From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chris Nedin)
Subject: Uni student & Evolution/creation
In an attempt to fill in the hours between coming to uni and going
home, I found an article and poll on how university students in
western Pennsylvania view the theory of evolution. In it, approx.
400 university students were polled on various aspects evolution/
creation/religion. The results are posted below.
>< = me (Chris Nedin)
Do you agree with people who claim that bringing creationism into the
classroom means bringing religion into the classroom? [Correct answer
Do you believe in the modern theory of evolution?
71.7% 28.0% (no response 2)
Do you believe that most scientists believe that the modern theory of
evolution is a valid scientific theory?
88.0% 11.7% (no response 1)
Which of the following best agrees with your impression of the modern
theory of evolution?
A) the phrase "survival of the fittest".
B) Evolution occurred because different individuals
better fitted for the environment left larger numbers
C) Man evolved either from a gorrilla or chimpanzee
D) Evolution involved a purposeful striving toward
higher forms (that is steady progress from microbs
E) Evolution occurred because the strong eventually
eliminated the weak.
A: 36.6% B: 7.1% C: 7.1% D: 42.4% E: 6.5% (no response 1)
>Only 7.1% picked the correct answer (B)<
Do you think that the modern theory of evolution has a valid scientific
foundation? [Correct answer is "A."]
A) Yes, because it is possible to test many predictions of evolutionary
B) Yes, though we can never test predictions about events in the past.
C) No, because we can never be sure about the past.
D) No, because evolutionary science is principally based on speculation
and not "hard" scientific fact.
E) No (for other reasons)
A: 45.8% B: 22.7% C: 9.4% D: 9.4% E: 12.7% (no response 1)
Do you think that creationism has a valid scientific foundation?
[Correct answer is "D."]
A) Yes, because it is possible to test many predictions of creationism.
B) Yes, even though we can never test predictions about events in the past.
C) (not stated - misprint).
D) No, because creationism is principally based on speculation and not on
"hard" scientific fact.
E) No, (other reasons)
A: 10.7% B: 26.5% C: 10.0% D: 33.3% E: 19.4%
Do you believe that creationism should be taught in the public schools?
If yes, in what subject?
A) Biology. B) Religion class. C) World Cultures. D) Philosophy. E) No
A: 31.4% B: 17.0% C: 7.8% D: 11,4% E: 30.4% (no resp. 3)
>Approx. 125 students out of 400 thought that creationism should be
taught as part of Biology<
Aside from comparative religion and allied subjects, do you object to the
introduction of religion into the public schools
Do you believe that the teaching concepts which rely on a purely
naturalistic explanation of the world, such as that used in the modern
theory of evolution, might eventually lead to a "decay" of American
17.6% 81.8% (no response 2)
These results seem to indicate a significant lack of understanding about
the mechanism of evolution and a surprising tolerance for the teaching of
occultism (outside of Religious Studies) in schools.
 Lord, T. & Marino, S. (1993) How university students view the
theory of evolution. _Journal of College Science Teaching_ 22(May)