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April 02, 2007

Polling at its worst

Anyone who is familiar with this blog knows that I do not like polls. They can give an idea of trends, but are too easily botched up or or mistaken. This has only been further justified by a recent poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The poll covers many topics, in particular the following question.
12. Which one of the following statements come closest to your views about the origin and development of human beings? Humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process (or) Humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process (or) God created humans pretty much in the present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so?
The overall statisitics suggest that 30% of Americans believe that evolution is a God driven process and another 13% believe that evolution exists but it is not driven by God. So, I know what many of you are thinking right now. "Wait a second Red Stater, these days, Christians believe in increasing numbers that evolution is part of God's great plan".

Depends on who you ask. The poll breaks down the numbers further. Catholics and Non-evangelical Protestants do have high numbers, totaling about 50% of each group. However, only about 20% of Evangelical Protestants believe that. And I'm sure some of you are still saying that doesn't sound problematic.

Well, let's include atheists and agnostics. They do seem to believe in evolution, but God is not a native concept to them. Yet, 72% of atheists and agnostics believe that evolution is or is not influenced by God. One can make the argument that the wording used in the case that evolution is not God driven is vague, but that still leaves 27% of atheist/agnostic Americans believing that evolution is driven by God. Now that sounds rather odd. Were they trying to sandbag this poll, or are they just stupid, or was it just a joke? It is hard to tell, but it is clear that something went wrong.