The Intelligent Design Underground and Other Reflections

Well I’m sure there are such people, and “many” can mean anything. My claim is that religiosity is the overwhelming predictor of resistance to acceptance of evolution. The fact that some has come through here who don’t conform doesn’t substantially alter the truth of my statement. Of course, most people would just plain deny it if asked “do you doubt evolution because you’re religious?” and instead offer some rationalization about why they find it flawed.

1 Like

I don’t think this does justice to science or religion.

Evolution is a friggen audacious claim, of the same absurdity that the earth rotates around the sun (and not the other way). If one is an atheist, then sure, you have to believe it is true. If you are not an atheist, there are more options on the table, so of course there will be more diversity of views.

There are quite a large number of religious people i know that have no theological objection to evolution, they just do not care about origins so much. At the same time, they just reject evolution, because it does not make sense to them. The reject it because most of its proponents are trusted by them (because most of them have not been trustworthy for religious audiences). Are they rejecting evolution “because” they are religious? Not really. That is not the causal explanation here. We could just as easily (and perhaps more correctly) attribute the cause to abysmal scientific ambassadors that have made anti-religious agendas more important than a trustworthy account of science.

I grant that there is a correlation between religious belief and rejecting evolution. Correlation is not causation.

1 Like

Say what now?

1 Like

I second that question.

Oh, I made a mistake there. I mean “most of its proponents” not “none.” Also, when I mean “trustworthy”, I mean that in regard to their ability to build trust with religious audiences. If a scientist’s goal is arguing for atheism, they are just not going to have credibility in religious audience. That is what I mean.

I edited the original. Sorry about the overstatement.


Still say what now? I think you may mean “are not”. And that isn’t what “trustworthy” means. Perhaps you mean “seen as trustworthy”, because the fault isn’t on the part of the scientists here. And in fact most scientists arguing in favor of evolution do not mention atheism, even those specifically attacking creationism. That sentence, in fact the whole paragraph, just can’t be repaired.


Fine. I was imprecise and still had a horrible typo in it. You can win this one :wink:


I think it’s worse than that. I think your main point is wrong, however you state it.

1 Like

Take a win. You might be right. I’ll sort it later but happy to concede for now.

1 Like

It’d be interesting to see your evidence for this. I talk to atheists who’ve grown up Hindu, non religious and Catholic, who all share a disbelief in Darwinian evolution, yet were not brought up in fundie creationists households. So, at least my anecdata contradicts your claim.

On the other hand, the conversations on this forum seem to indicate a consensus that Darwinian evolution is dead, which could plausibly lead a lay person to conclude the Darwinian evolutionary theory they were taught in high school is false if they encounter this same information. Thus, I have an easier time believing that many atheists don’t believe in Darwinian evolution because it has been disproven, not because of a hypothetical religious upbringing. That they are not taught any alternative theories of evolution in high school would then lead them to conclude evolution is in general false.

1 Like

First of all the fact that most religious people are religous because they’re brought up in a religious houshold is something I hope we can agree on. That means they’re religious before they ever get to the point where science and philosophy becomes important to them. And I don’t think anecdotes otherwise mean much here, we are talking about general trends.

Second, look at polls that measure religiosity (which can be both the proportion of the population that describes themselves as religious, and the proportion of religious people to whom their religion is very important) by country, or state, or county/city. Then look at polls that measure evolution acceptance.

You will find very strong overlap between the religiosity (which we already know is primarily due to upbringing, religious parents teach their religion to their children, further evidenced by the geographic distributions of different religions), and areas of non-acceptance of evolution. The more religious states and countries, are also consistently the more resistant to evolution acceptance.

Further, the more important people’s religion is to them, and/or the more literalist/extremist their religious upbringing and methods of scriptural interpretation, the more likely they are to also be resistant to evolution.

Which is of course what one would logically expect. If you read (say) Genesis literally, you are more likely to see a conflict between that literalist Genesis account and the evolutionary account of origins, and then feel that you have to choose. However if you read it more metaphorically or allegorically, you are more likely to see some way of squaring the two.

Which makes perfect logical sense. I don’t know what other kind of evidence one could hope to have here.

On the other hand, the conversations on this forum seem to indicate a consensus that Darwinian evolution is dead

This is a terminology problem. If the term “Darwinian evolution” means the claim that all aspects of organismal behavior, molecular genetics, development and physiology, owe to an adaptive Darwinian process driven exclusively by natural selection (iow all attributes of organisms are there because they were or are still adaptively favored by natural selection, and by no other means), then yes Darwinian evolution is dead. But of course, at best, very very few individuals have ever seriously advanced that hypothesis. In fact I doubt that anyone ever took it to that extreme, not even ultra-Darwinians like Richard Dawkins.

But that’s just not what the word Darwinian evolution means. Darwinian evolution is merely evolution by natural selection. That’s a description, not a claim about the extent to which it happens. But we know that more mechanisms than just natural selection contribute to evolutionary change. So it’s not that Darwinian evolution is dead, it’s just not the whole picture and few, if anyone, ever really claimed that was all there was to it. Darwinian evolution still takes place, and many organismal attributes do have adaptive explanations, and owe their nature and existence in part to natural selection. It’s just that not everything about life does.

By saying that “Darwinian evolution is dead”, you are setting it up as a straw man, to manifest as a claim almost no-one has ever seriously entertained. Not even Darwin himself.

I certainly agree. I don’t think becoming an atheist somehow necessarily transforms a person into some ultra-rational logic-robot. I’ve met plenty of atheists with views I consider irrational on all types of subjects. I’ve even met atheists I think give bad reasons for their atheism, such as “all religions were made up by the powerful to control us”. You can come to true conclusions for both good and bad reasons.

1 Like

Darwinian evolutionary theory is NOT taught in high school. Up to date evolutionary science is taught in high school.

Take a look at the latest textbook:

1 Like