The Guardian trumpets “Four out of five Britons repudiate creationism” – after yet another report emanating from religious thinktank Theos (Faith and Darwin). I haven’t yet had an opportunity to read the report (it’s 116 pages), but Theos helpfully provide a sort of interactive map of their survey results, in which 2060 people were surveyed. The Guardian’s report indicates the survey might well not be worth the paper it’s written on, judging by the general understanding of a proportion of those surveyed:
The poll also revealed some extraordinary views on more recent writings, with 5% of adults thinking Darwin wrote A Brief History of Time, a bestseller on the science of spacetime, which was written by the Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking and is widely regarded as the most popular science book never to be completed by its readers.
A further 3% of those surveyed thought Darwin wrote The God Delusion, by the arch-atheist and Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, while 1% thought Darwin was the author of The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver.
However, I’m not sure how The Guardian comes up with their statement that four out of five Britons repudiate creationism: they go on to say
The survey suggests there is a widespread lack of religious sentiment across Britain. National average figures revealed that less than a third of adults see evolution as part of God’s plan, 89% dismiss intelligent design and 83% reject creationism as plausible explanations for the existence of human life.
It depends on whatoverlap there is between believers in ID and creationism – if they are non-verlapping sets, then belief in creationism is really 28%, since ID is really a creationist proposal. I guess I need to get a look at the numbers myself! I do agree with New Humanist (A godless, rational nation?) that
If the Theos figures are correct and 17 out of 100 people in Britain are indeed creationists, then our education system really needs to address that. It may seem like a small number when compared to, say, the United States, but it’s still 17% too many.