are CMI distorting poll results ?

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are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Peter Henderson » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:13 pm

From a Philip Bell article on Christmas Eve:

http://creation.com/creation-in-schools

Despite the above, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic—though certainly not to be complacent. National surveys in recent years (both in the UK and across European nations) have continued to show encouraging results. In 2008, a survey found that almost 50% of British science teachers thought the exclusion of “creationism and intelligent design … from the classroom would alienate students from science.”3 The following year, an Ipsos Mori poll of adults from 10 countries found that 54% of Britons thought that

Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.4

Similar surveys in the US show that significant percentages of the population believe that God created. Clearly, the percentages would be much higher if the same teachers and members of the public had been asked about religious studies lessons! So, the minority of secular activists are completely out of touch with popular opinion.


I presume this is the survey Bell is talking about:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... n-religion

Twenty-nine per cent of teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as science, according to an online survey of attitudes to teaching evolution in the UK. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.

The survey, by the website and TV station Teachers TV, also found strong support for the views of Prof Michael Reiss, the former director of education at the Royal Society, who resigned in September over comments about including creationism in science lessons.


So exactly how can 50% of respondents of an online survey be extrapolated to 50% of all teachers ????

If I didn't know any better I'd say Bell was..................
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:58 pm

Peter Henderson wrote:From a Philip Bell article on Christmas Eve:

http://creation.com/creation-in-schools

Despite the above, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic—though certainly not to be complacent. National surveys in recent years (both in the UK and across European nations) have continued to show encouraging results. In 2008, a survey found that almost 50% of British science teachers thought the exclusion of “creationism and intelligent design … from the classroom would alienate students from science.”3 The following year, an Ipsos Mori poll of adults from 10 countries found that 54% of Britons thought that

Evolutionary theories should be taught in science lessons in schools together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism.4

Similar surveys in the US show that significant percentages of the population believe that God created. Clearly, the percentages would be much higher if the same teachers and members of the public had been asked about religious studies lessons! So, the minority of secular activists are completely out of touch with popular opinion.


I presume this is the survey Bell is talking about:

http://www.theguardian.com/education/20 ... n-religion

Twenty-nine per cent of teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as science, according to an online survey of attitudes to teaching evolution in the UK. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.

The survey, by the website and TV station Teachers TV, also found strong support for the views of Prof Michael Reiss, the former director of education at the Royal Society, who resigned in September over comments about including creationism in science lessons.


So exactly how can 50% of respondents of an online survey be extrapolated to 50% of all teachers ????

If I didn't know any better I'd say Bell was..................


I note that he is calling for political action by his followers which means that CMI can't be registered as a charitable organisation. Has anyone checked whether it is? What he appears to be calling for is teaching of creationism as science in state funded schools. That's not a legal option for schools to take.

Moreover, the survey he claims supports his position was taken 5-6 years ago and therefore not evidence of a current trend in his favour.

Just the opposite; the organisation of which Bell was formerly an activist in, Answers in Genesis, is now up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Creationism is a political dead duck, even in the USA.

School teachers in the UK don't give a stuff about what Bell is preaching. All he appears able to do is whinge about CriSIS, the BCSE and NCSE. Well, he lost and we didn't so "tuff sh*t" to him. He's a crackpot.

Bell is a religious fundamentalist and therefore has very little, if any, support in the UK.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Brian Jordan » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:24 pm

Oh dear, I suppose one shouldn't rush to reply through the Christmas haze, but this needs an answer. Although it's clearly just a seasonal drumming up of trade while the haze persists.
Such polls depend on how the questions are asked and the audience - as PZ Myers has been at pains to point out for years. The poll in question has been dissected over and over again already, Most of those voting were probably not science teachers and were thinking vaguely of even-handedness without realising they were balancing the vast bulk of scientific opinion against a small anti-scientific lunatic fringe.
Anyway, if the best they can offer is misrepresenting the Rev. Prof. Reiss, they're barking up the wrong tree. He was NOT in favour of teaching creationism in science classes, merely advocating discussing it if and when some misguided pupils make pests of themselve. Instead, of course, of telling them to shut up and go and raise their objections in RE where it might, just might, possibly be appropriate.
Wishful thinking by Bell, is all. Just like his wishful thinking over his namesake's "dinosaur"-embellished tomb.
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Roger Stanyard » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:48 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:Oh dear, I suppose one shouldn't rush to reply through the Christmas haze, but this needs an answer. Although it's clearly just a seasonal drumming up of trade while the haze persists.
Such polls depend on how the questions are asked and the audience - as PZ Myers has been at pains to point out for years. The poll in question has been dissected over and over again already, Most of those voting were probably not science teachers and were thinking vaguely of even-handedness without realising they were balancing the vast bulk of scientific opinion against a small anti-scientific lunatic fringe.
Anyway, if the best they can offer is misrepresenting the Rev. Prof. Reiss, they're barking up the wrong tree. He was NOT in favour of teaching creationism in science classes, merely advocating discussing it if and when some misguided pupils make pests of themselve. Instead, of course, of telling them to shut up and go and raise their objections in RE where it might, just might, possibly be appropriate.
Wishful thinking by Bell, is all. Just like his wishful thinking over his namesake's "dinosaur"-embellished tomb.


In general, opinion polls I've dealt with on a professional basis (covering, mostly matters relating to broadcasting) are usually exceedingly unreliable; they typically severely conflict with more accurate measurements and are largely useless in understanding what is going on.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby cathy » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:42 pm

Twenty-nine per cent of teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as science, according to an online survey of attitudes to teaching evolution in the UK. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.


Twenty Nine per cent of teachers of what? Science? RE? Primary schooling? I don't know a single science or RE teacher into ID/creationism. My money would be on the primary sector.

And how much do these 29% of teachers actually know about creationism and ID? Do they understand the science? More importantly do the understand the science denial inherent in creationism and ID? I'd say not.

And who gives a fig what they think anyway. Evolution is a theory and fact backed up by evidence! Not a popularity contest.

It doesn't really matter what people think should be taught as science because at the end of the day only science CAN be taught as science! Or we can of course chuck it away as a subject and just carry out some opinion polls instead and teach that. I vote of and end to the teaching in medical schools about the proliferation of cancer cells, and in biology how about getting rid of the notion of disease causing viruses and bacteria (meh they're not nice, don't like them, don't think anyone else does so hey lets teach they don't exist). Myabe we could teach that fluffy kittens rule the world in history as well. I'd like that.

NO matter what people think or feel about it evolution is a fact and creationism/ID is lying. Therefore we simply cannot teach it based on any opinions. NO matter how many feel it should be taught. They seem to be mixing up science and elections! Dozy gits.
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Roger Stanyard » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:29 pm

cathy wrote:
Twenty-nine per cent of teachers believe that creationism and intelligent design should be taught as science, according to an online survey of attitudes to teaching evolution in the UK. Nearly 50% of the respondents said they believed that excluding alternatives to evolution was counter-productive and would alienate pupils from science.


Twenty Nine per cent of teachers of what? Science? RE? Primary schooling? I don't know a single science or RE teacher into ID/creationism. My money would be on the primary sector.

And how much do these 29% of teachers actually know about creationism and ID? Do they understand the science? More importantly do the understand the science denial inherent in creationism and ID? I'd say not.



Well, let me put it this way, what would happen if ENglish language teachers were asked if pupils should be taught bogus English so that they failed their exams, or History teachers asked to teach myths and legends as historical facts? Or maths teachers asked to teach that Pi = 3?
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby Peter Henderson » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:02 pm

And who gives a fig what they think anyway.


Indeed Cathy, if "50%" had responded by saying astrology should be taught instead of astronomy would CMI be happy with that ?
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby a_haworthroberts » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:08 am

Perhaps CMI should spend some time debunking astrology instead of attacking science.
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Re: are CMI distorting poll results ?

Postby cathy » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:02 pm

Perhaps CMI should spend some time debunking astrology instead of attacking science.

Well, if looked at in the cold light of day, astrology is garbage BUT is slightly less nonsensical than creation 'science' in that it merely hasn't been proven and is highly unlikely whereas creation 'science' has not only NOT been proven but has been actively disproven.

Plus, given the sheer numbers of people born in any one particular month and the sheer number of daily horoscopes written statistically astrology has a chance of being right some of the time! Not because it has any credence but by sheer statistical chance.

Creation 'science' on the other hand holds the privileged position of always being 100% wrong.

Perhaps they should spend some time striving for a minimum of accuracy in some of the more easily checkable facts in their articles instead. For example
“to specifically prevent creationism being taught … in any lesson or activity to children in state funded schools.”

Isn't strictly true. In fact it is strictly a lie! Nobody wants to prevent creationism as taught in the book of Genesis being taught in RE. Nor does anyone object to children being taught that some folk reject science and believe it to be literal history either. That is, and remains, a fact and therefore a feature of RE! It is the steaming great lie that there is a scientific backing that is specifically being prevented. Prevented for one reason only, not a atheist plot, not an attempt to discredit God, not and attempt to ruin belief - merely an attempt to ensure folk aren't lied to and misled in state schools. Misled by liars.

Now I'm pretty sure CMI's Philip Bell has been told that many times. Maybe creationism rots the memory as well as the brain?
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