anything like a theocratic system could gain a foothold in Britain. Indeed, if you want to compare the impact of religion on government and politics in the two countries, just ask yourself in which of the two do you think it’s far easier to get elected to government without having to profess a clear and unambiguous belief in God.

    BTW: Britain’s never had a religious civil war, so I’m not sure there’s any reason to suspect that the US Constitution has prevented one in the US either.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //Razzle, as a Brit living in the US, I’ve yet to be convinced that adopting the Bill of Rights, or something like it, would be a net benefit to the UK mainly for a couple of reasons//

    Ireland is part of the UK – they had/kinda still have one. You guys have been slightly lucky that you haven’t had one.

    It could be reasonable, though i would disagree, that there was a time when the separation of church and state would have been bad for the UK.

    If you guys moved to that now, however, I don’t even think you, would think it a bad idea.

  • avatar

    tacitus

    Northern Ireland did cross my mind, but you have to remember that Ireland was conquered by England/Britain and it essentially remained a subjugated nation until it gained its independence in 1920 (with the exception of the nationalist north). Even to this day, the two sides in the conflict are called Republicans and Nationalists. One side happens to be mostly Catholic and the other mostly Protestant, but it’s clear that the conflict is really rooted in nationalism and politics, not religion.

  • avatar

    Freelancer84

    Tacitus, as a 25yo Brit living in Canada, I agree with your point on the use of religion in schools. But I think part of the reason is the Church of England having such a weak hold on the population these days. Let’s be honest, go to an anglican church on sunday and I’d be surprised if the average age was below the mid 40s.

    Getting back to the point, the question about teaching creationism and evolution asks about including them on the curriculm. When I read the question the first time it seemed reasonable, only because ‘the curriculum’ can mean the information taught to kids, not necessarily the type of lesson (science, P.E., maths). It could be that the question is misunderstood. People are happy to have creationism taught, however in R.E. not necessarily Science.

  • avatar

    tacitus

    Regarding implementing separation in the UK today, actually, my take is why upset the apple cart? There has never been a more secular Britain than there is today and fundamentalist Christianity is a complete non-factor — even in the abortion debate where all debate these days is centered around the number of weeks after which an elective abortion should be deemed illegal. Church attendance has plummeted and religious rhetoric is barely ever heard in the politics, not even during the election season. Institutionalized religion is doing a fine job of committing suicide in Britain, so I’d rather leave it alone to do it’s thing!

    Some people worry about the rising Muslim population, but they too will have to battle creeping secularism as new generations come and go, so I am yet to be convinced that they will ever prove to be a powerful enough force in British society to be worried about (in terms of imposing on British law). I know American fundies are convinced that it’s going to happen tomorrow, but they just love to be scared about everything.

    But if it does look more likely to happen, I suspect there would have to be some sort of change made — more likely in order to remove the privileged position of the Church of England to be fair to people of other faiths. If it becomes necessary, then so be it, but I’d rather let sleeping dogs lie for now.

  • avatar

    Razzle

    The dividing lines are based on religion. You don’t see this type of thing in the USA – we don’t fight each other using religion as a yard stick.

    I am indeed suggesting that the lack of foresight in not separating church and state is partly responsible for the conflict.

    Would you not agree anyways, to my first and central point that you guys should adopt the bill of rights? – Why shouldn’t church and state be separate now ?

  • avatar

    Razzle

    //Regarding implementing separation in the UK today, actually, my take is why upset the apple cart? //

    So if things are pretty good, seemlingly at least,(although i would argue that Ireland is an example of how things could be better if church and state were separated) you shouldn’t try to improve them?

    You can’t just “let sleeping dogs lie”
    You need to get out in front of this type of shit.

    The Muslims in the UK are being oppressed – which by the way is terrible, as are all other religions aside from Christianity. You don’t ever for see this pissing someone off?

  • avatar

    JoJo

    A survey of just under 1000? Which means the yes camp was 550 or so? Not a significant survey. Also, “intelligent Design” is not a big thing here. People don’t know what it means. The survey question was loaded- it asked if evolution shoul be taught alongside other “Possible” theories like intelligent design and creationism. But these alternatives are not possible on the evidence. Basically, 550 people agreed with the proposition that all POSSIBLE theories should be taught, without appreciating the fact that the examples given were bogus. So what?

  • avatar

    Iain

    If you want to feel a little better about us here in the UK, please follow this link: http://uk.alpha.org/

    It’s a UK Christian site that on it’s home page asks visitors the question, “Does god Exist?” Of the 172,000 people who have voted 96% have said “No” (3%-yes 1%-probably).

    Looks like the UK evangelicals have their work cut out :-)

  • avatar

    Harry

    This isn’t a suprise since there is very little teaching of the cornerstone of biology in English schools. Up to key stage three (16 years)this amounts to one lesson, The national curriculum does not even contain the words evolution or Darwin. Remember that Tony Blair (a covert believer at the time) created academy schools and handed control of some of them to a creationist for a very modest sum of money.

    Although the question is badly phrased there is widespread ignorance of evolution here and there is widespread acceptance that God pulls the strings even though not many people go to church. The promotion of multi-culturism (respecting faith positions) does not help

    By the way IPSOSMori is a respected poll organisation and a sample size of 1000 is adequate in this case.

  • avatar

    Ultimate Dazzler

    YOU people are the ones who are ignorant I’m afraid. I’m a creationist and proud :)
    Evolutionists put their blind faith into a half-assed theory that is constantly changing and they call it ‘fact’.
    Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups.
    You people disgust me.

    I believe everyone should have the opportunity to listen to BOTH sides of the story before making a decision on which is true. Fair enough right? Or does the truth of the Bible scare you so much that you don’t want it taught in schools?

    You’re the ones who need to get a grip.
    Evolution is as much a religion as creationism because its based of pagan belief. Did you know there is a website out there that offers to pay $250,000 to whoever can prove evolution? And not one person has managed to prove it yet. It is THEORY, NOT FACT.

  • avatar

    Randomhero0

    I have to say I giggle when Christians call evolution a “theory”. It is a theory, but a scientific theory. Would you like to know another scientific theory? the Theory of Gravity… so I suppose since it too is a theory it is also not a fact? No? Well then while we can look to the past, use anthropolgy to discover our roots, why should we? I mean it is after all much easier to simply believe some ethereal dead man in the sky snapped his figures, maybe sprinkled a little magic pixie dust and willed us into existence as a much more sound theory.

  • avatar

    bill

    Ultimately dazzled is a good self-descriptor for self-deluded chrisians. I have never come across yet another wacky christian website, this time advertising a reward for proving “evolution”. People with a balanced take on life have better things to do than trawl websites produced by unhinged people. Creationism is a pretend view – Evolution is founded on long since tried and tested evidence. It is as concrete as gravity, the earth is round (sort of), the earth revolves arounf the sun, the sun swirls in its own galaxy. How many people were burned and tortured by christians for thinking otherwise in days gone by?

    So, ultimately dazzled, join the real world and come doen to earth before your brain becomes fried and scambled by self-deluding mush.

  • avatar

    Martin

    The two are actually connected.

    The reason such outrageous claims come out is because too many of the immigrant are muslim, bringing with them their disgusting bronze-age fantasies.

    They often claim they want to turn the UK to a muslim country – so its no wonder the BNP is doing well.

  • avatar

    Matt

    I don’t believe a word of that to be honest. The survey must have been conducted in a church or perhaps they asked the question in a misleading way.

    I only knew about 5 people in my high school who were actually religious. Religion really is a fringe concept in the UK.

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