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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Survey of Public Understanding of Evolution

This is sort of off topic, but it relates in the sense that the topic of evolution comes up at Ray's only about 25,000 times a day. The Skeptic Society (of which I am a proud member and subscriber to their fantastic magazine) is conducting a survey of the public to get your thoughts on the subject of evolution. It doesn't matter your beliefs, all you have to be willing to do is type a few short lines about what you believe and why. If you'd like to take the survey you can do so by clicking here.


  1. Done!
    Thanks for providing this, n t.

  2. I plugged this into two threads at rdnet. Hope you don't mind ;)

  3. Done. Took less than 5 minutes.

    I expect the results of this survey to skew far more in the pro-science direction, just due to who's likely to respond.

  4. I'm gonna do this a littele later...but it reminded me. Anybody know what happened to Atomic Chimp? He used to have really good post especially in regards to evolution.

  5. Thanks guys !

    Nafa, I saw him post a comment over at Rays' the other day.

  6. This is a good project. I want to throw out an idea to the group: we should do something similar and invite the posters on Ray's blog--and any other believers--to answer.

    Lemme know what you think. Below I've posted the questions I recommend including, plus some suggestions to try to encourage people to participate and to get useful information:

    True or false: If a dog gave birth to a cat, this event would be good evidence for Darwinian evolution. Briefly explain your answer.

    True or false: If a dog transformed into a cat during its lifetime, this event would be good evidence for Darwinian evolution. Briefly explain your answer.

    True or false: According to mainstream biology, humans are the most evolved species on earth. Briefly explain your answer.

    And a few suggestions:

    Let’s be painfully polite.

    Let’s not answer these questions ourselves, at least not yet. Doing so could affect the results.

    Let’s not criticize or comment on anyone’s posts in the thread. Later, we can dissect the posts, but to prevent this particular thread from becoming a blog war, I think it’ll be better not to have that kind of back and forth.

  7. Geoff, I like this. A lot.

    I also would add asking them to explain, in their own words, what evolution is.

  8. Nonmagical Thinking,

    Since I'm not an official Raytractor, would you mind posting this? I can then post over at the Raylian's site to try to get them to answer.

    I understand where you're coming from with asking them to explain it in their own words. But I think that open-ended questions tend to let them go into parody mode. That's what has happened when I've tried it before.

    Hopefully, a small number of focused questions will get them to explain what they really believe about what we believe.

  9. Geoff, I'll be happy to post it. Would you like to be an official Raytractor?

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Thanks, NMT. I plan to become a Raytractor, but I'm in the process of creating a blog and such, and I want to do it through that identity. "Geoff" just isn't a cool enough Web identity.

    The biggest hurdle is coming up with a cool blogspot address. The two I wanted were taken, both by people who haven't posted any content. I really wanted to have the name "Kersplat," but I'll have to keep brainstorming.

  12. Geoff, if you need help coming up with something or need help with the blog, let me know.


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