back to article Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

According to a new poll by YouGov, the number of Americans who believe in evolution not directed by God is rising, but those pure evolutionists still only account for one in five of those surveyed. Specifically, YouGov asked its "representative sample of 1,000 Americans" how they felt about three versions of human evolution …

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  1. mhoulden
    Boffin

    Intelligent design/creationism vs evolution is always fun, even if it generates more heat than light. I've never understood who designed the designer and why, if they are so intelligent, my eyes are imperfect and I need glasses.

    1. mickey mouse the fith

      If god created the heavens and the earth, where did the material to construct him, or the idea of him come from?

      Ask a biblethumper that and watch em squirm..

      1. An0n C0w4rd

        @mickey mouse the fith

        I suspect most people would squirm with that question. Even if you believe the Big Bang theory, where did the energy come from to create the Big Bang? As far as I am aware there is currently no good answer for that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @An0n C0w4rd - Physics gives us a helping hand

          The law of conservation of energy is easy to understand, at least in its simplest form. See, everything is in proper education! Unfortunately a lot of US kids will miss this in exchange to some other "truths" contained in a book of unknown origin.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC @ 02:10

            I've always thought that conservation of energy is in contradiction to the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

            Personally I think the 2nd law seems wrong... Why can't I extract useful energy from a closed system in equilibrium? if there is heat, there is energy, if there is energy it must be able to be converted...

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Re: @AC @ 02:10

              You need a year differential to get anything useful out of it. If two things are equally hot, no matter how hot, I cannot get heat to flow from one to the other. Equilibrium means that there is no heat differential, hence no useful energy.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. TeeCee Gold badge
              Facepalm

              Re: @AC @ 02:10

              Because the words "extract from" and "closed system" are mutually exclusive. That's why.

            3. rjmx
              Pirate

              Re: @AC @ 02:10

              If it is indeed a closed system, where do you extract it to, pray tell?

        2. MrDamage

          There is an answer.

          Its 42.

          1. jmk89
            Pint

            Re: There is an answer.

            More or less!

            1. Steve I
              Linux

              Re: There is an answer.

              "more or less".

              Personally, I use less. I find it does more than more, whilst more does less than less.

          2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: There is an answer.

            The correct answer is "Turtles all the way down".

        3. Ian Bush
          Boffin

          "I suspect most people would squirm with that question. Even if you believe the Big Bang theory, where did the energy come from to create the Big Bang? As far as I am aware there is currently no good answer for that."

          Not my area of science but I was under the impression that

          http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html

          summarises the current position

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Ian Bush

            "Not my area of science but I was under the impression that

            http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html

            summarises the current position"

            Proof that God is a woman. They can make something out of nothing...

            *runs and ducks*

          2. sisk Silver badge

            @Ian Bush: That hypothesis is almost certainly false. That or our current understanding of physics is flawed. Even in that article it admits that for the hypothesis to work there had to have been a violation of the law of conservation at some point. Too miniscule to measure or not, a violation is still a violation and any violation of the laws of physics requires either an explanation of how it happened or a reexamination of those laws.

          3. Jaybus

            Yes, well the current position interpolates from mathematical models without any experimental evidence, or even an experimental design, so does not much ease the squirming. In fact, the current position is in reaction to the squirming, which is little different than the reactionary response "God did it". We simply do not like the only logical answer, which is "Damned if I know".

        4. codejunky Silver badge

          @An0n C0w4rd

          "@mickey mouse the fith

          I suspect most people would squirm with that question. Even if you believe the Big Bang theory, where did the energy come from to create the Big Bang? As far as I am aware there is currently no good answer for that."

          This highlights the difference between science and religion. Science says we dont know and looks for theories which they can then find evidence and prove/disprove the theories. Religion says it knows and the answer is that he was always there so please stop asking.

          1. <shakes head>

            Re: @An0n C0w4rd

            i would tend to disgree, while "the curch" (current dominant religion an dgiven area) tends to go with the "don't upset the apple cart", releginion itself and a creater made the ide that we could understand the world around us possible. There seems to be a disconect somwhere in these arguments. Faith /Belief does not equal relegion and what is done in the name of religion does not nessesarly match faith /belief. i vaugly recale that the original turn "big Bang " was used to try discredit creationists before we figured out that that is propable what did happen.

            creationist with half a brin would not squirme at who/what made god or out of what, as the logic is not required for that discussion. it a make "world in a computer" then there is nothing that would lead me to believe that the rule inside the world constrains the maker of the system. but hay that is just me

        5. Chris Collins

          The interactions of 11th and 12th dimensional space causes bubbles of vacuum to form in the nothing. So technically speaking the universe poofed out of nothing, but in a more pleasing way than the invisible man in the sky who hates foreskins.

        6. John P
          Thumb Up

          Suggest a read of Lawrence Krauss' A Universe From Nothing, a fascinating read which nicely explains everything and makes sense even to someone who is not scientifically educated such as myself.

        7. DrXym Silver badge

          "Even if you believe the Big Bang theory, where did the energy come from to create the Big Bang?"

          A perfectly legitimate answer would be "I don't know". Science is full of such gaps which is why it continues to advance and correct itself. Creationists perceive gaps as places to insert god rather than advancing knowledge in any way.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        See http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/

      3. Zaphod_42

        Agreed - I asked that question of my Sunday School teacher when I was 11 years old - stammering was mainly what I got by way of a reply....

      4. Bob Camp

        From another universe. Next question, please.

      5. lanterna_viridis

        I squirm more over material that existed infinitely in the past or just 'poof' appeared without a personal intelligent cause.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @lanterna_viridis

          "I squirm more over material that existed infinitely in the past or just 'poof' appeared without a personal intelligent cause."

          You must then have more of a problem with an intelligent entity that always existed or poof appeared without a reason

        2. asdf Silver badge
          Trollface

          > or just 'poof' appeared

          Strange as it is but quantum physics shows us things can just poof anywhere in the universe. As Hawking I think said it probably all started with quantum tunneling of the inflaton energy state to a nonzero value. Or perhaps a blackhole in another universe caused a white hole in this one.

          1. Denarius Silver badge
            Trollface

            thats science ?

            ah, another version of turtles all the way down. BTW, what has the unreproducible speculations of evolutionary theories got to do with science ? One notes the ignorance of many commentards about creationist research suggests this is indeed a fixed world view issue. ie competing absolutist religions. Ironically one begat the other.

            If you cant demonstrate it in a lab, it aint science, just a hypothesis. If you cant falsify it, it aint science.

      6. Charles 9 Silver badge

        "If god created the heavens and the earth, where did the material to construct him, or the idea of him come from?"

        A proper religious sort would reply, "He didn't come from anywhere. He simply is, was, and will be inside and outside of time. Therefore, God is beyond limits and can't be described in any limiting way, including by time."

      7. TheVogon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        "Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing "

        So roughly the same number as can't find their own country on an Atlas then....I suspect that there is a large crossover in those 2 groups...

    2. proto-robbie
      Holmes

      Ah, you have eyes, but cannot see? I think they do have an answer for that one.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A significant number of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens....

      Enough said.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "A significant number of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens...."

        And the rest of us believe these 'mericans are just a wee bit silly.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Alien

        Abducted!

        But why do they bring them back?

        1. Russell Hancock

          Re: Abducted!

          Would you keep them?

          1. Alien8n Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: Abducted!

            We have to return the ones that our pet Zarlaxian Lizards find unappetising. Unfortunately as they feed on the brainwaves of intelligent beings they find Americans to be particularly lacking in nourishment.

      3. Uffish

        Abducted by aliens.

        That's their rational self desperately trying to find a reason for why they do the things they do and believe the things they do.

    4. Flashy Red
      WTF?

      Theocracy Now

      Sounds like 80% of yanks are retarded; the other 20% seem ok.

      1. Greggles

        Re: Theocracy Now

        "Sounds like 80% of yanks are retarded; the other 20% seem ok."

        Finally! Someone gets us! Though to be fair 20% may be a bit generous.

        1. Beau
          Happy

          Re: Theocracy Now

          "Sounds like 80% of yanks are retarded; the other 20% seem ok."

          Well don't feel bad about it, at least half of the countries in the EU. would struggle to do as good.

          I should know, I've lived in several of them over the years.

    5. Amorous Cowherder
      Headmaster

      AGE OF REASON by Thomas Paine

      Science has principles and those principles are in nature and always have been, they may not be obvious but they are there to be found when we're ready to find them. Man nor God invented these scientific principles, they are simply an aspect of the nature of the vast universe.

      He wrote that in 1793, when you could still get a severe beating for being an atheist.

      Paine also wrote that God must be a complete moron if the best he could come up was that out of the entire universe he sent his only son to planet Earth to get beaten up, mocked and executed just for the benefit of making his presence felt!

    6. asdf Silver badge
      Facepalm

      hmm

      Sadly some of the same people who lament a lack of STEM educated people in their work force are the same that believe fossils are the devil tempting us.

  2. DougS Silver badge

    Only 87% of atheists?

    What else could the other 13% have answered, given those options? Were they hoping for an option regarding DNA manipulation in our ancestors by aliens??

    1. Ken Y-N
      FAIL

      Perhaps given the wording...

      "Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this process"

      I couldn't answer that with a Yes as there is no god that could choose not to guide the process.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps given the wording...

        My cat would argue over the "less advanced" part

      2. Yes Me Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Perhaps given the wording...

        Given that there is no god, the second clause is also a given.

    2. David Pollard

      Re: Only 87% of atheists?

      "What else ..."

      Some may have taken the view that evolution isn't entirely random. Humans clearly change the way evolution proceeds and lots of creatures choose their mates, so consciousness, in the broad sense, appears to play a part.

      If 'Darwinian evolution' is taken to mean that changes are entirely random and consciousness isn't then 'pure evolution' doesn't provide a complete answer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only 87% of atheists?

        > If 'Darwinian evolution' is taken to mean that changes are entirely random and consciousness isn't then

        Um, nothing in Darwinian evolution states "random". It simply says survival of the fittest, where fittest is defined by the environment.

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Boffin

          Re: @Pete H

          Not true. The mutations that occur to living organisms are random. Which of those mutations survive and prosper is then guided by survival of the fittest.

          GJC

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: @Pete H

            "The mutations that occur to living organisms are random."

            But preference can combine strains to achieve a better blend of the available material - it isn't _all_ mutation.

        2. Annihilator
          Boffin

          Re: Only 87% of atheists?

          " It simply says survival of the fittest, where fittest is defined by the environment"

          Indeed - a common misconception around evolution is that "fittest" means strongest, where it actually aligns more to "fit for purpose"

          Although with regards the multiple choice question, I couldn't have selected any answer. The closest I could have selected was:

          "Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this process"

          but only if I changed it to "and God did not directly or indirectly guide this process, by virtue of the idea of him being purely a human construct"

        3. Denarius Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Only 87% of atheists?

          so Stephen Jay Goulds comment about luck don't count ?

  3. jake Silver badge

    I believe ...

    I'll open an intelligently designed beer & pop some corn ;-)

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I believe ...

      So you don't believe in American beers then?

      1. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        @COG (was: Re: I believe ...)

        I believe I designed this homebrew. It's a clone of Dogfish Head's "Indian Brown" (if a hair higher in alcohol content). Contrary to popular belief, we do know how to brew good beer here in the States. See this thread:

        http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/03/29/Tony_Smith_Ed_Reg_Hardware_CakesnAle/

        HTH, HAND, and have a homebrew on me:-)

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: @COG (was: I believe ...)

          I believe COG was referring to that carbonated rice water that most American corporate mega brewers try to pass off as beer to all and sundry.

          1. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            @Captain DaFt (was: Re: @COG (was: I believe ...))

            The "rice water" is just that ... preserved water. Try reproducing it as a homebrew. Why? So you can actually make a claim to know how to brew at home. See this post from 4+ years ago:

            http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/460172

            1. Jim 59

              @Jake

              I just traveled back in time 4 years and upvoted that

        2. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: @COG (was: I believe ...)

          Whilst I know my views may be unpopular but as an ex pat exiled to life on the side of a volcano I can attest to the quality of some American beer. The mass produced stuff is absolute fosters but there are quite a few small to medium sized outfits like Dogfish head \ Maui Brewing Company et al who produce some quite tasty beverages.

          The situation is not as it was 15 years ago, whilst I do miss the Black Sheep Brewery (sitting with a cold pint or 2 with your feet in the river catching crayfish and watching the cricket is golden) there are at least some quality alternatives available on this side of the globe. Now salad cream, gravy and cheese, that is another matter entirely!

          1. Jame_s
            WTF?

            Re: @COG (was: I believe ...)

            there's plenty of gravy and cheese here but why the hell would you want salad cream? it's straight from the crotch of satan. on the other hand, this *is* a pork pie desert.

            1. Rampant Spaniel

              Re: @COG (was: I believe ...)

              but you swines only seem to import wensleydale with cranberries in it, and cheddar should not be rubbery! :-) Cheese should also never be 'squirty'. Most of it is just being used to different tastes and some good natured jesting. American turkey gravy is awesome (i.e. making a rue with turkey juices and adding milk) but I haven't found a brown gravy like bisto.

              Salad cream, spring onion and Tuna sandwiches rock!

              1. TheRealRoland

                Re: @COG (was: I believe ...)

                >make a rue

                You'll roux the day saying that...

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: I believe ...

        American beer does not exist!

        Some people may tell you otherwise, but i assure you they are delusional.

        1. Martin Budden
          Pint

          Re: I believe ...

          That certainly used to be the case Naughtyhorse, but in recent years the American craft beer industry has really taken off, and they now produce hundreds of awesome beers.

          For the record: I'm not American, but I am a beer nerd.

          1. Mike Taylor
            Pint

            Re: I believe ...

            An atheist's amen to that. Went to a very nice bar in Cambridge, MA last year that had 400 or so micro-brew ales to hand. I could barely pick up their beer menu. The food on the other hand was burger or ribs.

          2. Jim 59

            Re: I believe ...

            Amen to that.

        2. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I believe ...

          Read this thread, Naughtyhorse.

          http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/03/29/Tony_Smith_Ed_Reg_Hardware_CakesnAle/

          Your faith is blinding your eyestaste buds.

          May I offer you a homebrew?

        3. MrDamage
          Pint

          Re: I believe ...

          Monty Python summed it up best.

          "American beer is like having sex in a canoe. It's fucking close to water."

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Pint

            Re: I believe ...

            Or as Mr Spock might put it "It's beer Jim, but not as we know it."

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: I believe ...

        "So you don't believe in American beers then?"

        You can believe in American beers again. Just don't go for the big boys. Stick to honest microbreweries which by now are scattered all over the country.

  4. markw:

    UK?

    I wonder what the UK figures are. We can't be that stupid — surely ...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: UK?

      We have the House of Lords and Royal family to disprove any idea of intelligent design in hereditary

    2. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: UK?

      I don't know about the UK, but these figures seem show that there has been little evolution in the US.

    3. Fink-Nottle

      Re: UK?

      Wikipedia details a comparative study here.

      I'm surprised at the support for evolution, given the number of UK school leavers with poor maths and science skills. Perhaps the results are more of a reflection of British reserve and distrust of the radical or evangelical?

    4. Ian Bush

      Re: UK?

      You might take a look at

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2009/mar/02/belief-map-uk-creationism

  5. jackofshadows Silver badge
    Joke

    Ahem...

    Teach 'em all! Let God sort them out. [If She even exists.]

    1. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Ahem...

      She does, and her name is Eris!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahem...

        Hail Eris!

      2. andreas koch
        Coat

        @ Alien8n - Re: Ahem...

        True.

        but then, all things are true. Quote Mal2:

        Greater Poop: Is Eris true?

        Malaclypse the Younger: Everything is true.

        GP: Even false things?

        M2: Even false things are true.

        GP: How can that be?

        M2: I don't know man, I didn't do it.

        Hail Discordia!

        Mine is the one with the Wholly Chao on the back.

  6. mickey mouse the fith

    Let there be.....Ignorance?

    If they want to teach their ridiculous fairy stories in schools then do it in a theology class or something. Keep it the fuck away from anything science related. Dont teach bloody lies as fact. There is no evidence for the creationism theory whatsoever, its all easily dispproved bollocks. As a race, we should be beyond promoting the worship of sky daddys in public schools by now. And shame on these idiots who strive to present these stupid creation myths as scientific proof to our children. The sooner religion in all its insidious forms is stamped out the better.

    /rant

    1. Naughtyhorse

      What he said!

      'cept for the FSM of course...

      Oh! and the unicorn.

      1. andreas koch
        Angel

        @ Naughtyhorse - Re: What he said!

        Which unicorn, the pink one? I didn't see that.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: @ Naughtyhorse - What he said!

          You can't fool me. I know you saw the unicorn, how else would you know it was pink?

          1. andreas koch
            Happy

            @ Eddy Ito - Re: @ Naughtyhorse - What he said!

            The dragon in my garage told me about it. They're friends.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      mickey mouse the fith

      "There is no evidence for the creationism theory whatsoever, its all easily dispproved bollocks"

      It's not disprovable, it merely seems hugely unlikely. A creator god could quite easily have created the universe 4 minutes ago and made it impossible to tell this wasn't the case... the whole "The Matrix" thing.

      Anyway, using the silliness of creationism to attack all religion is pretty daft. It's like saying all Muslims are evil because some are terrorists.

    3. fredds

      Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

      There is no evidence at all for macro evolution, so who is teaching fairy stories?

      No evidence for primordial soup, amino acids do not spontaneously form proteins. Scientists estimate 80 proteins needed for the simplest conceivable living cell to function. How are you going to get the correct number doing the correct job in the same place. A membrane is needed to enclose them, but it must pass the correct nutrients in, and waste products out; how does it know how to do that by accident. Then the cell must have enough DNA to replace its proteins, and to replicate itself. All by accident. Just about every living thing appears suddenly in the fossil record, with no gradual lead-up. Look up Cambrian explosion.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        I refer you to "29+ evidences for macroevolution": http://talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        "Living things" smaller than cells exist , you know - viruses, for example.

        In any case, evolution occurs in existing living things - it has nothing to say about creation.

      3. EyeCU

        @fredds

        Look up Stanley Miller 1953 and Harold Urey and the work done since then.

        Try actual education and accepting facts instead of just rearranging things you have heard into something that you can fit around your beliefs.

      4. Filippo
        FAIL

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        Evolution != abiogenesis

      5. Annihilator
        Thumb Down

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        "Just about every living thing appears suddenly in the fossil record, with no gradual lead-up. Look up Cambrian explosion."

        If you define "suddenly" to mean "over 70 million years", then yes - humans are particularly bad at imagine timescales of that magnitude. And if you exclude everything living today from "every living thing". Dinosaurs have come and gone in that period of time, as just one example.

        There are also many credible theories for the Cambrian explosion - all of which fit better than "God did it"

      6. Alien8n Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        You obviously don't know much about paleontology. There's a reason there are so few fossils pre-Cambrian. Almost every fossil known to man is a result of the fossilisation of skeletons. Pre-Cambrian creatures were by and large skeletonless. It's also the reason why we have no ancient fossils of sharks, despite knowing they existed due to their teeth being discovered, due to the fact a shark's body is made almost entirely of cartilage. If you're going to post about a subject at least do some basic research first.

        1. AJ MacLeod

          Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

          And you clearly know virtually nothing about palaeontology yourself... just because some geology professor at university told you that garbage (I know mine did) doesn't make it true. The fossil record contains loads of things which had no skeleton. But then, people believe what they want regardless of the real evidence, particularly when it helps them convince themselves that they will never be ultimately answerable for what they do here in this life.

          1. Alien8n Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

            You did read my reply didn't you? Pretty sure it says "almost". In fact here it is:

            "Almost every fossil known to man is a result of the fossilisation of skeletons".

            Yes, there are fossils of skeletonless creatures, but they are a lot rarer as skeletons are much more likely to survive long enough to be fossilised. It's basic biology, anything else is likely to be another creature's dinner. Bone, being primarily calcium, is not really that appetising.

            There are pre-Cambrian fossils galore, but the Cambrian era sees the fossil record explode with quantity and variety as a direct result of the evolution of a skeleton.

            Or do you believe that the first T-Rexes suddenly appeared like a dinosaur Adam and Eve with no parents in some sort of Dinosaur Genesis? Maybe created by a Dinosaur God?

          2. eulampios

            @AJ MacLeod

            Please tell us about your knowledge of paleontology. As far as I am informed, even before Cambrian explosion we do have some other things, like microfossils and numerous remains of stromatolites (going back up to 3.7 billion years). There is also a huge body of indirect evidence for organic life, say rock with oxidized iron etc.

      7. Grikath Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance? @ fredds

        "No evidence for primordial soup"

        Umm nope. the "primordeal soup" is a concept which is, as Sir Terry et. al. put it, "Lies to Children". It does not exist, but it makes a great visualisation into some really complex chemistry which would have most people run for cover. So no, you wouldn't find it in the fossil record.

        "amino acids do not spontaneously form proteins"

        On the contrary. They simply do not do so at what we nowadays refer to as "standard conditions". But the conditions on earth in its' infancy were vastly different, and conditions then were perfect for polymerisation reactions for millions of years. So polypeptides and RNA chains could easily form, in fact it would have been near impossible to stop this from happening since the basic peptides and nucleotides form spontaneously from basic stuff like methane, cyanide, CO2, and H2O under those conditions.<br>Ah wait... there is your "primordeal soup"....

        "Scientists estimate 80 proteins needed for the simplest conceivable living cell to function. "

        Yes, and you'd be surprised how simple the structure of those proteïns is. Quite a lot of them are built up out of "lego brick" like parts that can have a surprising amount of variation in the peptide chain while still maintaining their "bioactive" shape.

        This is besides the fact that we're talking "modern cells" here. There's plenty of suggestive evidence that the first "proto-cells" didn't need full fledged proteïns as we know it, but rather used RNA/polypeptide complexes, which are bioactive in quite a few configurations without any cell structure at all..

        "How are you going to get the correct number doing the correct job in the same place. A membrane is needed to enclose them, but it must pass the correct nutrients in, and waste products out; how does it know how to do that by accident.Then the cell must have enough DNA to replace its proteins, and to replicate itself. All by accident"

        Still random chance, I'm afraid. You're assuming that a single cell must have evolved all this complex machinery at a single instant. It did not happen that way. Rather, a couple of proto-cells evolved to do one trick really good and "coöperated" with other proto-cells who made use of the "waste products" for their particular parlour trick. This process of "passing the buck" for mutual benefit can still be seen today. A nice example is an E. Coli - methanobacteria symbiosis which gives the methanobacteria the anoxic environment they need to survive, and the E.Coli a way to sustain itself under nutrient-starved conditions. It also gives us humans the rather risky parlour trick of Lightable Farts..<br>The ecosystem near black smokers are also a nice example: chemotrophic bacteria are incorporated in the cells of "higher" organisms, giving them te ability to exist in otherwise rather harsh circumstances.

        As a matter of fact, the eukaryotic cell is in fact a symbiont composite. The "organelles" are in fact remnants of once-autonomous (proto)cells which have specialised into a specific task. The mytochondria even retained part of their DNA for that purpose.

        DNA is actually a johnny-come-lately when it comes to cellular processes. In fact, the nucleus can be seen as an organelle that has specialised in storing and transcribing DNA. DNA is just "memory" , the actual lines of code is made up of RNA. DNA is not bioactive, which is why it is (almost, there are RNA viruses..) universally used in cells for storage. RNA, being bioactive, is way too dangerous to have it gallyvanting about in your carefully tuned system, and the nucleus has some pretty nifty mechanisms to keep the stuff on a short leash ( and recycle it as well... efficiency is everything.)

        Bacteria do not have a nucleus, but the actual mechanism of storage and replication of DNA is exactly the same. They also have the nifty trick of excising bits of DNA into plasmids and exchange them with other bacteria. Sort of a trick-exchange program. And we haven't even gone into viruses, plasmoïds, and other forms of "life" that can provide a cell with a new "trick" which may make it more suited to its' environment, and as such works as an amplifier in the emergent system we call "evolution".

        So you see... Random chance, basic physics, and a thorough understanding of biochemistry and microbiology can explain the "how" , quite easily.

        "Just about every living thing appears suddenly in the fossil record, with no gradual lead-up. Look up Cambrian explosion."

        You need to have something that can actually fossilise to have it show up in the fossil record. Single-celled organisms do not fossilise unless they got solid bits in them like diatomae. (the white cliffs of dover are, in fact, a mass grave of such organisms).

        There are actually quite a few bits of fossil evidence from before the Cambrian explosion, you might want to look them up yourself. There's some visible on australia's coast. But most of the early evidence of life exists in the fact that life itself has a tendency to do funny things to isotope ratios in places where it exists. Which in turn can be detected by boffinry that's outside of my chosen specialty/youthful sin.

        So you see. There's plenty of scientific evidence regarding the pathway of macro-evolution. It simply takes a bit more than a Wikipedia article to actually Grok it.

        [Still Lies to Children, but more in-depth would be....urgh...]

      8. beep54
        Facepalm

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        "There is no evidence at all for macro evolution, so who is teaching fairy stories?"

        Been reading Michael Behe, have we? He seems to know zip about probability and statistics or, at the very least, is perfectly willing to overlook what doesn't conform to his beliefs.

      9. Naughtyhorse

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        Look up Cambrian explosion.

        correct me if im wrong, but that was more than 4000 years ago

        you lose

        again

    4. JP19

      Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

      "its all easily dispproved bollocks"

      No it isn't. How do you disprove "God did it"? There is very little in religions which can be disproved because (amusingly) they are also the product of a natural selection process.

      The value of any theory is in the ability to predict the future it gives us. God did it cos he felt like it and will do what he feels like in the future type theories no value and that is why they should not be taught.

    5. KroSha

      Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

      With apologies to Dr Jones: "Science is the search for fact... not truth. If it's truth you're looking for, Dr. Tyree's philosophy class is right down the hall."

    6. TheUglyAmerican
      FAIL

      Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

      I doubt you know much about the mechanics of evolution so I suspect your dogma is as non-reflective as any religious zealot. What are the four forces of evolution? What is/are the creative force(s) in evolution? Evolution has serious issues but they are seldom discussed above a whisper lest the Church Of Darwin unleash it's wrath. You are not so different from those you belittle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

        > Evolution has serious issues but they are seldom discussed above a whisper lest the Church Of Darwin unleash it's wrath.

        On the contrary, they are discussed out loud.

        The serious issues with Darwinian evolution were what prompted Dawkins to pursue his work and produce his seminal book The Selfish Gene for which he has been greatly celebrated subsequently. Realising that "survival of the fittest" didn't quite do it was what led to the theories of gene replication being the proper basis for evolutionary progress.

        On the other hand, religious dogma despises the dissenting voice or the alternative opinion.

  7. Daedalus Silver badge

    Slight confusion here

    The question deals with the origin of humans. It's a sensitive subject. Consider the various Native American groups. Most have a mythical origin story. Now we know damn well they're from Asia originally, but many if asked will insist they came up from some other world, sometimes through a straw.

    The non-human evidence for evolution is hard and fast. We can even see it happening in real time if the species reproduces quickly enough. On the other hand the evidence for our origins was famously described as a collection of bones that would barely fill a room, or a closet, if you count only the important ones. You and I may take it as scientific fact that we came from ape-like ancestors, but by any measure the evidence you can hold in your hand is less than compelling. Now take that and try it on the great unwashed and see how far you get.

    1. A Dawson
      Stop

      Re: Slight confusion here

      Still a lot more evidence than the opposition can muster.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Slight confusion here

        God made the world from the slain body of Ymir the ice giant.

        Do you see any Ice giants left alive? No ? - that's all the evidence you need if you have faith!

        1. An0n C0w4rd
          Joke

          Re: Slight confusion here

          Faith?

          Who is going to find the Babel Fish and prove $DIETY exists, and in doing so actually causes them to cease to exist because proof denies faith?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Slight confusion here

            I just can't understand people. The clue is in the fucking name "faith"!

            It's not FACT.

            Those who are not religious seem to be better, more decent folk.

            The the "faith" types you need to watch out for.

            If religion is supposed to be the moral pinnacle, why do the religious nuts all want to kill?

            1. JDX Gold badge

              @Obviously!

              I just can't understand people. The clue is in the fucking name "faith"! It's not FACT.

              The two are not mutually exclusive. A fact is true whether or not you believe it and whether or not you have evidence to prove it... if I have faith in something without scientific evidence I may or may not be right, not having evidence doesn't automatically mean I am wrong!

              Those who are not religious seem to be better, more decent folk.

              That's the exact opposite of what I see in my day to day life. It's a totally subjective position to take and entirely biased by the position you take on religion affecting how you perceive people. Plus of course which religious people you encounter... or rather people who you even realise are religious.

              If religion is supposed to be the moral pinnacle, why do the religious nuts all want to kill?

              What? None of the religious people I know want to kill anyone, even (especially) the creationist fundamentalists.

              The reason "religious nuts" want to kill people is because they're nuts, not because they're religious... the answer is in the question.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Obviously!

                > The two are not mutually exclusive. A fact is true whether or not you believe it and whether or not you have evidence to prove it... if I have faith in something without scientific evidence I may or may not be right, not having evidence doesn't automatically mean I am wrong!

                So exactly why would you believe something for which there was absolutely no proof?

                Given that there is no proof and there are hundreds of different, contradictory religions, why would you believe one rather than the others other than by an accident of your birth?

              2. FutureShock999

                @JDX

                "if I have faith in something without scientific evidence I may or may not be right, not having evidence doesn't automatically mean I am wrong!"

                Actually, it violates the scientific principle called Occam's Razor, which basically "states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In other words, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. " (yeah, Wikipedia's definition).

                So by adding all of these make-believe friends and fictional events into any explanation, you are by default adding complexity that cannot be verified experimentally, proven via evidence, nor replicated. In short, exactly the kinds of things that make it very, very, very LIKELY that you are wrong. You are correct - you are not PROVABLY wrong - because it is hard to prove a negative. But you are very likely to be so.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Slight confusion here

              Don' t you think that characterizing all people of faith as religious nuts bent on murder *could* be a bit over the top?

              Moreover, your characterization of faith as being the opposite of fact is misplaced. Faith doesn't happen in a vacuum. Faith requires some kind of evidence on which to be grounded. In the case of Christianity, in particular, the historical claim of the resurrection of Christ is pivotal to the faith. Disprove the resurrection by some means, and Christianity loses all coherence.

              1. Tom 7 Silver badge

                Re: Slight confusion here

                @AC 12:36 "Faith requires some kind of evidence on which to be grounded"

                No faith doesn't - unless you count hearsay as evidence.

                1. localgeek

                  Re: Slight confusion here

                  If you really think that the faith grounded in fact amounts to "hearsay," then on what grounds do you accept any claims about ancient history, since you weren't there to obtain an eyewitness account?

                  I'm guessing you probably would attribute Plato's "Apology" to Plato (and, indirectly, to the teachings of Socrates), even though you never met the man and most likely are relying on a 20th century English translation of his work to read it. Absolute skepticism about every ancient claim will leave you with nothing meaningful to say about it.

              2. jake Silver badge

                @AC 13:36 (was: Re: Slight confusion here)

                "In the case of Christianity, in particular, the historical claim of the resurrection of Christ is pivotal to the faith. Disprove the resurrection by some means, and Christianity loses all coherence."

                OK, I can do that ... See my posts:

                http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/search/?q=jake+%2Bbarabbas

                Some of us have actually read the Bible for content, instead of how the local Shaman wants us to read it. Got me kicked out of "Sunday School" when I was roughly 8 years old. See:

                http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/322158

                In other news, is Genesis 1 the true story of Creation? Or is it the variation starting at Genesis 2.4? They are quite different, and can't both be correct.

                "But that's the OLD Testament", you howl, "We have a new covenant!" ... OK, so which of the apostles correctly reported the correct last words of Jesus? Was it Matthew, Luke, or John? They all report differently. Mark (perhaps wisely) declined to comment ...

        2. Don Jefe
          Joke

          Re: Slight confusion here

          The Ice Giants melted due to anthropogenic global warming. Damnit man, do try and keep up.

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Slight confusion here

      The Native Hawaiians have a similar theory on their creation. I don't have a huge issue with creationism being taught alongside evolution, even it being given equal credence and the kids being left to decide for themselves. I do object strongly to being told I must be tolerant of religions and yet be told that religions do not have to be tolerant of any other ideas.

      Talk to any scientist about scientific fact, they normally will tell you that a scientific fact is the best current explanation that has been proven and not yet disproved. An explanation that best fits the facts, but not something that they would stake their life on being true, at least for the most part. Ask someone religious about the existence of god etc, normally their belief is 100%, unquestioning. One to me seems more reasonable, but I am more than happy to accept another persons right to believe in god without being ridiculed, I just want the same courtesy extended to not believing in god.

      I got in so much trouble at school because I did not believe in god. Apparently it was mandatory, at least to believe in the god they wanted me to. I don't believe I helped myself too much by suggesting their god seemed to be a bit of a cnut and loved to take credit but never responsibility. I don't think it will harm children to allow them to understand different viewpoints, but you cannot force kids to believe something, nor should you abuse your position to promote one answer over another. I cannot prove the existence of god, nor disprove the existence of god. I know what I believe, my kids can make up their own minds. I would rather schools allowed that to happen and brought up a generation of kids that could make a choice rather than be unable to think. There does seem to be a theme with religions not liking education and thinking though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Slight confusion here

        "I am more than happy to accept another persons right to believe in god without being ridiculed"

        I do not! This evil needs to be stamped out.

        1. Rampant Spaniel

          Re: Slight confusion here

          Assuming they aren't affecting anyone else, i.e. refusing their kid's blood donations \ medical treatment, encouraging people to explode themselves, marrying 8 year olds or other such extreme examples, whats the harm with what someone believes. If a bunch of people want to get together, sing songs, believe in a supernatural being and follow a belief system that normally encourages fairly decent behavior I don't have a huge problem with that. It's not screwing with anyone elses life.

          Now should they decide I HAVE to share their beliefs, then there's an issue. Certain religions (or corruptions of religions if you prefer) do worry me though.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Slight confusion here

            I should add that it occurs to me that there are not hordes of scientists running around Africa beheading people who don't believe in science. Although the whole Pluto \ planet thing got close.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Slight confusion here

              "I should add that it occurs to me that there are not hordes of scientists running around Africa beheading people who don't believe in science. Although the whole Pluto \ planet thing got close."

              Just a forum full of clueless nerds wishing they could

          2. FutureShock999
            Childcatcher

            @Rampant Spaniel...

            I'll give you 70 reasons...

            http://barrierbreaker.hubpages.com/hub/70-Reasons-Why-Im-So-Angry-An-Anti-Theists-Reaction-to-Christianity

            And that's just for starters.

            1. Rampant Spaniel

              Re: @Rampant Spaniel...

              The vast majority of that has absolutely no bearing on most peoples lives. If you choose to mix with people who have those views then so be it. As for politics, the separation of church and state is written into the constitution (albeit via an amendment), the reality is very different but basically it's done mostly at a state level. I choose not to live in a state that has those views and laws. By all means you have my support if you want to kick religion out of politics altogether, I would love to see it but I doubt it can ever happen. Religion, like unions, has money and money buys laws, the entire countries legal system is for hire to whatever person, company, religion etc has the money.

        2. hplasm Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Slight confusion here

          "...another persons right to believe in god..."

          There is no such right.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Slight confusion here

            The UN (chap 18 of the universal declaration of human rights), the USA (1st amendment), the EU (EU convention on human rights article 9) all suggest otherwise, but it does vary considerably country to country.

            Should there be a right to believe in a god is a fair question. Stating there is no right doesn't reflect the ideals many countries have enshrined in their constitution or laws. Going on population numbers alone I would say that at least half the people in the world do face some restriction on what they believe though.

          2. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Slight confusion here

            "...another persons right to believe in god..."

            There is no such right.

            How very liberal of you, to say people must believe the same as you. It sounds very similar to how England forcibly "Christianised" much of the Empire... "you will convert". Also communist Russia & China.

            This is progress into a better world is it, where we're still told what we're allowed to believe but it's a different thing?

            1. FutureShock999
              Megaphone

              @JDX

              I agree that you have a right to believe what you want - but you have no RIGHT to religion that extends past your personal space. If you want to believe in sky fairy tales, I cannot stop you, nor would I if they make you happier. HOWEVER - the second you take that believe and use it to influence society in ANY WAY - then you have to prove it. You have to prove - in a re-creatable, verifiable manner that your assertions about this set of beliefs is valid.

              That includes influencing healthcare for anyone but yourself, that includes fiscal policy, that includes tax policy (and should include that nice non-taxable religious exemption), defence policy, education policy, legal policy, and a host of other areas. Once you want to use your "beliefs" to influence any of these, you have to PROVE THEIR VALIDITY - and saying some old guy(s) wrote a book 2000 years ago doesn't cut it.

              Don't quote from The Ten Commandments, unless you can SCIENTIFICALLY PROVE there were stone tablets and they were actually handed down from a superior being to guide us. (HINT: you probably can't). Don't quote from a Bible for policy reasons, unless you can prove that it actually IS the word of a superior being meant as guidance to the human race. You can read them and believe all you want, but the second you expect your reading of them to affect MY LIFE, or the life of society in general, THEN they have to pass some pretty tough scrutiny - at least to the same standards of proof that Evolution and the Theory of Relativity have passed.

              Believe what you want - but you should not be TAX EXEMPT for having those beliefs (or leading the discussion of them), and you cannot use them to influence what I or my family do in society. Do not limit my wife's reproductive freedoms because "your god" said so. Do not preach hatred towards my gay brother "because our lord said it was a sin". Do not oppose gay marriage merely because "your lord wouldn't like it". Do not deny even your own children medical care because "your religion said it was unclean". Etc, etc., etc. Unless of course, you can categorically PROVE the existence of your sky fairies. Happy to have their wisdom once they are proven to exist - until then they should stay in your brain and your brain only.

              1. Rampant Spaniel

                Re: @JDX

                I thougth that was pretty much what I said? You can believe what you want till you start pissing on my chips.

    3. Malto Dext Rose
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Slight confusion here

      Darwin's treatise was entitled "On the Origin of Species" with the subtitle "or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" which he later terms "Natural Selection."

      The evidence for natural selection is hard and fast - just try walking across the African savannah next holiday.

      What controlled experiment has tendered such "evidence?"

      Don't you see that the same leap of faith is required to believe the (circumstantial) evidence for evolution based merely on a similarity of structures as it is to believe that there is a God based on a book that continues to defy skeptics?

      Paris, because she's just as confused.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: Slight confusion here

        "Don't you see that the same leap of faith is required to believe the (circumstantial) evidence for evolution based merely on a similarity of structures as it is to believe that there is a God based on a book that continues to defy skeptics?"

        And this is only their second post since joining.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Slight confusion here @ Malto Dext Rose

        "... based on a book that continues to defy skeptics?"

        Which book is that? Ah yes, "The Origin of Species"! I bet you thought you were referring to one or more of the collections of desert fairy stories, didn't you? Unfortunately for you, it doesn't defy "skeptics" at all ...

        Once again: the existence or not of a god or gods cannot be proven either way. Believing that primitives somehow knew better than we do now is perverse in the extreme. Move on and live in the real world, not the one inhabited by imaginary friends - you'll be much happier!

    4. Martin

      Re: Slight confusion here

      On the other hand the evidence for our origins was famously described as a collection of bones that would barely fill a room, or a closet, if you count only the important ones.

      Citation please. That may have been the case fifty years ago. It's a sight more than that now.

      The sheer amount of data and some of the contradictory evidence means that there is plenty of controversy about exactly who evolved from whom and when it happened - but the evidence for evolution of humans from an ape-like ancestor is now overwhelming.

    5. eulampios

      Re: Slight confusion here

      How many bones would you need to get convinced? What would you do with all the DNA, RNA and protein evidence? Okay, chimps, orangutang and other apes are indeed the closest species to us. The Dr. Pääbo analysis on Neanderthal DNA doesn't mean anything to you.

      Yet, the greatest issue I see in the "alternative idea", evolution deniers is that we are either being offered some Santa fairy tales (Earth is 5,000- 10,000 years old etc), something non-falsifiable, or nothing at all. Absolutely no constructivism and constant nay-saying.

  8. Mephistro Silver badge

    "and a full 37 percent dismiss human evolution entirely"

    Hmmm... just like the Talibans. There is some morale hidden here, somewhere...

    1. Don Jefe
      Happy

      Re: "and a full 37 percent dismiss human evolution entirely"

      Hidden moral? I find little morale in neither the Taliban nor any religious dogma. Maybe it's different for you... :)

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: "and a full 37 percent dismiss human evolution entirely"

        I'm sure they have morals, (as an aside, they seem to have plenty of morale, too), but their "good" metrics are not the same as ours.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trouble with all this

    Is that in order to make children swallow all this nonsense, they have to carefully suppress critical analytical thinking as well as natural curiosity children have. Vast amounts of scientific knowledge are being erased and replaced with a laconic "because the book says so". The human race will pay dearly for this and that big guy up in the sky will not come to save us no matter if we are believers or not.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Trouble with all this

      I always get a kick out of some who survive some tragic event thanking God for saving them, but not wondering why that God was so utterly inept as to allow them to get into the mess that they were "saved from" in the first place.

      1. Annihilator
        Meh

        Re: Trouble with all this

        @Wzrd1 - well he apparently moves in mysterious ways. Catch-all non-argument right there for you sadly.

        Religions have been playing this game for many years now, they've gotten quite good at non-answers (additional ones include "$deity is testing us" and "because the $book says so" and "the $book is $deity's word")

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Trouble with all this

        "I always get a kick out of some who survive some tragic event thanking God for saving them, but not wondering why that God was so utterly inept as to allow them to get into the mess that they were "saved from" in the first place."

        The religious have an answer to that, too: growth by ordeal. What doesn't break you makes you stronger, so the Lord intentionally tests you so you learn from the experience.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trouble with all this

          @Charles 9

          "The religious have an answer to that, too: growth by ordeal. What doesn't break you makes you stronger, so the Lord intentionally tests you so you learn from the experience."

          Doesnt this show that the lord has a kinky side? Surely this would demonstrate his love of S&M and he is the dom?

    2. smartypants
      Pint

      Churches don't really believe in God

      Proof:

      I was in one last week. The fire procedure said (and I paraphrase)

      "Run for your lives!"

      ...oughtn't it instead to have said something like:

      "Please pray to God to stop ignoring the fact that his house appears to be on fire. Be aware that he's a fickle type and is as likely to ignore you as he ignored the fire in the first place. He may not even bother telling you to stop wasting your time praying to him, enjoying instead the sight of another of his flock going up in flames in a desperate but ultimately pointless attempt to have a 'relationship' with him."

      Well quite clearly, that would be a waste of time, wouldn't it? Hence the sticking to the sensible first notice. I rest my case.

      (Yes, yes, I know, Jesus still loves me and wants me to join him in heaven with the nuns.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Churches don't really believe in God

        Nuns? that could be a fun eternity...

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Churches don't really believe in God

          Nuns?! Reverse... Reverse!

        2. Ed_UK

          Re: Churches don't really believe in God

          "Nuns? that could be a fun eternity..."

          That's the 72 virgins you were promised.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Churches don't really believe in God

            "That's the 72 virgins you were promised."

            One Essex slag would be a much better deal....

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Churches don't really believe in God

        Thats just proof even god isn't immune from Lawyers and elf safety.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

    Then he is not omnipotent.

    Is he able, but not willing?

    Then he is malevolent.

    Is he both able and willing?

    Then whence cometh evil?

    Is he neither able nor willing?

    Then why call him God?

    - Attib. to Epicurus

    1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Flame

      To those with an ear to hear.

      >>Then whence cometh evil?

      The reason evil is allowed to exist in this world is to have something to oppose. Just as a sprinter needs a starting block to push against in order to run.

      Those that oppose evil are evolving, those that embrace evil are devolving.

      Jesus showed us what we are all capable of evolving into, a perfect being.

      In the next age people will be developing powers that today we call supernatural, telepathy etc.

      Just as you would not give a gun to a child you need to show maturity before being allowed powers that could kill.

      Therefore we exist in a simulation and only have limited powers.

      To have to opportunity to live in the real world you will be tested with the little power that you have now.

      The simulation that is this world may shortly be ending. Pay attention!

      For the benefit of Christians, it is stated that Heaven is coming down to Earth.

      How do you get to be on planet Earth? By being born in the usual manner. i.e. reincarnation.

      The next age will be started by the 144000 children that will be the only people alive. They will eventually have children of their own, aim to be one of them.

      Down votes from Creationists and Darwinists equally accepted. :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: To those with an ear to hear.

        @Mystic Megabyte

        "Jesus showed us what we are all capable of evolving into, a perfect being."

        If I remember the story right he was nailed to a cross and died. I think you are confused about evolution if thats what you think happened. If you want proof I urge you get nailed to a cross and die to prove your point.

        "In the next age people will be developing powers that today we call supernatural, telepathy etc."

        You have the power to see the future? Its evolution!!!

        "To have to opportunity to live in the real world you will be tested with the little power that you have now.

        The simulation that is this world may shortly be ending. Pay attention!"

        Your name isnt neo is it? Can you see the matrix?

        "For the benefit of Christians, it is stated that Heaven is coming down to Earth."

        Is this anything like "the sky is falling"?

        "How do you get to be on planet Earth? By being born in the usual manner. i.e. reincarnation."

        You are really merging the religions now aint you? I guess I will come back as a tree as I will be stumped.

        "The next age will be started by the 144000 children that will be the only people alive. They will eventually have children of their own, aim to be one of them."

        Not 143999? Not 144001? Exactly 144000? All of them children? I would hate to come back and clean up that mess.

        "Down votes from Creationists and Darwinists equally accepted. :)"

        Why would I downvote the funniest thing I read all morning?

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: To those with an ear to hear. @ Mystic Megabyte

        I think that was satire - I'm fairly certain you have shown you have that skill before.

      3. Ed_UK

        Re: To those with an ear to hear.

        "The reason evil is allowed to exist in this world is to have something to oppose. Just as a sprinter needs a starting block to push against in order to run."

        Ah, Newton's Third Law of Evil.

    2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      Circular argument by Epicurus.

      To what higher power, sense of justice or "fair play" is he appealing? If there is no God then the problem of "evil" does not arise. We're all just chemicals and water, evil is simply a human construction designed to keep us all in line.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything my Gran was taught about evolution in Pre-Med turned out to be false. Popular beliefs about evolution in 60's turned out to be false. Solutions proposed in the 60's turned out to be inadequate. The evidence of Alfred Wegener, Lynn Margulis and Stephen Jay Gould was rejected because of their conflict with a deeply entrenched world view.

    But the desperate internecine fighting of the 70's sprang from the feelings of inadaquacy many evolutionary scientists had: for a more general point see also http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/02/study-when-beliefs-are-challenged-we-defend-them-even-more/

    Does the improving status of evolution now indicate that the pack of 'scientists' are gradually regaining their credability and solidarity by giving up their infantile philisophical aligment to aspects of their psuedo-scientific theories that were not just unsupported, but actually in conflict with existing evidence?

    One can only hope.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      AC @02:42

      "Does the improving status of evolution now indicate that the pack of 'scientists' are gradually regaining their credability and solidarity by giving up their infantile philisophical aligment to aspects of their psuedo-scientific theories that were not just unsupported, but actually in conflict with existing evidence?"

      Voted down because you appear to be attacking the idea of evolution itself, not how its advocates have developed it.

      But thanks for the reference. A very interesting report on what happens when anyones belief system is challenged by 2 marketing professors.

      And I though the subject had no uses.....

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Science is our BEST GUESS based on the EVIDENCE available at the time.

      Science has admitted millions of times that something once considered true is actually false now that new evidence exists.

      When was the last time a religious advocate was willing to admit that something in their religion was not true - NEVER. "Ah, but it's all down to interpretation. Walking on water - ah well maybe he didn't literally walk on the water but metaphorically he ..." and all that rubbish.

      Evolution remains a theory - there is plenty off evidence to allow us to dig deeper into it, and there is nothing which disproves it completely. Religion - I haven't seen a single piece of evidence anywhere ever in the entire universe that backs up the idea that there might be a deity.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. PyLETS
        Boffin

        fixed in its firmament and fairytale physics

        "When was the last time a religious advocate was willing to admit that something in their religion was not true - NEVER."

        Don't know about you, but it's been a long while since I met anyone of any religion who still thinks the Sun orbits around the Earth and not the other way around. But neither geocentrism nor intelligent design can or should be classified as core belief.

        It works both ways. Some atheists had a really hard time accepting the big-bang theory when their previous belief in the steady-state universe had neatly avoided the universe having to have a beginning.

        As to what science really knows and doesn't, Jim Baggot's recent book concerning fairytale physics is a very good guide as to the state of physics to date. It's also highly critical of multiverse theory, the anthropic principle and string theory as unscientific metaphysical concepts. Quite challenging against current atheistic religious origins fairytale mythology which relies upon a stack of unproven, unproveable and untestable assumptions which can't be experimentally verified or disproved, and based around which experiments can't be designed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Re: fixed in its firmament and fairytale physics

          > It works both ways.

          Let's hope so.

          As our knowledge and understanding increases, religion finds it harder and harder to remain a plausible position, however implausible it ever was to be honest.

          There is a theory that religion evolves itself and one could say that geo-centrism is one such aspect of this: "of course no-one believes in the sun being at the centre of the Universe". However, geo-centrism was never a core tenet of Christianity. It was just another ignorant position pushed by those in power, who just happened to be religious (not unlikely in those days).

          However, religion as a concept (e.g. omnipotent god) feeds off ignorance: to believe in something for which there is no evidence, you must suspend logic and any sane idea of probability.

          And anyway, which God? The one that hates foreskins? The one that has 8 arms? The one that prefers Jews?

  12. petrosy
    Facepalm

    Faith and Science should be seperated

    Religion should be kept out of the science class... Let people free follow their faith but it should not be involved in the science class.

    The results of religion sticking its nose into science can clearly be seen in the islamic world. Around 900ad ~ 1300 ad the islamic world was the center of progress welcoming all scholars regardless of their faith to further their knowledge... while Europe was burning their daughters and wives as witches. However some douche Imam decided that Mathematics was the work of the devil and it all went down hill from there.....to which they have never recovered. The USA is headed in the same direction with the religious right trying to influence scientific studies with faith based logic. If you decide that something is the work of god you stop exploring possible solutions... and if you stop exploring you may as well be dead!

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Faith and Science should be seperated

      There is an upside to such a system, where science is repressed and mathematics are considered evil.

      After all, if the majority of the populace believe that, there would be nobody to repair the nuclear arsenal, as they'd be unable to comprehend how to fix the damnable things.

      Further, the internet itself would cease to operate effectively in such an ill educated land, much to the general relief of the majority of the world.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Faith and Science should be seperated

        "Further, the internet itself would cease to operate effectively in such an ill educated land, much to the general relief of the majority of the world."

        Yes.

        Unfortunately that could apply to America as well.

        I can absolutely see some SEL thundering "There is no internet in the Bible (capitalised spelling mandatory)"

        incest, rape and murder certainly, but no internet.

        The more I know of different religions and the people who result from the indoctrination process the more I think they say about the teachers rather than the actual belief system

        1. JohnnyZ

          Re: Faith and Science should be seperated

          I believe that science is actually God's nature. To separate the two is to deny nature itself.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Faith and Science should be seperated @ JohnnyZ

            But you are still making the same, unwarranted assumption that there *is* a God.

            There is word for people who believe in things that don't exist - "psychotic".

            1. PyLETS
              Boffin

              belief in non existing things

              There is word for people who believe in things that don't exist - "psychotic".

              Ah well oh wise one, so do you think mathematics exist independently of the mind of the beholder ?

              If you don't, then the universe dissappears in a puff of circular logic, because we have no other way to describe the physics of the universe other than by using maths to describe this physics. That would have the unfortunate consequence of making the universe a human construct, and not the other way around.

              If you think the proofs of maths, e.g. an infinity of prime numbers, exist independently of humans ability to understand these then you're believing in something with existence independent of the existence of matter, energy and the universe. Also there's the interesting problem of nature not having infinities, but maths having these and with certainty.

              I'd be astonished if you don't believe in a hundred things which don't exist before breakfast, e.g. the probable existence of tomorrow, without which there would be little point going to work or shopping.

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: belief in non existing things

                @PyLETS

                "Ah well oh wise one, so do you think mathematics exist independently of the mind of the beholder ?

                If you don't, then the universe dissappears in a puff of circular logic, because we have no other way to describe the physics of the universe other than by using maths to describe this physics. That would have the unfortunate consequence of making the universe a human construct, and not the other way around."

                Just to point out the logic error, the universe exists. Mathematics is our way to describe it. Without the description the universe is still the universe. This has nothing to do with belief in things that are not real. If you believe the universe isnt real it doesnt disappear, we just lock you up in a mental home.

                "Also there's the interesting problem of nature not having infinities, but maths having these and with certainty."

                The history of number systems is very interesting. It took some time before zero became a number. Nothing wasnt counted, it had no representation. It existed. It was real and provable but wasnt described for some time. That doesnt mean that god spontaneously made zero to screw with us.

                "I'd be astonished if you don't believe in a hundred things which don't exist before breakfast, e.g. the probable existence of tomorrow, without which there would be little point going to work or shopping."

                There is an expectation of a tomorrow. A cruel joke we fall for at the end. We expect because it has always happened but time is an interesting question of physics. Time passes at different speeds for example but hawking describes it best. How do you measure time? You need a physical interaction that can be measured to be the same distance every time. If everyone is in the same environment then the reaction can be predicted. If the reaction changes at all then your measurement and even passage of time would be different. We assume a tomorrow because we lived through yesterday.

              2. KroSha

                Re: belief in non existing things

                “All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

                REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

                "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

                YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

                "So we can believe the big ones?"

                YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

                "They're not the same at all!"

                YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

                "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

                MY POINT EXACTLY.

                +With thanks to TP+

                =====================

                The problem comes when people believe that the little lies are *all there is*. They can't see beyond the Lies to Children and don't want to investigate the Lies to Adults that allow us to glimpse how things might work and how we fit in to the mechanism of the cosmos.

    2. gryzor

      Re: Faith and Science should be seperated

      "while Europe was burning their daughters..."

      You're forgetting about Byzantium. Italian cities were far from that, too.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Petrosy

      Actually the fall of the Islamic Caliphate in Baghdad can be directly attributed to the invasions of the Mongols, but yes you are correct in saying that maths, science and philosophy were flourishing before and due to the increased fanaticism that usually is caused by foreign incursions, pretty much died a death afterwards.

      It really is sad that with so much evidence to the contrary, people will still hang on to these insane theories, even in so called 'developed' countries. Having said that, people still fall for 419 scams and Scientology, so I think we just have to accept that no matter how hard we try people will always fall for this sort of stuff. Humans for the most part are born suckers.

    4. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: Faith and Science should be seperated

      Yep, no matter whether you believe in $deity or not, ignoring science is not an option if our race is to survive, no $deity is going to swat away an asteroid, stop a plague, or prevent leaders taking us into a nuclear war..

      Why wouldn't $deity bother? look how big our universe is, if we are wiped off the face of the earth, they can start again here or elsewhere.. You have to assume any $deity is timeless, and we are probably not the only race existing...

      And I in no way associate organised religions with a true deity, if worship was what $deity wanted they would turn up and say hi once in a while just to keep the people believing...

      I do believe there is a higher power, just not that they created us in their image!

  13. Stu 18

    has your code evolved lately?

    For technical readers, many of whom probably write very clever computer code, how many believe that if they leave their computer, or a main frame, or Google's entire system to its own devices, that any useful program, utility or intelligence will evolve randomly given enough time? Isn't that the same fundamental idea as evolution?

    You don't have to be a person of faith to think that the idea of random changes creating improvement including changes that require many independent changes all coinciding together at the same moment to create a functioning whole requires more 'belief' than any other option.

    It is also seems obvious to me that the scientific community has a great deal of difficulty embracing new ideas once it has got a consensus going. Any alternate idea, no matter how worthy is rubbished and more importantly the person vilified right up until and beyond when it is proven correct.

    I would think that free thinkers would be happy that other people have different ideas and thoughts and be happy that their kids get the option to think and choose rather than be forced one idea.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Stu 18 Re: has your code evolved lately?

      That comment is so wrong, I don't even know where to start.

      The religious amongst us really don't want to know how the world works. Sad, that.

    2. easyk

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      That just the thing buddy... evolution is the best fit for the available evidence. Alternative explanations (we call them hypothesis) have to be able to fit a lot of pieces into place and do it better than the existing explanation. If you are suggesting that developing that alternative explanation is not supported (rubbished) because too much has been invested in the status quo, well yes that is sometimes a problem. But it is a human problem and the best hypothesis seems to win in time (the old generation dies off). I don't think that is what you are saying. I think you just a shallow troll. You also seem to be confused by "belief" and building testable hypothesis.

    3. Toastan Buttar
      FAIL

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tierra_(computer_simulation)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      "how many believe that if they leave their computer, or a main frame, or Google's entire system to its own devices, that any useful program, utility or intelligence will evolve randomly given enough time? Isn't that the same fundamental idea as evolution?"

      Isn't that what open-source does?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @ Stu 18

      You sound like that creationist whose argument against evolution was that 'rocks don't evolve'.

      Mind shattering levels of stupidity.

    6. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      Stu

      Sadly "it doesn't work like that." I do think that evolution is one of the worst taught areas of science, despite the fact that it is one of the most complete and elegant theories (in the proper, scientific, form) there is.

      Consider this post. It is in English. I am assuming you can read and understand it. Now consider the following sentence:"Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote," which is a random quote from Chaucer. Do you know what he is on about?

      It is reasonable to assume his contemporaries could understand that (even if they could not read it, they could listen to it). It's also reasonable to assume his generation's children could understand, and his grandchildren. Over time the language has drifted, changed, evolved if you will. The population speaking the language has adopted new words, changed existing ones, dropped useless ones. That is more how evolution works, you must think populations and not individuals.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: has your code evolved lately?

        There is more point in what Stu18 is saying than is obvious from the first glance. None of that requires a supernatural interloper, though.

        Clearly, computer code evolves - you go from initial alpha to beta to RC to release then to the next minor and major versions etc. Also clearly, it does not evolve by spontaneous random changes.

        The evolution of code if effected through an agent - a programmer - and the programming environment. The programmer know the rules of the language and structure of the code, he knows roughly what end result does he want to see. He does not (normally) try to modify the code by randomly tapping at the keyboard but even if he did, the programming environment would catch it (the code won't compile). The result of this is that code evolves quantumly - when the agent changes the code enough and the system verifies the basic aspects of it, only then can it be produced in an executable form and run. And only then the "survival of the fittest" (aka "testing") begins.

        I strongly suspect that evolution of the DNA code is happening roughly along the same lines. However, the relative balance between the actions and importance of the agent(s) and the system is likely different.

        In DNA, there are many agents, some more randomly acting than others (radiation - totally random, individual chemical agents - deterministic but simple, viruses - more complex). The things like viruses, for example, will certainly act more "intelligently" as their own attempts at mutating the DNA would be the result of some prior evolution, so there will be a preferred vector of change, not simple randomness.

        Then the system will kick in and check and correct/reject some/most of these changes. Simple ones at the cellular level, more complex ones - later (by killing the foetus, for example). Only those changes that passed these checks will be allowed into "the wild".

        Therefore, we don't have people being born with arbitrary number of heads and limbs etc all the time. That's why crows don't lay eggs with fish inside or bee queens do not produce hives of dolphins.

        So, the evolution is NOT random, it is directed by the combination of the fundamental laws of nature and one can say it's "intelligent" but nowhere does it need an intervention of an external mechanic or engineer in order to proceed.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      Nice bible bashing there Stu18!

      Your cult have done well at programming you.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      "For technical readers, many of whom probably write very clever computer code, how many believe that if they leave their computer, or a main frame, or Google's entire system to its own devices, that any useful program, utility or intelligence will evolve randomly given enough time? Isn't that the same fundamental idea as evolution?"

      No just walk away and GOD will do it! Idiot!

    9. Ru

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      For technical readers, many of whom probably write very clever computer code, how many believe that if they leave their computer, or a main frame, or Google's entire system to its own devices, that any useful program, utility or intelligence will evolve randomly given enough time?

      Leaving aside the issues of system longevity (the Earth has had a solid crust, oceans and an atmosphere for billions of years; the projected uptime of my computer is a little less), fragility and of the ability to support complexity, there's nothing stopping the bits in my computer's RAM being spontaneously rearranged into a working implementation of tetris by a passing cosmic ray. Probability doesn't require belief.

      Incidentally, abiogenesis ain't evolution, as others have already pointed out.

    10. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: has your code evolved lately?

      ok, does computer code evolve. Assuming you can build a system that will last long enough and then throw it up into space, yes it would evolve. Solar radiation would change bits randomly. If you have a mechanism in place to assess if a piece of code works and how well it works and duplicate it you would have code evolution.

      There was some work I remember reading about where code was deliberately randomly changed and tested with improvements being kept. The problem with computing code is that it is generally protected from random mutations (from environmental factors) which affect genertic material in the wild (breeding also plays a part).

      Believe me, it melts my brain accepting that certain fish turned into mammals then returned to the ocean to become whales but I don't believe it to be false. The amount of time we are talking about this occuring in is immense and it is something we have only really started to look at in the past 150 years. Much of the early work met with resistance from established religion which didn't exactly help.

      If you don't believe in evolution explain mrsa and cdfiff. Did God create them? If so it wasn't a very nice thing to do. Where were they before?

  14. Winkypop Silver badge

    I suspect

    I suspect that a decent number of theologians know that (their) religion is false.

    They simply don't know how to switch it off and/or find another career.

    http://www.clergyproject.org/

  15. Richard Lees

    Not much difference between option #1 and #2

    ...since any God-like figure has not been proven or disproven. An atheist can accept option #1 and an agnostic could still entertain #2 and not discount #3.

    From what limited reading I've seen from the famous physicists of the recent past, none of them discount an existence of a super power.

    I originally believed wholeheartedly in #1, but given all the recent theories about the nature of our universe, one including it being a hologram, I think you simply have to tweak your idea of a 'god' and the latter two options don't seem so ridiculous after all............. even after all the knowledge gained from the scientific method up til now. For me the 'guided the process' of the question can simply mean the laws of physics bestowed upon and around us.

  16. xyz

    America....

    ...is what happens when you let a pack of religious nutters leggit and leave them to stew in their own juices for about 300 years. Their only redeeming feature is Man v Food...I quit like that.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @xyz (was: Re: America....)

      "Their only redeeming feature is Man v Food...I quit like that."

      You're a lard-ass? Poor bastard. Learn to fuel and exercise yourself properly before you die entirely too young. Or don't. No skin off my teeth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @xyz (was: America....)

        "You're a lard-ass? Poor bastard. Learn to fuel and exercise yourself properly before you die entirely too young. Or don't. No skin off my teeth."

        Eat drink smoke, do whatever you want with your life and die happy.

        (Without having to explain that your actions should not harm others, tho the fking obvious always has to be stated!)

        1. CADmonkey
          Angel

          "Eat drink smoke, do whatever you want with your life and die happy."

          That's almost a quote from Ecclesiastes.

  17. Sean Kennedy

    As a citizen of the USA, allow me to apologize.

    ...although the wording here bugs the shit out of me. Had they asked me if I "believed" in evolution, I'd have probably said no, too. Belief requires faith. I do not blindly accept evolution; rather I appreciate the real, hard science that has gone into our current theory ( note: Scientific Theory, not the slang "Theory" which is more hypothesis ), and appreciate all of the hard work that we still have to do to further refine it.

    But "believe in it"? It's a slap in the face to every evolutionary biologist to slap faith and belief on to the subject, and I refuse to do so.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Indeed.

      A much better question is more along the lines of: Do you understand evolution?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course, there is no way to know if the first response IS the correct one. Hate to tell the ignorant and pathetic atheists who have so little confidence in their own beliefs that they have to belittle others to finally feel superior to others for once in their lives...but a belief in god and evolution are NOT mutually exclusive. And believing that our entire universe was once packed into an area the size of a pin point is no less far fetched than believing that a higher power caused that big bang.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      > And believing that our entire universe was once packed into an area the size of a pin point is no less far fetched than believing that a higher power caused that big bang.

      "Far fetched" is not a pre-requisite for being right or wrong in science.

      The evidence is everything. Some of the things that Einstein and others suggested at the beginning of the last century beggared belief (not in the religious sense) - they are now demonstrable fact (otherwise GPS and nuclear fission wouldn't work).

      Don't confuse your ability to believe something with its probability of being right.

      There are demonstrable reasons why scientists assert things and they are required to justify them or face derision from their peers.

      That a "higher power" caused the big bang is of course possible, but how would you demonstrate it to be true as apposed to an infinity of other possibilities?

  19. TeeCee Gold badge

    Well that proves it!

    If there genuinely were any Intelligent Design going on, there wouldn't be any Americans.

    Therefore, there isn't.

    QED: If there is a God, we're smarter than it is.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @TeeCee (was: Re: Well that proves it!)

      This American built some of the code that allowed you to post that comment.

      Racism is ugly in all it's forms.

      1. Chris Miller

        Re: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!)

        What 'race' do you think Americans belong to, Jake? If you'd written xenophobia instead of racism, your comment would work better.

        1. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          @Chris Miller (was: Re: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!))

          "What 'race' do you think Americans belong to, Jake?"

          Humanity. We all share a multiple-greats grandmother. "Eve" if you're religious, "Mitochondrial Eve" if you are more prone to scientific stuff. Regardless; she existed.

          I was trying to keep the xenophobia thing out of this thread ... It's ugly, at best.

          You, Chris, are my long-lost cousin. Can I offer you a drink of your choice?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Chris Miller (was: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!))

            "Humanity. We all share a multiple-greats grandmother"

            That's not quite how evolution works

            But then you knew that already, you are jake

            1. jake Silver badge

              @AC: (was: Re: @Chris Miller (was: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!)))

              Yes, that is how evolution works.

              Look up Mitochondrial Eve. Educate yourself.

              Or enjoy your different belief system. No skin off my teeth.

          2. PatientOne

            Re: @Chris Miller (was: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!))

            @Jake

            You do realise that if you take the Gospel as, well, gospel, you have Adam and Eve, then their two children, Cain and Abel, then Seth, then other sons and daughters... and it is from these alone that all humans spawn? That's quite a bit of incest, don't you think?

            Or you can go back to the Jewish testaments and read those, and learn that Eve was Adam's third wife... then read even further back and find that Lilith was Adam's first wife, although she is also a Babylonian demon...

            Then you might stop and consider that where there might have been truth, once, in those religious texts, that truth has long evolved into myths, legends and lies.

            1. jake Silver badge

              @PatientOne (was: Re: @Chris Miller (was: @TeeCee (was: Well that proves it!)))

              You didn't actually read my commentardy for content, did you?

              Kids these days ...

  20. Tim036

    Teaching Rubbish --- Ugh !

    Any scientist engaged in pure reasearch, will shudder at lessons being taught that are laughable rubbish.

    USA seems to have cornered a lot folk who are hell bent on making their educational curriculum in some states on matters of evolution a very sad event.

    Spreading ignorance is about as bad as it gets.

    Its a bit like finding major errors in text books, or tick a box exams where the person who created the exam didn't understand some parts of the topic ! I've found both in the UK.

    Cringeworthy in the extreme !

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Teaching Rubbish --- Ugh !

      I'd agree that the education system has more pressing problems than teaching evolution.

      I recently came across a young Council employee who, when presented with a series of readings, genuinely did not understand why an average value was a more accurate measure than the last reading in the series.

      How can you possibly go through 12 years of compulsory education and end up not understand basic mathematical concepts?

      I despair, sometimes.

  21. Eradicate all BB entrants

    I think my son summed it up quite well ....

    ..... when he said 'I think there might be a god, but I don't believe in Jesus'.

    I'm an atheist, I do not believe in God (you know, the Christian loving God, that wiped out humanity ..... twice) but I will accept that different people have different faiths, mortality is scary and some people need that safety blanket of heaven to cope.

    Science is there to be questioned, religion is to be accepted. I would rather question.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Educate...

    As long as people are thinking for themselves and not swallowing the media message, we will have this problem.

    Clearly, these guys are not watching enough movies, documentaries or TV dramas. They can't be reading enough magazines or books either. This free thinking is turning people into loose cannons.

    Maybe some kind of compulsory adult education classes should be introduced, or reduced state benefits/services based on their browsing history (if they browse the Dawkins Foundation a lot then they get more service from the state than if they browse extremist sites like Biblegateway, for example).

    But something drastic needs to be done if wall-to-wall evolutionary education and mockery of creationism isn't working.

  23. James 51 Silver badge

    Title is too long

    "He (and The Reg is willing to bet that most of them believe that He is, indeed, a He and not a She)"

    Gender is a function of biology. It’s hard to imagine that if God exists that it has a gender and if it does, why? It would imply the existence of other Gods of the opposite gender and by extension, lots of little Gods and Godettes running round the place (Mount Olympus?). Maybe they’re the ones wreaking havoc.

    Need a spawn of divine being icon.

  24. g e
    Devil

    As an atheist...

    I explain things thus to religious types:

    You know how many many years ago people would throw stones at the moon, shout & wave spears at solar eclipses to drive off whatever was 'eating the day'? You know how we look back on those ancient civilisations and smile yet we understand how, back in those superstitious and unenlightened times, they might come to think those things and hold those beliefs?

    That's how atheists look at you.

    1. andreas koch
      Thumb Up

      @ g e - Re: As an atheist...

      I usually ask if they could please tell me where Cain's wife came from.

      1. Alien8n Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: @ g e - As an atheist...

        The one I use is "where is Satan?"

        At this point the truly religious will state "in Hell" and thus showing that they really don't understand the Bible at all. 3 points to blow a religious person's mind (this is based on what the Bible actually says, not how it's "interpreted"):

        1. Hell is not a place any being (human, demon, devil or angelic) can "visit" and return from. It clearly states that Hell is a one way trip to non-existence, no "eternity of torture".

        2. The Bible clearly says Satan chats to God in Heaven on a regular basis. In fact he's described as one of God's senior angels at one point. It also states that nothing he does is without God's consent. Read Job.

        3. The casting out of Satan from Heaven is detailed in Revelations. This is a book of prophecy and therefore a description of future events. As the fall of Satan is described as a future event he must, logically, still be in Heaven and furthermore this means he's still an angel. As God cannot have sin or evil in Heaven this also means Satan is good.

        The above must be true if you actually believe the Bible, it's written in the Bible and therefore must be correct. If you genuinely believe the Earth is a few thousand years old then you must also believe Satan is good, everything evil that happens is by God's will and God and Satan are best buddies who like nothing better than to sit and have long chats about how to screw up people's lives. :)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: @ g e - As an atheist...

          It also states that nothing he does is without God's consent. Read Job."

          Is that the one by R.A. Heinlein?

        2. jake Silver badge

          @Alien8n (was: Re: @ g e - As an atheist...)

          Your point number 3 ...

          "Revelations" is probably the syphilitic ravings of John the Apostle, describing what was going on outside his jail cell on Patmos. Read it in that context, you'll understand what I mean.

          I am NOT an Xtian, but I have studied the bible. In several languages.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still

    On the upside that's now more Americans believing in evolution that have actually evolved.

  26. peter 45

    American logic

    And the Americans still fervently believe in democracy and go to war to impose it without a trace of irony.

    1. g e

      Re: American logic

      I think that's just why they say they're having another war.

      It's just a pretext for what they actually want.

  27. NomNomNom

    of course it doesn't help that the evidence for evolution is somewhat exaggerated by science types. One question that goes unanswered for example is why are there still monkeys around if they are supposed to have evolved into humans? the fact we don't see new humans evolving in monkey enclosures in zoos is rarely commented on. I am not saying it disproves evolution (you can't disprove a negative) but it certainly raises questions that the likes of dawkins etc are loath to address in their fancy books on the subject.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Are you serious? This is an often asked question that there is reams of evidence for.

      We evolved from a common ancestor, not the same great apes you see around you today.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Have I just bit?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wow

      @Nom

      Noooooooooooooooooo. I thought dawkins had found severe religious nut jobs to find people who said that (it was a religious school). It was not some linear and absolute change from one form to another (monkey-man) it was a common ancestor which we split from. Through common ancestors which is traceable through genetics we see what diverged from where. We see the relationships between the current species.

      I do now see why you have such difficulty with science in the climate debates. Your spherical chicken may lay but you wont have any real eggs to eat

    3. GrantB
      Trollface

      you forgot the troll icon

      Take this one as your trolling badge.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      "their fancy books on the subject"

      That says it all. If you'd read those fancy books then you wouldn't be spouting such idiotic nonsense.

      Sinner! Heal thyself...by reading.

  28. r2ro

    ...and God did not directly guide this process...

    That statement "...and God did not directly guide this process." implies the existence of a god, as a true atheist I would not accept participation on such survey as all possible answers are skewed towards the existence of certain deity.

    Take completely out god out of the equitation, then you can have my opinion.

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      equitation

      God rides a horse?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: equitation

        There are no gawd/esses.

        And if their were, my horses would kick the shit out of them for being uppity.

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: equitation

        A six-legged horse...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleipnir‎

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: equitation

        "He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man." (Psalm 147)

        The first part seems to mean that he owns a horse, but doesn't like it. It's hard to know what to make of the second part.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: equitation

          ""He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man." (Psalm 147)

          The first part seems to mean that he owns a horse, but doesn't like it. It's hard to know what to make of the second part."

          That's why all the picture books of ancient hebrew and early christians have long dresses and the evil Roman soldiers have miniskirts.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    W O W!

    Makes the 'mericans look rather stupid!

  30. JohnnyZ

    Why is it beyond the mentality of church chickens to believe that maybe their god created human beings and other animals via evolution? They are always referring to nature, but never considering that God's nature is nature itself. Many of them are strangers to nature and locked into a belief that nature and God are somehow separate. They cling to a man made book while ignoring what God's nature is telling them. In some respects, they seem to hate God's nature while proclaiming that they love God. Really quite dumb how they never fail to claim that certain groups of people are "unnatural," yet they are totally ignorant about how God's nature works. Seems to me that they are not capable of this line of thought, as they use religion as an excuse for their willful ignorance and as a tool for male domination and power over other people's lives. The laws of nature are God's laws, not some book written by a bunch of goat herders that created religion as a weapon of conformity against those that have other beliefs. "God is both good and bad, the positive and the negative." Only a fool would believe that God is any more perfect than God's own nature is.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This mental illness of "religion" needs to be addressed.

    1. Flashy Red

      Aye, sir, it does.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All those faith believers who dismiss scientific discovery should be denied medical treatment and let their god treat them!

    1. NomNomNom

      so be it. faith healing and orgone energy have healed far more people than so-called "modern" medicine ever has.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @NomNomNom

        Are you really that stupid? Or are you just trolling?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @NomNomNom

          I think we can safely assume that NomNomNom is trolling now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @NomNomNom

          "Are you really that stupid? Or are you just trolling?"

          No, it really is that stupid!

          I bet it's seen a doctor. And I'd wager it was born in a hospital.

          When its cancer afflicts it, it will be modern medicine which will be its saviour, not the bible.

          Religious types are always the BUGGEST hypocites.

        3. hplasm Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: @NomNomNom

          He's proving that the God botherers aren't the climate Deniers he claims they are.

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        "faith healing and orgone energy have healed far more people than so-called "modern" medicine ever has"

        That is probably true, given that, probably (does anyone know the numbers?), more people lived since the origin of homo sapiens until the advent of "modern" medicine (and so only had access to the loony kinds of medicine, at best) than during the period of existence of "modern" medicine. That is likely to change soon, though.

        1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          more people lived since the origin of homo sapiens until the advent of "modern" medicine (and so only had access to the loony kinds of medicine, at best) than during the period of existence of "modern" medicine

          I don't know the numbers either, but I'm fairly sure that there are more people alive to day than ever lived up to, say, 50 years ago. What proportion of the people alive have access to modern medicine in any useful way is a different question.

  33. Miek
    Trollface

    This really only proves that 1 in 5 people in America are not Americans.

    1. Fehu
      Pirate

      not Americans?

      So, are you saying that only recent immigrants are sophisticated enough to understand that the crap being sold by organized religion is just that, crap? Or are you saying that if you believe in evolution you are not a "REAL" American? Sounds vaguely familiar. Now I understand why so many say that the Tea Party is the American Taliban. Yieks!! It's Mieks.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many of these thought that Jesus was a former president? Or that he was born in the "Good ol' US of A"?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to see the same poll carried out among the world's 1.6 Billion Muslims.

    'Mericans don't have a monopoly of common ignorance y'know.

  36. robin penny

    Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

    The THEORY of evolution suggests a "tree of life" where we started from something basic & evolved into more sophisticated creatures. Unfortunately the unpalatable truth for those who want to belive this is that genetic evidence does not support it. As reported in New Scientist some while back, the GENETIC EVIDENCE suggests a "web of life" instead i.e. what you would see genetically from hybridisation - like when you get a cross breed between 2 plants.

    I think the article is in the January 2009 issue of New Scientist.

    1. David Paul Morgan
      Go

      Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

      web-of-life is true, but really applies to simpler organisms.

      The 'tree of life' on which natural selection seems to affect, grows out of the web-of-life.

      at least, that's the way I perceive it.

      Also, species 'self selection' based on sexual attractiveness or appearance is not, strictly speaking' darwinian natural selection, hence the appearence of peacock feathers, birds-of-paradise or bower-bird behaviours. The species 'selects' the descendants, not the environment.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

        DNA is a funny thing.

        I have a couple acres of Merlot grapes here that have Eucalyptus genes. I didn't do it (not on purpose, anyway, because I don't like the flavo(u)r of VapoRub in my grapes. nor my plonk). I continue to grow them, press them, and ferment them, as a favo(u)r for UC Davis.

        Ravenswood Winery also has a Merlot with a hint of a Eucalyptus background note ... I don't know if they have had the DNA checked, but the grapes are grown in the field alongside the road leading up to the tasting room, which used to be lined with huge Eucalyptus treesweeds. (They were removed a couple years ago after one fell over in a storm).

        The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine ... Simak, not Clarke.

    2. Alien8n Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

      Actually I think you'll find that even as creatures are constantly evolving so does the theory of evolution. It's called science, amending the theory to best fit the latest evidence. It does not invalidate the original theory, but instead compliments it and makes it fitter for purpose.

      Hybridisation has been known about for centuries. It's how most of our domesticated animals and plants came into being. Want a faster dog? Breed your dog with your neighbour's faster dog. Repeat until you get a greyhound.

    3. Miek
      Linux

      Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

      "Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution" -- Look up Speciation

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

        Which is one reason I prefer science. Science frequently accepts it was wrong. Science doesn't start a war or behead anyone for criticising it, although expect some shunning if you attempt to disprove someone populars lifes work. Science evolves over time, ideas are tested and either survive or are replaced. Science rarely beheads nonbelievers.

        In religion it is usually not wise to argue, you can question but disagreement tends to not go down too well. Religion is like a catalyst, it can bring out the best in people (during the Rwanadan massacre, while the UN was playing pocket pool, Muslims and Jehovas witness's and probably other faiths were sheltering both Hutu's and Tutsi's sometimes resulting everyones deaths) and sadly the worst in people.

        1. MrXavia
          Mushroom

          Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

          On certain subjects I suspect scientists are just as bad as the creationist lot....

          The problem I see with scientists is they often don't look outside the box and try and find flaws in their theories...

          Things such as the theory of relativity, the laws of thermodynamics, and even evolution should be challenged at every opportunity. the assumption that we have these theories correct is arrogant, even if they are right we should be challenging them, trying to break them, then may we discover something we didn't know about those rules...

          just because we think we know these things are facts not just theories, we should not presume that we have the right answer..

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

            I did state earlier that most scientists are pretty honest about science 'facts'. That its basically the current best explanation.

            You are right that scientists don't as individuals look too far outside their own box and accept criticism too well, but you rarely see them starting wars and \ or beheading people because of a dispute over the speed of light. Please do give examples :-)

            However, for any given scientist there is usually someone he pissed off at a conference trying to discredit his (or her) work. It can get to be quite competitive due to funding. If you mean looking at faith as a component of answers, there is some science that tries to merge faith and science but its rare and not well funded, not least because the faith element by its very nature does not lend itself to scientific methodology.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

            "Things such as the theory of relativity, the laws of thermodynamics, and even evolution should be challenged at every opportunity. the assumption that we have these theories correct is arrogant, even if they are right we should be challenging them, trying to break them, then may we discover something we didn't know about those rules..."

            They are challenged. Hence all the excitement when some scientist thought they'd identified a faster than light neutrino.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

      The tree of life is correct. It doesn't discount hybridisation - a tree's branches can cross and merge.

      You could probably get a fence in some US states.

  37. Zot
    Happy

    When they ask about 'God'...

    Which God are they talking about?

    I love the way the question presumes that everybody knows what 'God' it's referring to!

    There's so much religious propaganda out there that it creeps into everyday life, for Christ's sake!

    1. Red Bren
      Coat

      Re: When they ask about 'God'...

      "Which God are they talking about?"

      I'm a catholic atheist. I know exactly which god I don't believe in...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Logic has nothing to do with it

    Someone on Slashdot made a nice point. Another guy was arguing for belief in the Christian God, and this fellow replied to the effect that, "You and I are both atheists - we both disbelieve in thousands of gods. I just disbelieve in one more than you do".

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Logic has nothing to do with it

      I'm surprised the religious man didn't immediately reply, "But atheism means believing in NO GODS AT ALL: thus the "a" (none). I may disbelieve millions of gods but I DO believe in ONE, making me a MONOtheist."

  39. David Paul Morgan
    Mushroom

    What are the British Equivalent figures ...?

    ... and

    "Was God looking the other way when the asteroid/meteorite destroyed the intelligent dinosaur civilisation" therefore leaving the mammals to inherit the earth?

    (explosion, representing the asteroid impact)

  40. Mr Lion

    I think "pure" here is a bit misleading...

    It's totally possible to be religious and recognise the reality of evolution - any person who believes in god couldn't not believe that god wasn't involved in evolution...

    The study is interesting but the "pure" evolution believers should include those who think it's god and those who don't. It is certainly possible to believe that there are other agencies to natural selection than simple random chance mutations...

  41. Martin 63

    Darwinian evolution

    Observing it means we can tweak it. Just an observation :)

  42. Jim 59

    Devil in the detail

    The multiple choice wording is obviously poor and the given answers overlap. As a result it is unlikely to get truthful results from anyone. Atheists are seeming precluded altogether, as are agnostics. For those of any faith it will all depend on what the questioner means by "guided".

    I therefore find it hard to believe in this "Yougov". There is little evidence of "intelligent design" in this survey, and the thought of one all-powerful Yougov guiding us all is just too far fetched, and if it does exist, Yougov is surely a pisspoor watchmaker and -

  43. Potemkine Silver badge
    Trollface

    US uneducational system

    I do better understand now why there is such a need of foreigners in the US for any work which requires a IQ above 80...

  44. SirDigalot
    Coat

    I love this country!

    It is studies like this that remind me why I moved here.

    No matter how I try I will never be the lowest or least intelligent of the general population.

    To think many of these people have degrees, they actually ( spent a lot of money, theirs the banks or their parents) and went to college, some even advanced degrees, they make up our government, they are in positions of power, they shape the everyday life of the pleb.

    yay!

    The people are generally very nice, just avoid topics in general conversation that can cause conflict: politics, religion, guns, sex, homosexuality (unless girl on girl pr0n, in some places), the weather (inc. Climate change) Science, wars (2 world and 2 local wars - yes some here in the south still think the civil war is still going... they never surrendered! and 4 police actions).

    You can talk a bit about cars (as long as they are American, none of the 'your o peon' crap ) and generally grunt at each other and buy a drink.

    ok I jest they are not THAT bad, but I have to confess I do not speak to that many people any more, probably would have ended up the same why in Blighty.

    at least there is proper bacon in Britain, and tea..

    >>>>>>>> The coat with well used nostalgic tissues in the pocket, and rose coloured glasses

  45. Identity
    FAIL

    Representative sample?

    I hardly think that number qualifies.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Of course not!

      Because creationism says you came from unspecified substance if you are a man or from a rib if you are a woman (for my own curiosity, do women look like ribs to you?). So no, you don't look like a tree, rather you look like a... erm... a.... well, you look different.

    2. codejunky Silver badge
      Devil

      @Nom

      "Of course evolution says we all came from the tree of life, but I look at a tree and look at a person and see no similarity whatsoever!"

      Your barking up the wrong tree

  47. Moosh
    Meh

    Please note that all of these options were loaded, and even the optimistic among you should tone it down.

    Notice that the "purely scientific" view still includes god. "Not directly guided" does not mean "not guided". I'd wager if they put an option that said "God had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of or the evolution of the human race or any other creature", there would be far, far less people toting that as their view.

    This is why I dislike Cameron, because he seems to be trying to breed this level of relgiousness back into Britain.

  48. Russ Tarbox
    Joke

    YouGov

    Ultimate trolls.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PT Barnum would understand

    You can fool some of the people all of the time!

    I wonder if the polls from EU and Asia show the same gullibility?

  50. A K Stiles
    Unhappy

    It's during these sorts of conversations... <kids spoiler alert!>

    That I feel inclined to mention Santa Claus. How many of us were told as small kids that Santa would bring us presents if we were good (enough)? How many of us still believe in a 'current' Santa (not the historical philanthropist chap), and there was evidence (presents) that he'd been to visit, even at the time we stopped believing. Even at the age of thirty-mumble I sometimes still get evidence of him, even if he has handwriting like a girl (very similar to my mother as a comparison sample).

    And yet people who were willing to stop believing in the magic-present-man are still utterly convinced that there is/are m/(deity)*/ interested in and mystically guiding their individual lives.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I want to know is ..

    What I want to know is what does Jesus do with all those foreskins?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: What I want to know is ..

      Gasket seals for the interwebs plumbing.

  52. Laie Techie

    Intelligent Design in School

    Wording on questions greatly influences the replies given.

    Should Creationism and / or Intelligent Design be taught in school?

    I am a conservative Christian (though I disagree with the Tea Party Republicans!) whose father is a well-known biologist. I personally believe that evolution is a tool God used in the Creation. I don't read Genesis as 7 literal 24-hour days.

    I don't believe that Intelligent Design or Creationism should be taught as Science, but may be appropriate for Social Science. Science demands empirical evidence and reproducibility. Religion is too subjective. State-run schools should not promote one set of religious beliefs above another. If I had to learn about Ku, Lono, and the other Hawaiian deities in Social Studies, why not the Christian God, Buddha, or the Lady worshiped by Wiccans?

  53. Matthew 17

    Looks like that in addition to the remake of Cosmos

    We should have a remake of 'the ascent of man' too!

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge

      Re: Looks like that in addition to the remake of Cosmos

      Darwin's book was "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex"

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Looks like that in addition to the remake of Cosmos

        Meanwhile The Ascent of Man is a BBC/Time-Life TV documentary series that was first broadcast in the '70s.

  54. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Terminator

    It has nothing to do with science per se

    According to the 37%, if evolution were true, life would be meaningless; there would be no point to our existence. Being created by the superdeity makes us special, with all the perks set out in Genesis. They can't believe in evolution, no matter how strong the evidence, without accepting that they don't mean kaka, life has no meaning save what we bring to it, and when it's over it's over. They really need to believe some cloud cares about them as individuals, and is intimately involved in every aspect of their lives.

    Trying to use scientific evidence when debating them is a losing proposition, because that's not where their consciousnesses are located. They're working from an emotional concept, and they're hard to overcome. I know, I've tried. When you tell them they aren't special due to being created and cared for by Lovin' Jesus, you're killing them, and they often react accordingly.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really a surprise result...

    for a survey carried out in a virtual theocracy.

  56. El_Fev

    After reading this thread, I can state with certainty that when its comes to bad manners and name calling the belivers in evolution have won that in spades. You lot make me ashamed! if evolution leads to the likes of you , then its failed

  57. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I may not believe in tables, doesn't change the fact of their existence.

  58. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    Nehemiah Scudder...

    ...for President!!!

    Yes, thanks, the long white flowing robe with the gold rope belt.

  59. Chris G Silver badge

    Representative??

    Out of a population of 314 million they asked a thousand people, where were they? How were they selected? what demographics applied?

    The survey is laughable especially when you think on this forum alone there are comments from what amounts statistically to almost a quarter of the original survey subjects.

    Anyway , the question is moot; I created the entire universe 5 minutes before you read this!

    1. Flashy Red
      Mushroom

      Re: Representative??

      And were all but 200 of them Republicans?

  60. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Headmaster

    I won't comment...

    ... I'll instead let evidence speak for it's self (and the references of said evidence etc): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3251835/

    I'll mention no conclusions to draw from that paper. Basically, knowledge help us understand the world around us. I hope the comments in that scientific paper, one written by a scientist in the field of evolution, give people the knowledge they need.

    Thanks.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I won't comment...

      PS, sorry for the typos there. Seen them, wish there was an "edit" button. :(

  61. Daveho

    Why is there so much anger in this thread? Seemingly, every reference to someone that doesn't hold the philosophy of Darwinism is referred to in a derogatory manner. Its unfortunate and I hope its not telling of its proponents as a whole. Maybe we all can do something to change it by setting an example.

    You know, I like what writer J Michael Straczynski recently said (paraphrasing) "..be generous with your kindness, generous with your words, and be generous with your gestures..". So, be kind and try to understand the other person's view and represent it fairly even if you are critical of it.

    Good day to all..

    Daveho!

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Not every comment. If anything the reverse is often true. However, against all odds, this has been a very civilised discusion. Especially for el reg.

    2. Ed_UK

      "Why is there so much anger in this thread?"

      Why? Perhaps it's because non-Americans see something very bad happening in a rich, powerful and influential country. Inculcating children with fairy tales and passing them off as The Truth, so that many will grow up to be believers and possibly educators of the next generation. It's a nasty self-perpetuating cycle.

      Perhaps people are angry because they care about this abuse of intelligence and the long-term effects on the population.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ed_UK

        "Why? Perhaps it's because non-Americans see something very bad happening in a rich, powerful and influential country. Inculcating children with fairy tales and passing them off as The Truth, so that many will grow up to be believers and possibly educators of the next generation. It's a nasty self-perpetuating cycle.

        Perhaps people are angry because they care about this abuse of intelligence and the long-term effects on the population."

        And saw its effect on the middle east :)

  62. Herby Silver badge

    Religion solves many problems...

    The ignorant like to wrap their arms around it.

    It might explain the Second Law of Thermodynamics

    It might explain DNA mutations (good and bad).

    When the second coming happens it WILL be interesting. Sorry, but I can't wait, so science will have to do.

  63. Marshalltown

    Being an American

    I'm saddened to say that even though this appears to be an improvement, until the majority of that "1 in 5" can actually explain the idea coherently, the improvement is a snare and a delusion. The sad truth is that even most American biology teachers are unable to point to the natural phenomenon that Darwin and Wallace singled out as the mechanism that leads to speciation. They are also generally astonished to hear that Darwin almost never used the "term" evolution, and didn't name his theory with the word, but then they have generally never read Origin of Species either.

  64. Jtom Bronze badge

    There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

    I am not particularly religious and I have a strong background in science (masters, physics and astronomy) Mutations and evolutionary changes quite obviously take place, but something else is going on, too. What, I cannot say.

    Most of you are probably familiar with what a keystone arch is. Neither side of the arch can stand on its own until the top keystone is in place, but that stone must be placed last. Until then, the sides must be externally supported by braces.

    There are too many organic processes that resemble that analysis, from the human immune system to the life cycle of tapeworms. In the human immune system, a multitude of mutations would be required, in the correct sequence, none of which would provide any benefit to the organism until the complete system was developed. Random mutations like that would be like individual stones in an avalanche landing to form a keystone arch (please don't enlighten me with the fact that there are natural arches - they are usually formed from a single stone and none are keystone arches).

    As I said, I am not particularly religious, but the theory of evolution does not come close to explaining how things came to be. Something else is going on. There is much left to discover.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

      @Jtom:

      "I am not particularly religious and I have a strong background in science (masters, physics and astronomy) Mutations and evolutionary changes quite obviously take place, but something else is going on, too. What, I cannot say."

      I love science too. So much fun and so amazing. What is most amazing is that every question answered brings more questions. You say something else is going on too, but that is a pointless question as it means nothing. Something is always going on and science is looking for the answers. Religion gives answers based on make believe. If you follow science then you look for the truth and fact which is then accepted world wide although it will likely be tested worldwide too. If you follow religion it depends on what stories the people around you believe.

      "In the human immune system, a multitude of mutations would be required, in the correct sequence, none of which would provide any benefit to the organism until the complete system was developed."

      I do hate the term 'in the correct sequence' as it forgets there is more than one way to skin a cat. What is the right answer? If you mistakenly think this is the 'right' answer (e.g. the immune system) then you are wrong. You are wrong because you are human. Not only human but the current evolution of man. You could just as easily been a dog, fish, single cell or even just some non sentient construct of particles. Or not even that.

      You see the world the way you do because this is the way the world turned out. Yet through the various possibilities this is but one possibility. Our current state is the state we ended up in, it is not the only possibility.

      "Random mutations like that would be like individual stones in an avalanche landing to form a keystone arch (please don't enlighten me with the fact that there are natural arches - they are usually formed from a single stone and none are keystone arches)."

      What is the probability of it happening? Probably extremely small. So break it down. What needs to happen? Stone of the right sizes/shapes (many possible sizes and shapes could do it). Then they need one of many slopes to cause the fall correctly (complex and many possibilities to do this). The problem with an avalanche is the construction would likely be destroyed by the following debris but a temporary construction is more likely. And how big is the universe and what is the availability of these conditions? Add to that an unknown but large span of time for these things to happen. Compare that to the huge number of one in a million events which happen every day (one in a billion etc) and you find that possibility opens up. More time and more resources eventually leads to the very small and almost but not quite impossible probability.

      "As I said, I am not particularly religious, but the theory of evolution does not come close to explaining how things came to be. Something else is going on. There is much left to discover."

      Remove all of that line but the last part. There is much to discover. There is a huge universe to be measured in ways we cannot yet think of to understand processes we are currently ignorant of or unable to comprehend. Dont fall for the trap of the easy answer. Dont assume the religion just as you dont assume we know it all. Look for the truth, look for the facts.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

        "You see the world the way you do because this is the way the world turned out. Yet through the various possibilities this is but one possibility. Our current state is the state we ended up in, it is not the only possibility."

        I would however say that given the particular combination of basic constants and fundamental laws in this Universe, the number of such possibilities is significantly restricted.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

          @Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          "I would however say that given the particular combination of basic constants and fundamental laws in this Universe, the number of such possibilities is significantly restricted."

          Maybe but I wouldnt want to limit myself to that. For example there is this talk of the goldilocks crap with the position of the earth to the sun and all other such requirements. But they are only required for us. We already know of simpler lifeforms that live in the most deadly inhospitable environments. A harsher world would have stopped our current forms or maybe even stopped life on this planet completely. But the possibilities we see are based on our experience of this tiny little spec of almost nothing. How many gaps on the periodic table? Properties that may exist or may be creatable if we figure out how.

          1. Alien8n Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

            The Goldilocks Zone is more to do with "Intelligent Life" though. Given a planet with a similar gravity, atmosphere and temperature and a star producing the right light for the creation of photosynthesis it's a good bet that intelligent life could form on another planet given that it's almost happened on Earth.

            For all other forms of life, it's open season. I have high hopes of creatures living in the seas of Europa.

            Never know, give it a few more million years and humanity may evolve into an intelligent species ready to take it's place with it's Galactic Lizard Overlords.

  65. Maharg
    Pirate

    Atheists are ignorant

    I personally am one of those ‘retards’ that believes a higher being created us, and I find your childish insults quite hurtful, and your lack of faith disturbing, I think if you were to spend some time reading the good book you will find his holiness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is nothing to be laughed at. I for one look forward to the day when I am able to join him in heaven (The giant Beer volcano with the stripper factory) while you all rot in hell (the giant hot and flat Beer factory with the stripper factory full of STD’s)

    May his Noodleness shine forever more.

    Ramen.

    Pirate flag, to go with my cultural dress.

  66. Ramazan

    Many of the animals believed him. Their lives now, they reasoned, were hungry and laborious;

  67. cortland

    Situation Normal

    We also think women who've been raped can't get pregnant, and doing the same thing over and over will eventually have a different result.

    However, sanity seems to be on the increase. Let's just keep at it, shall we?

    Hmm.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Situation Normal

      "and doing the same thing over and over will eventually have a different result."

      When people do the same thing over and over and EXPECT a different result, we call it INSANITY.

      BUT

      When people do the same thing over and over and ACTUALLY GET a different result, we call it PERSISTENCE.

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