- Level of support for evolution
The level of support for evolution among scientists, the public and other groups is a topic that frequently arises in the
creation-evolution controversyand touches on educational, religious, philosophical, scientific and political issues. The subject is primarily contentious in the United States. However, it is also important in other countries where creationists advocate the teaching of creationism as a valid alternative to evolution, or portray the modern evolutionary synthesisas an inadequate scientific paradigm.
Although in the scientific community there is essentially universal agreement that the
evidence of evolutionis overwhelming, and the scientific consensussupporting the modern evolutionary synthesis is nearly absolute, [cite journal | url = http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/newsletters/2006/07_28_2006/story03.htm | last = Delgado | first = Cynthia | title = Finding evolution in medicine | journal = NIH Record | volume = 58 | issue = 15 | accessdate = 2007-10-22 |date=2006-07-28 | language = english | format = hmtl ] ] creationists have asserted that there is a significant scientific controversy and disagreement over the validity of evolution.cite web | url = http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=163 | title = The ICR Scientists | authorlink = Henry M. Morris | first = Henry | last = Morris | publisher = Institute for Creation Research| language = english | accessdate = 2007-10-23 | date = n.d.] [cite book |author=Denton, Michael |title=Evolution: a theory in crisis |publisher=Adler & Adler |location=Bethesda, Md |year=1986 |pages= |isbn=0917561058 |oclc= |doi=] [cite web | publisher = Discovery Institute|date=2003-09-05 | title = Texas Citizens for Science Responds to Latest Discovery Institute Challenge | first = Steven | last = Schafersman| url = http://www.texscience.org/files/discovery-signers.htm | format = html | language = english | accessdate = 2007-10-23 ]
Discovery Institute, a pro- intelligent designlobby group located in the United States, also claims that because there is a significant lack of public support for evolution, that public schools should, as their campaign states, " Teach the Controversy". Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, has issued official statements disputing this claim and a petition supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prizewinners.Amicus Curiae brief in cite court |litigants=Edwards v. Aguillard |vol=85-1513|reporter= |opinion= |pinpoint= |court=United States Supreme Court |date=1986-08-18 |url=, available at cite web | url = http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/edwards-v-aguillard/amicus1.html | title = Edwards v. Aguillard: Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates| language = english | format = html | accessdate = 2007-10-19| publisher = From Talk.origins] Additionally, US courts have ruled in favor of teaching evolution in science classrooms, and against teaching creationism, in numerous cases.
Creationists have had some successes in the political realm in the US and other countries. [cite web | url = http://www.slate.com/id/1006378/ | title = George W. Bush, The Last Relativist | first = Timothy | last = Noah |date=2000-10-31 | accessdate = 2007-10-23 | language = english ] [cite news | url = http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.html?id=2579 | title = Revealed: Tony Blair's link to schools that take the Creation literally | first = Nicholas | last = Pyke | publisher =
The Independent|date=2004-06-13 wayback|http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=530984; full article at cite web | last = Ohanian | first = Susan | title = Outrages | accessdate = 2007-10-23 | url = http://susanohanian.org/show_atrocities.html?id=2579 ] [cite web | url = http://www2.onnachrichten.t-online.de/dyn/c/19/01/33/1901336.html | title = Wir drehen die Uhr um 1000 Jahre zurück ("We put the clock back a 1000 years") | language = german | first = Peer | last = Meinert | format = html | accessdate = 2007-10-23] [cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3642460.stm | title = Serbia reverses Darwin suspension | publisher = BBC News|date=2004-09-09 | accessdate = 2007-10-23 | format = stm | language = english ] [cite journal | url = http://www.wbj.pl/?command=article&id=35336&type=wbj | title = And finally... | journal = Warsaw Business Journal |date=2006-12-18 | accessdate = 2007-10-23 ] [cite web | url = http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0607dutch_debate.asp | title = Creation commotion in Dutch Parliament | first = Frans | last = Gunnink | coauthor = Bell, Philip |date=2005-06-07 | accessdate = 2007-10-23 ; cite journal| url = http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/308/5727/1394b | title = Evolution politics: Is Holland becoming the Kansas of Europe? | first = Martin | last = Enserink | journal = Science |date=2005-06-03 | volume = 308 | issue = 5727 | pages = 1394 | doi = 10.1126/science.308.5727.1394b | pmid = 15933170] The most prominent organization behind this movement has been the Discovery Institute, the driving force behind the intelligent design movement. Through its Center for Science and Culture, the Institute conducts a number of related public relations and lobbying campaigns aimed at influencing the public and policy makers in order to advance its position in academia, which it claims is dogmatic and hidebound.
Many claims in the creation-evolution controversy rest on whether or not evolution is genuinely disputed by those in scientific circles, the public's acceptance of the theory of evolution and religious and educational organizations and both sides of the dispute exhibit interest in evaluating the level of popular and scientific support for evolution. Several publications discuss the subject, [cite book |author=McCollister, Betty |title=Voices for evolution |publisher=National Center for Science Education |location=Berkeley, CA |year=1989 |pages= |isbn=0-939873-51-6 |oclc= |doi = ] [cite book |author=Matsumura, Molleen |title=Voices for evolution |publisher=National Center for Science Education |location=Berkeley, CA |year=1995 |pages= |isbn=0-939873-53-2 |oclc= |url = http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/voices/permit.htm | format = html | language = english ] including a document produced by the
United States National Academy of Sciences.cite book |author= |title=Teaching about evolution and the nature of science |publisher=National Academy Press |location=Washington, D.C |year=1998 |pages= |isbn=0-309-06364-7 |oclc= |doi=; available on-line: cite web | url = http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=5787&page=56 | title = Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (ebook) | year = 1998 |author = United States National Academy of Sciences| publisher = National Academy Press | location = Washington DC | accessdate = 2007-10-23 ]
The vast majority of the
scientific communityand academiasupports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others. [cite news | first=PZ | last=Myers | authorlink=PZ Myers | title=Ann Coulter: No evidence for evolution? |date=2006-06-18 | publisher=scienceblogs.com | url =http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/06/ann_coulter_no_evidence_for_ev.php | work =Pharyngula | pages = | accessdate = 2006-11-18] The National Science Teachers Association's [http://www.nsta.org/159&psid=10 position statement on the teaching of evolution.] ] [ [http://www.interacademies.net/Object.File/Master/6/150/Evolution%20statement.pdf IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution] Joint statement issued by the national science academies of 67 countries, including the United Kingdom's Royal Society(PDF file)] [From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society: [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/pdf/0219boardstatement.pdf 2006 Statement on the Teaching of Evolution] (PDF file), [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/0219boardstatement.shtml AAAS Denounces Anti-Evolution Laws] ] [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0011-3204(198806)29%3A3%3C520%3AFFAMOH%3E2.0.CO3B2-P "Fact, Fancy, and Myth on Human Evolution", Alan J. Almquist, John E. Cronin, Current Anthropology, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jun., 1988), pp. 520–522] ] One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".As reported by Newsweek: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly'."Harvnb|Martz & McDaniel|1987|Ref=CITEREFMartzMcDaniel1987|p=23] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Altersstates that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution". [http://nihrecord.od.nih.gov/newsletters/2006/07_28_2006/story03.htm "Finding the Evolution in Medicine"] , Cynthia Delgado, NIH Record, July 28, 2006.] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists. [http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm "Public beliefs about evolution and creation", Robinson, B. A. 1995.] ] [ [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol17/5319_many_scientists_see_god39s__12_30_1899.asp "Many scientists see God's hand in evolution", Witham, Larry, Reports of the National Center for Science Education 17(6): 33, 1997] ]
scientific communityconsiders intelligent design, a neo-creationist offshoot, to be unscientific, [See: 1) List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design2) . 3) The Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinismpetition begun in 2001 has been signed by "over 600 scientists" as of August 20, 2006. A four day A Scientific Support For Darwinismpetition gained 7733 signatories from scientists opposing ID. The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml firmly rejects ID] . More than 70,000 Australian scientists and educators [http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/2005/intelligent.html condemn teaching of intelligent design in school science classes] . [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8408_statements_from_scientific_and_12_19_2002.asp List of statements from scientific professional organizations] on the status intelligent design and other forms of creationism.] pseudoscience, [National Science Teachers Association, a professional association of 55,000 science teachers and administrators in a 2005 press release: "We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science.…It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science classroom." [http://www3.nsta.org/main/news/stories/nsta_story.php?news_story_ID=50792 National Science Teachers Association Disappointed About Intelligent Design Comments Made by President Bush] National Science Teachers Association Press Release August 3 2005] [ [http://www.jci.org/cgi/content/full/116/5/1134#B1 Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action] Journal of Clinical Investigation 116:1134–1138 American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2006.] or junk science. ["Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design’s arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science." H. Allen Orr. Annals of Science. New Yorker May 2005. [http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050530fa_fact Devolution—Why intelligent design isn't.] Also, Robert T. PennockTower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism. ] [ [http://www.worldmag.com/articles/11553 Junk science] Mark Bergin. World Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 8 February 25 2006.] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernaturalintervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own. [ National Academy of Sciences, 1999 [http://www.nap.edu/books/0309064066/html/25.html Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition] ] In September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying "Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." [The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureates Initiative. Intelligent design cannot be tested as a scientific theory "because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." [http://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2005/09/15/nobel_letter.pdf Nobel Laureates Initiative] (PDF file)] In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying "intelligent design is not science" and calling on "all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory". [ Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales. 20 October 2005. [http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/2005/intelligent.html Intelligent Design is not Science - Scientists and teachers speak out] ]
In 1986, an "
amicus curiae" brief asking the US Supreme Courtto reject a Louisianastate law requiring the teaching of creationism in the case Edwards v. Aguillard[US Supreme Court Case No. 85-1513, October Term, 1986, August 18, 1986] was signed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners, 17 state academies of science and 7 other scientific societies. This was the largest collection of Nobel Prize winners to sign anything up to that point. The amicus curiae brief also clearly described why evolution was science, not religion, and why creationism is not science.
There are many scientific and scholarly organizations from around the world that have issued statements in support of the theory of evolution. [ [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8408_statements_from_scientific_and_12_19_2002.asp List of numerous US scientific societies that support evolution and their statements about evolution] ] [ [http://www.icsu.org/Gestion/img/ICSU_DOC_DOWNLOAD/1017_DD_FILE_IAP_Evolution.pdf List of 68 international scientific societies on the Interacademy Panel (IAP) that endorse a resolution supporting evolution and a multibillion year old earth, June 2006.] ] [ [http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/1999/nsb99149/nsb99149.txt National Science Board letter in support of evolution 1999] ] [ [http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/news.asp?year=&id=4298 "Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design", 11 Apr 2006.] ] The
American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution. [From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society: [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/pdf/0219boardstatement.pdf 2006 Statement on the Teaching of Evolution] (PDF file), [http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/0219boardstatement.shtml AAAS Denounces Anti-Evolution Laws] ] The prestigious United States National Academy of Sciencesthat provides science advice to the nation, has published several books supporting evolution and denouncing creationism and intelligent design. [ [http://www.nap.edu/html/creationism/ "Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition", National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1999.] ] [ [http://orsted.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=5787&page=R1 "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998)", National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998.] ]
Votes, resolutions and statements of scientists before 1985
One of the earliest resolutions in support of evolution was issued by the
American Association for the Advancement of Sciencein 1922, and readopted in 1929. [ [http://archives.aaas.org/docs/resolutions.php?doc_id=450 "AAAS Resolution: Present Scientific Status of the Theory of Evolution"] , American Association for the Advancement of Science, Adopted by the AAAS Council, December 26, 1922. AAAS Executive Committee readopts this resolution on April 21, 1929.] [ [http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm "The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism"] , G. R. Morton, Copyright 2002 G.R. Morton]
Another early effort to express support for evolution by scientists was organized by Nobel Prize Winner German biologist
Hermann J. Mullerin 1966. Muller circulated a petition entitled "Is Biological Evolution a Principle of Nature that has been well established by Science?" in May of 1966:
This manifesto was signed by 177 of the leading American biologists, including Nobel Prize Winner George G. Simpson of
Harvard University, Nobel Prize Winner Peter Agreof Duke University, Carl Saganof Cornell, John Tyler Bonnerof Princeton, Nobel Prize Winner George Beadle, President of the University of Chicago, and Donald F. Kennedy of Stanford University, formerly head of the United States Food and Drug Administration. [http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1981 "The Day the Scientists Voted", Bert Thompson, Apologetics Press: Sensible Science, 2001, originally published in Reason & Revelation, 2(3):9-11, March 1982.] ]
This was followed by the passing of a resolution by the
American Association for the Advancement of Science(AAAS) in the fall of 1972 that stated, in part, "the theory of creation ... is neither scientifically grounded nor capable of performing the rules required of science theories".American Biology Teacher, January 1973.] The United States National Academy of Sciencesalso passed a similar resolution in the fall of 1972. A statement on evolution called "A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science." was signed by Nobel Prize Winner Linus Pauling, Isaac Asimov, Nobel Prize Winner George G. Simpson, Caltech Biology Professor Norman H. Horowitz, Ernst Mayr, and others, and published in 1977. ["A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science," The Humanist, January/February, 1977, p. 4-6.] The governing board of the American Geological Instituteissued a statement supporting resolution in November 1981. [ AAPG Explorer, January, 1982.] Shortly thereafter, the AAAS passed another resolution supporting evolution and disparaging efforts to teach creationismin science classes. ["Creation-Science" Law Is Struck Down," Raloff, J., Science News, 121  :20, January 9, 1982.]
Creationist disputes over the scientific support for evolution
Creationists strongly dispute the fact that there is overwhelming support for
evolutionin the science community. [ [http://scienceagainstevolution.org/v5i10f.htm "Some Real Scientists Reject Evolution: Do any scientists with Ph.D. degrees reject the theory of evolution? Yes, they do!"] , Do-While Jones, Disclosure Newsletter, July, 2001.] One of the first attempts to provide evidence that there were substantial number of scientists who disagreed with evolution was a pamphlet produced by the Institute for Creation Researchin 1971 entitled "21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation" ["21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation, 2nd edition", Creation-Life Publishers, 1971.] This pamphlet has been reprinted several times. Skeptics have claimed that this list of 21 creation supporters is misleading since it includes five people with PhDs in engineering, three in education, two in theology, two in biochemistry, one in physics, one in chemistry, one in hydrology, one in entomology, one in psycholinguistics, one in food science technology, one in ecology, one in physiology and one in geophysics; and therefore only a small minority had qualifications related to evolutionary biology. [ [http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/creationism.html "Scientific" Creationism Examined"] , Paul Tobin, The Rejection of Pascal's Wager: A Skeptic's Guide to Christianity] [ [http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/thermo_patterson.html "An Engineer Looks at the Creationist Movement"] , John W. Patterson, Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science 89(2):55-58, 1982.]
John F. Ashtonedited a book first published in 1999 with essays from 50 scientists describing why they believed in creationism. [ ["In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation"] , John F. Ashton, Master Books, January 1, 2001, ISBN-10: 0890513414 ] . Ann Lamont wrote a book describing 21 famous scientists such as Johannes Kepler, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Carolus Linnaeus, Leonhard Euler, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, James Prescott Joule, Louis Pasteur, Kelvin, James Clerk Maxwell, and Wernher von Braunwho she claimed believed in biblical literalism. ["21 great scientists who believed the Bible", Ann Lamont, Creation Science Foundation, 1995. ISBN 0949906212 ] However, many of these scientists lived before much of the evidence against biblical literalism emerged. Of the previous list, only aerospace engineer Wernher von Braunwas alive when evolution was firmly established and the geological evidence against Noah's Arkhad clearly emerged. It is also not clear what "believing in the Bible" means, since there is a wide range of beliefs in the Bible, although von Braun did write about his support for creationist ideas on the grounds of design. It should be noted that there is a vast difference between "believing in the bible" and subscribing to biblical literalism. Also, of the scientists listed above, only Linnaeus and Pasteur were trained in and worked in a field relevant to biology. In continuing attempts to counter the charge that there are no scientists who disagree with the principles of evolution, creationist organizations have gathered lists of hundreds of scientists who disagree with evolution and support creationism. Some prominent creationist organizations that have produced these kinds of lists include the Discovery Institute, [ A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a [http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/100ScientistsAd.pdf list of scientists] who dispute evolutionon the Discovery Institute's website] [It should be noted that not all scientists who signed necessarily are staunch creationists. For example, Stanley N. Salthe, a visiting scientist at Binghamton University, State University of New York, who signed but describes himself as an atheist, said that when he endorsed a petitionhe had no idea what the Discovery Institutewas. Salthe stated, “I signed it in irritation.” [http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/02/few_biologists.html ("Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition", Panda's Thumb, February 21, 2006)] ] the Institute for Creation Research, [ [http://www.icr.org/research/index/research_creationsci/ "List of Creation Scientists" ] , a list of biological and physical scientists that support creationismon the Institute for Creation Researchwebsite.] Answers in Genesis, [ [http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/ "Creation scientists and other biographies of interest: Some modern scientists who have accepted the biblical account of creation"] , a list of scientists that support creationismon the Answers in Genesiswebsite.] Creation Ministries International. [ [http://www.creationontheweb.com/content/view/2084 "Creation scientists and other specialists of interest"] , a list of scientists who support creationismon Creation Ministries International's website. It should be noted that Creation Ministries Internationalis the international arm of Answers in Genesisand not an independent organization.] and Christian Answers. [ [http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/people/home.html "Creationists holding DOCTORATES IN SCIENCE"] , Who's who in Creation/Evolution (list of 94)] The Institute for Creation Research website includes the following statement:
To date however, there are no scientifically peer-reviewed research articles that disclaim evolution listed in the scientific and medical journal search engine
National Center for Science Educationhas produced a "light-hearted" petitioncalled " Project Steve" in support of evolution. Only scientists named "Steve" or some variation (such as Stephen, Stephanie, and Stefan) are eligible to sign the petition. It is intended to be a "tongue-in-cheek parody" of the lists of alleged "scientists" supposedly supporting creationistprinciples that creationist organizations produce. [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/3541_project_steve_2_16_2003.asp National Center for Science Education "Project Steve"] ] [ [http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/#presentsci List of living scientists who accept the biblical account of creation] from Answers in Genesis]
According to the
United States Census, about 1.6% of malesand 0.4% of femaleshave a first name that would qualify them to sign the petition. Therefore, about 1% of all people in the United States are called Steve or some name that is close to Steve.
Therefore, if one can get N scientists named Steve or something similar to endorse the petition, one might expect that roughly 100xN scientists with all kinds of names would endorse the petition. As of
September 20, 2007, 830 scientists named Steve had endorsed the petition, suggesting that if all scientists were allowed to endorse the petition, about 83,000 scientists would have signed.This compares with the Discovery Institute's announcement to have over 700 scientists that support intelligent designas of February 8, 2007[cite web | last = Staff | title = Ranks of Scientists Doubting Darwin’s Theory on the Rise | publisher = Discovery Institute | date = February 8, 2007 | url = http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2732 | accessdate = 2008-02-04] [It should be noted that not all scientists who signed necessarily are staunch creationists. For example, Stanley N. Salthe, a visiting scientist at Binghamton University, State University of New York, who signed but describes himself as an atheist, said that when he endorsed a petitionhe had no idea what the Discovery Institutewas. Salte stated, “I signed it in irritation.” [http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/02/few_biologists.html ("Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition", Panda's Thumb, February 21, 2006)] ] , which would at face value indicate a broad consensus of at least 99% of scientists supporting the biological theory of evolution.
upport for evolution by religious bodies
Many creationists act as evangelists and their organizations are registered as tax-free religious organizations. [For a discussion about some controversy about this, see
Kent Hovind.] Creationists have claimed that they represent the interests of true Christians, and evolution is only associated with atheism. [Princeton theologian Charles Hodge, in his book [http://www.errantskeptics.org/Quotes_Regarding_Creation_Evolution.htm "Systematic Theology"] , Charles Hodge, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1975, vol. 2, p. 15, argues that "First, it shocks the common sense of unsophisticated men to be told that the whale and the humming-bird, man and the mosquito, are derived from the same source... the system is thoroughly atheistic, and therefore cannot possibly stand."] [ [http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/DDDIIprogram.htm "Presupposing Naturalism: Atheism, Agnosticism and Theistic Evolution?"] , Rev. Curtis L. Brickley, Jr., Darwin, Design and Democracy V: Science Converges on Design - from Cosmology to Paleontology to Biology, September 24-25, 2004, Woodward Hall, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico states that "Theistic evolution fails traditional theistic religion by not allowing for the continued intervention of a creative cause or power. Theistic evolution can get you knowledge "of God" only through faith by denying natural revelation. But without natural revelation, there can be no rational basis for belief in a God who actually reveals Himself through nature. By embracing Naturalism, and its rejection of the supernatural, theistic evolution denies a rational basis for belief in God and a basis for our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ."] [ [http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/21soc03.htm#top "Evolution and Christianity are opposites"] , p. 36 of "Evolution and Society", Volume 2 of "Scientific Facts Against Evolution-Origin of the Universe: 3 Volume Encyclopedia" states, of evolution and Christianity, "there can be no reconciliation between the two. One view stands for fighting, warfare against the supposed weaker ones, and atheism; the other is for peace, self-sacrifice for the good of others, and belief and trust in the Creator God...Even evolutionists and atheists have declared that their creeds are totally different than those of Christianity." Also in the article [http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/21soc03.htm#top "Evolution and the churches"] on pages 39-41 of the same volume, "In spite of clear-cut statements by evolutionists that "evolution IS atheism," many denominations today accept one form or another of evolutionary theory."]
However, not all religious organizations find support for evolution incompatible with their religious faith. For example, 12 of the plaintiffs opposing the teaching of
creation sciencein the influential McLean v Arkansascourt case were clergy representing Methodist, Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal, Catholic, Southern Baptist, Reform Jewish, and Presbyterian groups. [ [http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?entryID=2243 McLean v Arkansas, Encyclopedia of Arkansas] ] There are several religious organizations that have issued statements advocating the teaching of evolution in public schools. [ [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5025_statements_from_religious_orga_12_19_2002.asp "Defending the teaching of evolution in public education, Statements from Religious Organizations"] ] In addition, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, issued statements in support of evolution in 2006. [ [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/21/archbishop_backs_evolution/ "Archbishop of Canterbury backs evolution: Well, he is a Primate," Chris Williams, The Register, Tuesday 21 March 2006] ] The Clergy Letter Projectis a signed statement by 11,111 (as of 22 December 2007) American Christian clergy of different denominations rejecting creationism organized in 2004. Molleen Matsumura of the National Center for Science Educationfound, of Americans in the twelve largest Christian denominations, at least 77% belong to churches that support evolution education (and that at one point, this figure was as high as 89.6%). [harvnb|Matsumura|1998|p=9 notes that, "Table 1 demonstrates that Americans in the 12 largest Christian denominations, 89.6% belong to churches that support evolution education! Indeed, many of the statements in "Voices" insist quite strongly that evolution must be included in science education and "creation science" must be excluded. Even if we subtract the Southern Baptist Convention, which has changed its view of evolution since McLean v Arkansasand might take a different position now, the percentage those in denominations supporting evolution is still a substantial 77%. Furthermore, many other Christian and non-Christian denominations, including the United Church of Christand the National Sikh Center, have shown some degree of support for evolution education (as defined by inclusion in 'Voices' or the "Joint Statement")." Matsumura produced her table from a June, 1998 article titled "Believers: Dynamic Dozen" put out by Religion News Services which in turn cites the "1998 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches". Matsurmura's calculations include the SBC based on a brief they filed in McLean v. Arkansas, where the SBC took a position it has since changed, according to Matsurmura. See also harvnb|NCSE|2002.] These churches include the United Methodist Church, National Baptist Convention, USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), National Baptist Convention of America, African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, and others. [ [http://www.emporia.edu/biosci/schrock/docs/Eagle-25.pdf "Christianity, Evolution Not in Conflict", John Richard Schrock, Wichita Eagle May 17, 2005 page 17A] ] [harvnb|Matsumura|1998|p=9] A figure closer to about 71% is presented by the analysis of Walter B. Murfin and David F. Beck. [ [http://www.cesame-nm.org/index.php?name=Sections&req=viewarticle&artid=43&page=4 "The Bible: Is it a True and Accurate Account of Creation? (Part 2): The Position of Major Christian Denominations on Creation and Inerrancy"] , Walter B. Murfin, David F. Beck, 13 April 1998, hosted on [http://www.cesame-nm.org/index.php Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education] website]
Michael Shermer argued in Scientific American in October 2006 that evolution supports concepts like family values, avoiding lies, fidelity, moral codes and the rule of law. Shermer also suggests that evolution gives more support to the notion of an omnipotent creator, rather than a tinkerer with limitations based on a human model. [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00068F43-E189-150E-A18983414B7F0000&colID=13 "Darwin on the Right: Why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution"] , Michael Shermer, Scientific American, October 2006.]
Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church
Evolution and the Roman Catholic Churchare compatible according to the Church. On the 12 August 1950, the Roman Catholic Churchaccepted that the ‘doctrine of evolution’ was a valid scientific inquiry, stated by Pope Pius XII in the encyclical Humani Generissaying “research and discussions… take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution”. In the same encyclical the Magisteriumholds that a Catholic can believe in the creation account found in sacred scripture. However, the encyclical rejects what it described as some “fictitious tenets of evolution”. Following this announcement Catholic schools began teaching evolution.Fact|Level of support for evolution |date=February 2007
Pope John Paul IIgave a message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in which he said “Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.” [ Pope John Paul II, Speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 23, 1996 ]
Between 2000 and 2002 the
International Theological Commissionfound that “Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution.” [ [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html “Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God”] , International Theological Commission. ] This statement was published by the Vatican on July 2004 by the authority of Pope Benedict XVIwho was actually the President of the Commission while he was a Cardinal.
Magisteriumhas not yet made an authoritative statement on intelligent design, and has permitted arguments on both sides of the issue. In 2005, Cardinal Christoph Schönbornof Vienna appeared to endorse intelligent design when he denounced philosophically materialist interpretations of evolution. [Tom Heneghan. "Catholics and Evolution: Interview with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn", "BeliefNet", Jan. 5, 2006 [http://www.beliefnet.com/story/182/story_18220_1.html] ]
In the January 16–17 2006 edition of the official Vatican newspaper
L'Osservatore Romano, University of Bolognaevolutionary biology Professor Fiorenzo Facchiniwrote an article agreeing with the judge's ruling in Kitzmiller v. Doverand stating that intelligent designwas unscientific. [ [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2006/XX/280_intelligent_design_criticize_1_20_2006.asp "Intelligent design" criticized in Vatican newspaper"] , NCSE article, January 20, 2006] [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/19/science/sciencespecial2/19evolution.html?ex=1295326800&en=62dc61ea5d27e73d&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss "In "Design" vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins Point in Rome"] , Ian Fisher and Cornelia Dean, New York Times, January 19, 2006.] JesuitFather George Coyne, former director of the Vatican Observatory, has also denounced intelligent design. [ [http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=18503 "Intelligent Design belittles God, Vatican director says"] , Mark Lombard, 1/30/2006, Catholic Online]
Evolution and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Communityhas stated in his magnum opus Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truththat evolution did occur but only through Godbeing the One who brings about it. It does not occur itself, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The Ahmadis do not believe in Adamas the first human on earth but merely as the first prophet to receive revelationby God on earth.
US Religious denominations that dispute evolution
On the other hand, in the U.S., many Protestant denominations promote creationism, preach against evolution from the pulpits, and sponsor lectures and debates on the subject. A list of denominations that explicitly advocate creationism instead of Darwinism or evolution include the
Assemblies of God, [harvnb|GCAG|1977, General Council of the Assemblies of Godofficial assertion of creationism] the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, [ [http://www.epc.org/faqs/index.html#2 Evangelical Presbyterian Church position that Bible is "infallible"] ] the Free Methodist Church, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, [harvnb|Barry|2001|p=60-61] Pentecostal Churches, Seventh-day Adventist Churches, [ [http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html Official Seventh-day Adventist belief statement advocating creationism] ] Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Christian Reformed Church, and the Pentecostal Oneness churches. [ [http://academic.regis.edu/mghedott/evolut.htm Prof. Michael J. Ghedotti, "Evolutionary Biology at Regis, a Jesuit Catholic School.] ]
upport for evolution in medicine and industry
A common complaint of
creationists is that evolution is of no value, has never been used for anything, and will never be of any use. According to many creationists, nothing would be lost by getting rid of evolution, and science and industry might even benefit. [cite journal | url = http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=252 | title = Evolution - Useful or Useless? | first = George | last = Lindsey | journal = Impact | volume = #148 |date=1985-10-01 | publisher = Institute for Creation Research| accessdate = 2007-10-22|format = asp | language = english] [cite journal | url = http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i4/evolution.asp | title = Evolution and practical science | first = Carl | last = Wieland | journal = Creation | volume = 20 | issue = 4 | pages = 4 |date=1999-09-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-22|format = asp | language = english] [cite journal | url = http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i4/french.asp | title = French creation interview with French scientist Dr André Eggen | first = Ken | last = Ham | journal = Creation | volume = 20 | issue = 4 | pages = 17–19 |date=1998-09-01 | accessdate = 2007-10-22 | format = asp | language = english]
In fact, evolution is being put to practical use in industry and widely used on a daily basis by researchers in
medicine, biochemistry, molecular biology, and geneticsto both formulate hypotheses about biological systems for the purposes of experimental design, as well as to rationalise observed data and prepare applications. [cite book |author=Williams, George; Nesse, Randolph M. |title=Why we get sick: the new science of Darwinian medicine |publisher=Vintage Books |location=New York |year=1996 |pages=304 |isbn=0679746749 |oclc= |doi=] cite web | url = http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA215.html | title = Index to Creationist claims: Claim CA215 | source = talk.origins| accessdate = 2007-10-22 |date=2005-10-04 | format = html | language = english | last = Isaak | first = Mark (ed.)] cite book |author=Mindell, David A. |title=The evolving world: evolution in everyday life |publisher=Harvard University Press |location=Cambridge |year=2006 |pages= |isbn=0674021916 |oclc= |doi=] In 2007 alone, there were more than 60,000 scientific articles that mentioned 'evolution' listed in Pubmed.cite web | url = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.SearchBar.Term=evolution+2007 | title = Pubmed search | source = Pubmed| accessdate = 2008-01-17 | date = 2008-01-17 | format = html | language = english ] Corporations such as pharmaceutical companies utilize biological evolution in their development of new products.
Because of the perceived value of evolution in applications, there have been some expressions of support for evolution on the part of
corporations. In Kansas, there has been some widespread concern in the corporate and academic communities that a move to weaken the teaching of evolution in schools will hurt the state's ability to recruit the best talent, particularly in the biotechindustry. [cite web | url = http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/265482/do_scientists_see_kansas_missouri_as_antiscience | title = Do Scientists See Kansas, Missouri As 'Anti-Science'? | first = Jason | last = Gertzen | coauthors = Stafford, Diane | source = The Kansas City Star |date=2005-10-08 | accessdate = 2007-10-22 | language = english ] Paul Hanle of the Biotechnology Institutewarned that the USrisks falling behind in the biotechnologyrace with other nations if it does not do a better job of teaching evolution. [ [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/29/AR2006092901628.html "Waging War on Evolution," Paul A. Hanle, Washington Post, Sunday, October 1, 2006; Page B04] ] James McCarter of Divergence Incorporated states that the work of 2001 Nobel Prize winner Leland Hartwellwhich has substantial implications for combating cancer relied heavily the use of evolutionary knowledge and predictions. McCarter points out that 47 of the last 50 Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology also depended on the use of evolutionary theory. [cite web | url = http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol25/5035_evolution_is_a_winner__for_br_12_30_1899.asp | format = asp | language = english | title = Evolution is a Winner - for Breakthroughs and Prizes | first = James | last = McCarter | source = National Center for Science Education | date = nd. | accessdate = 2007-10-22; originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2005-10-09.]
The organization "
Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity" maintains a list of medical doctors and similar professionals who disagree that evolutioncan account for the diversity of life on earth. As of May 22, 2007, there were 224 Americans and 28 others from other countries that had signed a statement disputing " Darwinism".
Other support for evolution
There are also many educational organizations that have issued statements in support of the theory of evolution. [ [http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/2223_statements_from_educational_o_9_12_2005.asp List of educational organizations that support evolution and their statements about evolution] ]
Repeatedly, creationists and intelligent design advocates have lost suits in US courts. ["Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998)" [http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309063647/html/121.html Appendix A] , National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998.] Here is a list of important court cases in which creationists have suffered setbacks:
Epperson v. Arkansas", United States Supreme Court[Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97. (1968)]
Segraves v. State of California", Supreme Court of California[Segraves v. California, No. 278978 Sacramento Superior Court (1981)]
McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education", U.S. Federal Court [McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255, 50 (1982) U.S. Law Week 2412]
Edwards v. Aguillard", United States Supreme Court[Edwards v. Aguillard, 482, U.S. 578, 55 (1987) U.S. Law Week 4860, S. CT. 2573, 96 L. Ed. 2d510]
Webster v. New Lenox School District", Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals [Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1004 (7th. Cir., 1990)]
Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District", Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [ [http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/peloza.html Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District] , 37 F.3d 517 (9th Cir., 1994)]
Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education", United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana [ [http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-1625.ZD.html Freiler v Tangipahoa Board of Education] , No. 94-3577 (E.D. La. Aug. 8, 1997)]
Rodney LeVake v Independent School District 656, et al.", District Court for the Third Judicial District of the State of Minnesota [Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum, Court File Nr. CX-99-793, District Court for the Third Judicial District of the State of Minnesota  ]
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District", US Federal Court [Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District No. 04-2688 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 20, 2005)]
Hurst v. NewmanUS District Court Eastern District of California [ [http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=111 Hurst v. Newman court documents] ]
Creationists often claim that public support of creationism is a sign of its validity as a scientific theory. [No scientific issue is ever decided by such "
argumentum ad populum" ("Introduction to Logic", I.M. Copi, Macmillan, New York, 1978). The only thing that matters in science is if the data available match the predictions of a given scientific theory. As pointed out by creationist Bert Thompson, "Truth never is determined by popular opinion or majority vote." [http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1981 ("The Day the Scientists Voted", Bert Thompson, Apologetics Press: Sensible Science)] ] In some countries, creationist beliefs (or a lack of support for evolutionary theory) are relatively widespread, even garnering a majority of public opinion. A study published in "Science" compared attitudes about evolution in the United States, 32 European countries (including Turkey) and Japan. The only country where acceptance of evolution was lower than in the United States was Turkey(25%). Public acceptance of evolution was most widespread (at over 80% of the population) in Iceland, Denmarkand Sweden.cite journal|journal=Science|date= 11 August 2006|volume=313|issue=5788|pages=765–766|title=Public Acceptance of Evolution|author=Jon D. Miller, Eugenie C. Scott, Shinji Okamoto|doi=10.1126/science.1126746] (See the [http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=060810_evo_rank_02.jpg&c
A 2006 UK poll on the "origin and development of life" asked participants to choose between three different explanations for the origin of life: 22% chose (Young Earth) creationism, 17% opted for
intelligent design, 48% selected evolutiontheory (with a divine role explicitly excluded) and the rest did not know. However, the poll lacked nuanced survey techniques and equivocated on origin definitions, forcing participants to choose between only these options (which notably excluded theistic evolution). Hence its results are not necessarily an accurate survey of the views of the UK public. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4648598.stm Britons unconvinced on evolution] ] [ [http://www.mori.com/polls/2006/bbc-horizon.shtml BBC Survey On The Origins Of Life] ]
The level of assent that evolution garners has changed with time. The trends in acceptance of evolution can be estimated.
Early impact of Darwin's theory
The level of support for evolution in different communities has varied with time. Darwin's theory had convinced almost every naturalist within 20 years of its publication in 1858, and was making serious inroads with the public and the more liberal clergy. It had reached such extremes, that by 1880, oneAmerican religious weekly publication estimated that "perhaps a quarter, perhaps a half of the educated ministers in our leading Evangelical denominations" felt "that the story of the creation and fall of man, told in Genesis, is no more the record of actual occurrences than is the parable of the Prodigal Son." [http://www.hup.harvard.edu/pdf/NUMCRX_excerpt.pdf "The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, expanded edition, Ronald L. Numbers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 2006 ISBN-10: 0-674-02339-0] ]
By the late 1800s, many of the most conservative Christians accepted an ancient earth, and life on earth before Eden.
Victorian EraCreationists were more akin to people who subscribe to theistic evolutiontoday. Even fervent anti-evolutionist Scopes Trialprosecutor William Jennings Bryaninterpreted the "days" of Genesisas ages of the earth, and acknowledged that biochemical evolution took place, drawing the line only at the story of Adam and Eve's creation. Prominent pre-World War II creationist Harry Rimmerallowed an Old Earth by slipping millions of years into putative gaps in the Genesis account, and claimed that the Noachian Floodwas only a local phenomenon.
In the decades of the 1900s,
George Macready Priceand a tiny group of Seventh-day Adventist followers were the among the very few believers in a Young Earth and a worldwide flood, which Price championed in his "new catastrophism" theories. It was not until the publication of John C. Whitcomb, Jr., and Henry M. Morris’s book "Genesis Flood" in 1961 that Price's idea was revived. In the last few decades, many creationists have adopted Price's beliefs, becoming progressively more strict biblical literalists.
Recent public beliefs
In a 1991 Gallup poll, 47% of the US population, and 25% of college graduates agreed with the statement, "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years."
Fourteen yearslater, in 2005, Gallup found that 53% of Americans expressed the belief that "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it." About 2/3 (65.5%) of those surveyed thought that creationism was definitely or probably true. In 2005 a
Newsweekpoll discovered that 80 percent of the American public thought that "God created the universe." and the Pew Research Center reported that "nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools." Ronald Numberscommented on that with "Most surprising of all was the discovery that large numbers of high-school biology teachers — from 30% in Illinois and 38% in Ohio to a whopping 69% in Kentucky — supported the teaching of creationism."
National Center for Science Educationreports that from 1985 to 2005, the number of Americans unsure about evolution increased from 7% to 21%, while the number rejecting evolution declined from 48% to 39%. [http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn9786 Why doesn't America believe in evolution?, Jeff Hecht, New Scientist, 20 August 2006] ] Jon Miller of Michigan State University has found in his polls that the number of Americans who accept evolution has declined from 45% to 40% from 1985 to 2005. [Science, vol 313, p 765]
In light of these somewhat contradictory results, it is difficult to know for sure what is happening to public opinion on evolution in the US. It does not appear that either side is making unequivocal progress. It does appear that uncertainty about the issue is increasing, however.
Anecdotal evidence is that creationism is becoming more of an issue in the UK as well. One report in 2006 was that UK students are increasingly arriving ill-prepared to participate in medical studies or other advanced education. [ [http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,,1714171,00.html "Academics fight rise of creationism at universities: More students believe Darwin got it wrong, Royal Society challenges "insidious problem"] , Duncan Campbell, The Guardian, Tuesday February 21, 2006.]
Recent scientific trends
The level of support for
creationismamong relevant scientists is minimal. Only 700 out of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists gave credence to creationism in 1987, representing about 0.146% of relevant scientists. In 2007 the Discovery Institutereported that about 600 scientists signed their " A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" list, up from 100 in 2001. [cite web | url = http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2732 | title = Ranks of Scientists Doubting Darwin’s Theory on the Rise | author = Staff, Discovery Institute| publisher = Discovery Institute|date=2007-03-08 | accessdate = 2007-10-30 | language = english ] The actual statement of the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism is a relatively mild one that expresses skepticism about the absoluteness of 'Darwinism' (and is in line with the falsifiabilityrequired of scientific theories) to explain all features of life, and does not in any way represent an absolute denial or rejection of evolution.cite web | url = http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/7306_pr87_11292001__doubting_dar_11_29_2001.asp | title = Doubting Darwinism through Creative License" | last = Evans | first = Skip | authorlink = Skip Evans | publisher = National Center for Science Education|date=2001-11-29 | accessdate = 2007-12-13] By contrast, a tongue-in-cheek response known as Project Steve, a list of scientists named Steve who agree that evolution is "a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences," has 868 Steves as of March 18, 2008. People named Steve make up approximately 1% of the total U.S. population.
The United States
National Science Foundationstatistics on US yearly science graduates demonstrate that from 1987 to 2001, the number of biological science graduates increased by 59% while the number of geological science graduates decreased by 20.5%. However, the number of geology graduates in 2001 was only 5.4% of the number of graduates in the biological sciences, while it was 10.7% of the number of biological science graduates in 1987. [cite web | url = http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf04311/pdf/tab42.pdf | title = NSF statistics on science graduates 1966–2001 | publisher = Ntional Science Foundation | format = pdf | language = english ] The Science Resources Statistics Division of the National Science Foundation estimated that in 1999, there were 955,300 biological scientists in the US (about 1/3 of who hold graduate degrees). There were also 152,800 earth scientists in the US as well. [cite web | url = http://srsstats.sbe.nsf.gov/preformatted-tables/1999/tables/TableC1.pdf | title = 1999 SESTAT (Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data) Table C-1 | publisher = National Science Foundation/Science Resources Statistics Division | format = pdf | language = english ]
Therefore, the 600 Darwin Dissenters represent about 0.054% of the estimated 1,108,100 biological and geological scientists in the US in 1999. In addition, a large fraction of the Darwin Dissenters have specialties unrelated to research on evolution; of the dissenters, three-quarters are not biologists.cite news | url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/science/sciencespecial2/21peti.html?_r=1&oref=slogin | title = Few Biologists But Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition | first = Kenneth | last = Chang | publisher = The
New York Times|date=2006-03-21 language = english | format = php ; text available without registering at cite web | url = http://www.ntskeptics.org/news/news2006-02-25.htm | title = Skeptical News | language = english | format = html ] Therefore, the roughly 150 biologist Darwin Dissenters represent about 0.0157% of the US biologists that existed in 1999. As of 2006, the list was expanded to include non-US scientists, overestimating the number of US scientists that do not accept evolution. [cite web | url = http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/06/dissent_from_darwinism_goes_gl.html | last = Crowther | first = Robert | title = Dissent From Darwinism 'Goes Global' as Over 600 Scientists Around the World Express Their Doubts About Darwinian Evolution | accessdate = 2007-10-30 | format = html | language = english |date=2006-06-21 ] , according to the Discovery Institute, a known creationist lobby institution. Despite the increase in absolute number of scientists willing to sign the dissent form, proportionately the figures indicates the support from scientists for creationism and intelligent design is steadily decreasing, despite an increase in public support.
History of creationism
List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design
Surname1 = Martz
Given1 = Larry
Surname2 = McDaniel
Given2 = Ann
Year = 1987
Title = Keeping God Out of Class (Washington and bureau reports)
Journal = Newsweek
Pages = 22-23
Volume = CIX
Number = 26
Publisher = Newsweek Inc.
ID = ISSN 0028-9604
Surname = Matsumura
Given = Molleen
Authorlink = Molleen Matsumura
Publisher = National Center for Science Education Inc.
Year = 1998
Title = What Do Christians Really Believe About Evolution?
Journal = Reports of the National Center About Evolution
Volume = 18
Number = 2
Pages = 8-9
URL = http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikisource/en/a/a0/Masumura_1998.pdf Retrieved on
Surname = NCSE
Given = National Center for Science Education Inc.
Authorlink = National Center for Science Education
Publisher = National Center for Science Education Inc.
Year = 2002
Title = Statements from Religious Organizations
Journal = NCSE Resource
URL = http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/5025_statements_from_religious_orga_12_19_2002.asp Retrieved on
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