Creationist Idiocy in the UK

To “celebrate” the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, Theos (the religious think-tank) commissioned a survey into the public perceptions of Darwin’s theories. The results were published yesterday and do not make comforting reading.

It seems that about half of the UK don’t accept Darwin’s findings and only about a quarter of us say that evolution is definitely true. One in ten people believed in nonsense similar to that spouted by young Earth creationists.

Of course, science isn’t a democracy. Even if half of the population demand that creationism or “intelligent design” should be considered a science, that doesn’t suddenly make it a science. But the worrying thing here is the number or people who don’t seem to understand evolution or natural selection and who haven’t seen (or who have chosen to ignore) the overwhelming amount of evidence in favour of evolution.

And the blame for that has to be laid firmly at the feet of the people who bend over backwards to give religious beliefs a level of respect that they don’t deserve. For far too long, ridiculous religious beliefs have thrived in an environment where it is seen as rude to question them. It’s astonishing that children can emerge from the education system at sixteen without knowing about evolution and without being given the intellectual tools that they could use to see through the nonsense that their family and religious community are constantly telling them.

Picture it this way. Imagine how you would feel if there was a group who wanted schools to teach “alternative maths”. A group campaigning that pupils should be told that it was okay to believe that two plus two is five. It makes no sense at all, of course. And that’s about how sensible it is to allow children to believe that evolution isn’t true.

It’s a hundred and fifty years since Darwin published his ideas. And in that time pretty much every advance in biology has been predicted by evolution or has helped to prove and strengthen Darwin’s theory. No sane scientist doubts that Darwin’s theories were correct. And if scientists agree that the theory is correct then the fact that it contradicts some old legends really shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

These poll results should be a big red flag to the people running Britain’s schools. Twenty years ago it looked like creationism was effectively dead in the UK. Now it’s growing again, and if it isn’t quashed soon we’ll end up with cases like the US where religious nutters take schools to court for the right to infect children with their poison. Let’s hope it doesn’t reach that stage.


  1. well, the study being paid for by a loony group, it’s not surprising the results are what they are. i’m not sure i would extrapolate from the set of replies to “the uk”. it’s a bit like mcdonald’s paying for a study which finds out that eating 5 big macs a day will increase your chances of getting laid by 73%.

  2. No, no, no – Creationism can be great fun! I especially like the flavour that insists that the fossil record was planted there by (their) god in order to fool us. I wonder if they had a sort of family day out while they were hiding the bones? Jesus, if you hide the last of the T-Rex’s over there by that little layer of sedimentary pre-Cambrian rocky nonsense I’ll go and put these Stegoplonkers in the valley over there and then Mary can serve tea and cucumber sandwiches.The theory is fantastic – not only, according to its proponents, is there an omnipresent omniscient god but he’s a liar who had to patch up his plans in order to fool his own creations too.Of course, if this omniscient god hadn’t anticipated the archeologists he was going to create he wouldn’t have needed to (temporarily) become one in order to lie to them in order to try to hide the “fact” that he exists and created them with their peculiar need to dig up the bones that he hid in order to … oh sod it. Mary darling, are there any Scotch eggs? Where’s the HP sauce? Jesus do stop the dog from doing that, you know it leaves patches in the grass.I ask you. Would any true god have been able to resist the urge to bury a plasma TV or a copy of Origin of Species somewhere in the GreatBigTimeTeamLayerOfRocks? I know I wouldn’t.

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