Poll: Atheists 15% – God involved 78%

Gallup has updated their origins survey:

Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?
1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process,
2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process,
3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.

They found:

since 1982 . . .
the 46% who today choose the creationist explanation is virtually the same as the 45% average over that period — and very similar to the 44% who chose that explanation in 1982. The 32% who choose the “theistic evolution” view that humans evolved under God’s guidance is slightly below the 30-year average of 37%, while the 15% choosing the secular evolution view is slightly higher (12%).

See: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins
Adding the 46% “creationism” and 32% “theistic evolution” shows that 78% believe God was involved in human origins.

Some thoughts: Gallup ignores Intelligent Design. How do we drag Gallup into the 21st century to differentiate those who believe that there is objective evidence for an intelligent designer, versus those accepting that God created mankind based on revelation (regardless of the age of the earth)?

How would you rephrase the questions for Gallup?

e.g., Belief in “creation” in contrast to “guided evolution” does not require a “young” version within 10,000 years. These issues should be separated out to ask:

“God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time.”

Then have a separate question for whether you believe in an “old” earth vs a “young” earth.

If God can “guide evolution”, he could as easily “create” life and the genome initially or progressively?
How old was “Adam” when he was created. If the earth was created, how old was it the next day? e.g., could it have been created about 10,000 years and have it look as if it were 4.5 billion years old? How would we distinguish between those?

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22 Responses to Poll: Atheists 15% – God involved 78%

  1. Do they have a survey about the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

    From a theological perspective that would be the issue I would be interested in.

  2. Which of the following statements comes closest to your views . . .

    That is a tough one for me as I am not particularly on board with any of them. I’m with DLH that adding the 10,000 year timeframe on #3 is problematic. There should be more options or a sub-question about timeframe.

  3. 3

    Although I would have also preferred to see more options, it seems to me that (1) is essentially the ID position. (2) would include theistic and atheistic evolutionists.

  4. 4

    “Theistic evolutionists” like Ken Miller or the Biologos people would surely have answered (2). They may believe God created the laws of Nature, but would not agree that God had anything to do with evolution; other that to sit by smiling while natural selection of truely random mutations created brains and consciousness.

    But the survey is confusing, because I’m sure there are others who answered (1), who might even call themselves theistic evolutionists, but if they answered (1), they are really ID proponents, even if they don’t know it.

  5. OT: Another day, another bad day for Darwinism

    Loop the Loop, DNA Style: One Or Two-Way Transcription Depends On Gene Loops – (Sep. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: In certain toy racecar tracks, sneaky players can flip a switch, trapping their opponents’ vehicles in a loop of track. Cells employ a less subtle approach: they change the track’s layout. ,,, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Oxford University discovered that, by forming or undoing gene loops, cells manipulate the path of the transcription machinery — which reads out instructions from DNA — controlling whether it moves along the genetic material in one direction or two.
    “We found that gene loops can turn bi-directional promoters into one-way systems,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....085218.htm

  6. How about:

    1- Living organisms were designed and designed to evolve/ evolved by design, starting from single-celled organisms

    2- Living organisms were designed and designed to evolve/ evolved by design, starting from some basic, albeit advanced, forms

    3- Living organisms arose from non-living matter and all diversity evolved via blind and undirected chemical processes

  7. But the survey is confusing, because I’m sure there are others who answered (1), who might even call themselves theistic evolutionists, but if they answered (1), they are really ID proponents, even if they don’t know it.

    My guess is that the majority of regular people who consider themselves “theistic evolutionists” answered 1. The vast majority of people who believe in both God and evolution believe God guided it somehow. Even people I know who think The Language of God and BioLogos are the most awesome things ever say God guided it. The confusion on this is inherent in the TE view, because they say both at different times depending on the circumstances and who they are talking to.

  8. So, because of that confusion, most people prefer 1 as a “compromise” position because they see it politically rather than logically.

  9. ID theorists are always going to have to deal with the fact that there is a very small distinction between ID and TE, usually none at all, in the eyes of the public. The academic debate between TE and ID means nothing to most people.

  10. 10

    Joe your options are better but still fail to make ID a distinct option. An ID theorist could choose either 1 or 2.

  11. Although I would have also preferred to see more options, it seems to me that (1) is essentially the ID position.

    Or, rather, (1) can be accommodated within an ID framework. ID does not necessarily posit what is stated in (1).

    An ID theorist could choose either 1 or 2.

    Or 3.

  12. I love their choice to use the word “developed.”

    Humans develop beginning at conception.

  13. How about:

    (1) Human beings possess certain biological features which can be shown on purely scientific grounds to have been designed by some higher Intelligence. These biological features were: (a) created as they are now; (b) generated by an evolutionary process where the mutations that produced these features were fully specified from start to finish; (c) generated by an evolutionary process that was guided in its broad outline, but not specified in detail by the Intelligent Designer. The Intelligent Designer was: (i) God, the Creator of the universe; (ii) some intelligent, non-divine being.

    (2) Human beings possess certain biological features which were designed by some higher Intelligence; however, there is no way of demonstrating this fact scientifically. These biological features were: (a) created as they are now; (b) generated by an evolutionary process where the mutations that produced these features were fully specified from start to finish; (c) generated by an evolutionary process that was guided in its broad outline, but not specified in detail by the Intelligent Designer. The Intelligence that designed us was: (i) God, the Creator of the universe; (ii) some intelligent, non-divine being.

    (3) The biological characteristics of human beings were not designed by any kind of Intelligence; they arose through an unguided process. However, the spiritual aspect of human nature was produced by a higher Intelligence. This Intelligence was (i) God, the Creator of the universe; (ii) some intelligent, non-divine being.

    (4) None of the characteristics of human beings were designed by any kind of Intelligence.

    (5) I don’t know.

    I think that covers all bases. ID equates to option (1). I suspect that while many Intelligent Design proponents would opt for (a) or (b), few would go for (c). While Intelligent Design theory says nothing about (i) or (ii), I’m sure the vast majority of ID proponents would opt for (i).

    Option (2) would be selected by people who don’t happen to think God’s design of the human body can be scientifically demonstrated. Some creationists would fall into this category; however, I suspect that the vast majority of people who select (2) would call themselves “theistic evolutionists” of the Francis Collins variety. I would also suspect that most of these people would choose (c) rather than (a) or (b): that is, they don’t think the human body was designed to be exactly the way it is. Finally, I would expect that nearly all of these people would opt for (i) rather than (ii).

    A few people might select option (3) as a logical alternative, but I find it hard to imagine who they might be.

    Atheists would of course go for option (4). Agnostics would go for option (5).

  14. tragic mishap-

    Thanks. However ID does NOT offer a distinct option, other than being OK with the designer not being the God of Abraham. IDists can either accept or reject universal common ancestry

  15. joe and vjtorley
    Thanks for thoughtful posts.
    A variation on your: ” (a) created as they are now;”
    would be:
    “created humans, which then experienced subsequent degrading mutations over time resulting in today’s distribution of the genetic code.”
    See Mendel’s Accountant.

  16. OT: another blow to genetic reductionism:

    Intelligence is in the genes, but where? – October 2, 2012
    Excerpt: You can thank your parents for your smarts—or at least some of them. Psychologists have long known that intelligence, like mo
    st other traits, is partly genetic. But a new study led by psychological scientist Christopher Chabris reveals the surprising fact that most of the specific genes long thought to be linked to intelligence probably have no bearing on one’s IQ. And it may be some time before researchers can identify intelligence’s specific genetic roots.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....s.html#jCp

  17. Psychologists have long known that intelligence, like most other traits, is partly genetic.

    Hmmm. This seems a stretch. I can scarcely think of a single family that doesn’t have vast differences in their kids in terms of what might be termed “intelligence,” or at least what gets tested and classified as intelligence. I think this is probably one of those cases in which the exceptions tend to swallow the rule.

  18. semi OT:

    Propitiation Revisited – video (The just Judge and the guilty daughter)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9v1h1PeFtg

  19. Eric Anderson you state:

    I think this is probably one of those cases in which the exceptions tend to swallow the rule.

    I agree completely. I find it completely ludicrous to try to reduce intelligence to a material basis. For me the thought that ‘rocks have the potentiality to think’ is a non-starter! For materialists it is dogma even though ‘noting is what rocks dream of’! :) . This following article, which should be no surprise, backs up my ‘materialists are dumb as rocks’ position :)

    A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (which are really transcendent information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body.
    http://www.nderf.org/vonlommel.....sponse.htm

    As well it should be noted, The entire life of a person, every minute detail of a life, in a panoramic ‘life review’, is gone over in people who have had extremely deep Near Death Experiences in Judeo-Christian cultures:

    Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/

    Thus the common sense view holds.

  20. correction: For materialists it is dogma even though ‘nothing is what rocks dream of’!

  21. For me the thought that ‘rocks have the potentiality to think’ is a non-starter!

    Rocks are highly evolved mud. No reason to think they can’t think. Just think of all the information they contain.

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