Field of Science

Creationism in Europe is also bad

An article in Nature this week details how Creationist Beliefs Persist in Europe (subscription required - email me for a copy).

Two surprising examples of how dismal the evolution/creationism situation is in Europe, and one unsurprising.

In the United Kingdom
Creationists have adopted the attitude that if you get to children young and early, you can indoctrinate them before they even start talking about evolution in schools." Williams cited a December 2008 Ipsos Mori poll of 923 primary and secondary school-teachers in England and Wales: 37% of the respondents agreed that creationism should be taught in schools alongside evolution. Even among biology and science teachers, the number was 30%.
Biology teachers?! Apparently understanding science really isn't a prerequisite for teaching it. Boggles the mind.

In Germany
a survey of 1228 German students planning to become teachers [] evaluated their knowledge of and attitudes toward evolution. The results of the 108-question study--part survey, part quiz--revealed surprising gaps. Twenty percent of those studying to teach biology, for example, thought that evolution could be explained in part by Lamarckism, or the idea that traits acquired during a parent organism's life can be passed on to his or her offspring. And less than a third were able to answer basic questions about the role of reproductive fitness in evolution.
Lamarckism? Use and disuse? If you pull out my teeth, then my children will be born without teeth? How can they teach with such dismal comprehension of evolution?

The call it creationist America, but England's just as bad. Germany's worse, and Turkey's also sad.
More than 75% rejected the theory of evolution. "There's a minimal understanding of evolution in Turkey," Soran says. "The more religious people are, the more they forget about evolution."
Okay, so Turkey is the pits, really. A muslim society with secular aspirations (though one wonders if the profitable prospect of an EU membership is the sole reason for the secular tendiencies). And then they have Adnan Oktar, eminent exhibitor of fishing lures.

There is a strong correlation between a belief in creationism and understanding of evolution, and that doesn't really seem surprising:
The survey also probed the students' belief in creationism, and Graf reported that the most likely predictor of creationist thinking wasn't religious belief but a lack of confidence in science, followed closely by a poor understanding of scientific principles. "What surprised me wasn't that religion correlated with antievolutionist thinking but that the correlation between a failure to understand science and not believing in evolution was very strong," Graf says.
If you don't understand a theory, then you are likely to have misconceptions about it, and thus reject it on those false premises. It would be fantastic if someone actually did a survey to rigorously document this, say comparing people who believe in evolution with those who do not. Such a survey just might rock the boat a bit, don't you think?

They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad
They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday's just as bad
Wednesday's worse, and Thursday's also sad

Yes the eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play
Eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play
Sunday I go to church, then I kneel down and pray

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me
Lord have mercy, my heart's in misery
Crazy about my baby, yes, send her back to me


  1. Have a look at

    Same in Holland. Good grief.


  2. Thanks for the reference, Fred. I reported earlier about the Dutch Christians distributing leaflets to every household, too.


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