07.15.2010 09:28 AM

PMO news bulletin: “Stock day will be unavailable for comment. As in, forever.”


“Care to watch some Flintstones reruns, little guy?”

Angus Reid provides us with the funnest poll of the Summer so far!

ORIGIN OF HUMANS
Americans are Creationists; Britons and Canadians Side with Evolution
Half of Americans in the Midwest and South say God created human beings in their present form.

[NEW YORK – Jul. 15, 2010] – While a majority of people in Britain and Canada agree with the theory of evolution, almost half of Americans are in tune with creationism, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of representative samples of 1,002 Americans, 1,009 Canadians and 2,011 Britons asked respondents whether their own point of view is closest to the notion that human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, or the idea that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

In Britain, two-thirds of respondents (68%) side with evolution while less than one-in-five (16%) choose creationism. At least seven-in-ten respondents in the South of England (70%) and Scotland (75%) believe human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

In Canada, three-in-five respondents (61%) select evolution from the two options provided, while one-in- four (24%) pick creationism. Quebec (66%) and British Columbia (64%) hold the highest proportion of respondents who believe human beings evolved, while three-in-ten Albertans (31%) think God created human beings in their present form.

In the United States, almost half of respondents (47%) believe that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years, while one-third (35%) think human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.  Half of people in the Midwest (49%) and the South (51%) agree with creationism, while those in the Northeast are more likely to side with evolution (43%).

58 Comments

  1. Joseph says:

    .. while three-in-ten Albertans (31%) think God created human beings in their present form.

    Sounds rather low. I’d think it would be closer to the US numbers in the Midwest.

    The polls results are skewed. In an online poll, you’d probably be oversampling the true believers.

    • The Other Jim says:

      Yes, because your stereotypes of Albertans are a far more reliable measurement tool.

    • Don Carruthers says:

      Get a grip. That figure for Alberta is 7 percentage points above the Canadian national average. Statistically, factoring in the margin of error, that is hardly a huge difference from the rest of the country. Certain people (particularly LPC supporters and left-wingers) are constantly trying to paint Alberta as some sort of social conservative quasi-theocracy. I’ve lived in three Canadian provinces, including Alberta and oh-so-enlightened Ontario. What people constantly overlook in discussions like this is the fact that the split between urban and rural Canada in terms of outlook is much more significant and profound than differences between provinces and regions.

      Charles McVety, Tom Wappel and Mike Harris didn’t come from Alberta. Think about that.

      • Ted says:

        McVety I would assume thinks the world was made in 177 hours some 6000 years ago, but I’d be surprised if Harris did and even if Wappel did.

      • BeRead says:

        Don Carruthers is correct. Edmonton and Calgary have more in common in Vancouver and Toronto than with Edson or Camrose.

        The Fraser Valley, central Vancouver Island and central-eastern Ontario outside of Kingston just to name a few (I’ve lived in these areas) are home to many residents who hold deep fundamentalist religious beliefs. These have led to bitter nomination battles in the Cons ranks. For example Russ Hiebert had knocked off sitting Alliance MP Val Meredith to represent South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale in the C-CRAP merger because he was more fundamentalist than her.

        Now that Russ Hiebert is showing up to be a liability with the office spending fiasco there are signs that the grand Conservative tradition of wielding the long knives is about be seen again, at witnessed by the letters and commentary on that issue

  2. Wascally Wabbit says:

    Can we assume that – for the sake of this poll – that the area described as the US includes Texas North – homeland and promised land of the Reform / Alliance / CPC?

    • You can if you want.
      I “assume” that you are referring to Alberta……….one of the western provinces that sends money down to the “have not” provinces/citizens that are “on the dole” in the east.

  3. William M says:

    2007

    Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many adults in Canada believe the theory of evolution is correct, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 59 per cent of respondents think human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

    2008

    Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Roughly three-in-five adults in Canada side with the theory of evolution, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 58 per cent of respondents believe human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

    Is this some annual question asked by AR?

  4. Reality Bites says:

    To be fair, the idea that there could be a less advanced life form than Stockwell Day is rather hard to swallow, so those Albertans who believe in Creationism can be forgiven for their obvious but wrong conclusion.

    It’s also a bit hard to believe that it would take millionis of years to evolve far beyond Day. Just taking off the wetsuit was a major leap forward

  5. Namesake says:

    Ironically, that stat you just cited is the last one we can have any confidence in for the foreseeable future, thanks to your evidence & analysis -hating (semi-)Albertan leader’s pigheaded unilateral decision to repeal the mandatory aspect of the long census form that figure is derived from.

    • Namesake says:

      Here’s the source for laying it at Harper’s door:

      http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/835993–siddiqui-pm-facing-revolt-over-census-change

      BTW, I think it’s not only motivated by his wanting to deprive us social policy types of the proper ammo to fuel our ‘We need more money / better programs’ arguments, but also as the logical companion to his plan to cripple the other parties’ fundraising & electioneering capacities.

      The (only reliable if partic. is mandatory) info from the long form is vital both to campaigning & fundraising. But the Cons can do w/o it now that they’ve exploited it to the full and have their own ne plus ultra database, so this move, in conjunction with the plan to remove the vote subsidy, is intended to bankrupt & blind the other parties in the long term.

      See, e.g., http://www.punditsguide.ca/2010/07/how-the-census-is-used-in-canadian-elections/

      & http://www.punditsguide.ca/census/

      • Iris Mclean says:

        I was surprised that Harper didn’t include legislation to kill the vote subsidy in the last budget bill. Knowing that the Libs would dive for cover when it came time to vote, I think Harper exercised some restraint. Sad to say, but spending the summer doing twenty minute whistle stops preaching to the converted isn’t going to win over many voters. The party is being judged by its performance in the House over the last four years.

    • Namesake says:

      Sorry; I was too quick to assume you were one of the many Small Dead Albertans who haunt these halls. You’re right, of course, not all Albertans are soulless braindead moneygrubbers.

  6. Biologist says:

    First, there is no such thing as a less advanced life form, the evolutionary history of every organism is exactly equal in length to all of the other organisma – the term “advanced life form” is a human conceit.

    Second, there have been no new arguments on this topic since I was in first year residence – and that was a long time ago.

    Third, it is not OK to mock a person’s faith

  7. Reality Bites says:

    Les, Alberta having more people claiming no religious affiliation than Ontario and Quebec does not make it impossible that a larger proportion of those with religious beliefs have fundementalist beliefs than in other provinces.

    Indeed, it’s no small wonder that the province of Stockwell Day has seen more people abandon religion than the provinces of Jean Chrétien and Dalton McGuinty.

  8. MBDawg says:

    That is probably the most irrelevant poll of the entire summer. The fact that 18% in the US didn’t answer yes to either side of the question shows just how poor the question is. How many of those who said that humans evolved from a lower species don’t believe that Cro Magnon man is a lower species? It’s just too nuanced a subject to be black and white. But Liberals like to make fun of religion and Americans, so it doesn’t surprise me to see it celebrated here.

    Personally, I much prefer polls that show the Canadian public has less regard for Liberals now than ever before. Oh, and the fact that 75% of Canadians enjoyed watching the police tackle the stinky-hippie problem in Toronto. That was definitely the funnest poll of the summer!

    • Don Carruthers says:

      “But Liberals like to make fun of religion and Americans”

      Oh, and don’t forget about Albertans.

      Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with why Liberals can’t get elected there? Just a thought.

    • Namesake says:

      who let the Dawg out?

  9. Ted says:

    Well it is not a stretch of the imagination to consider Alberta the bible belt of Canada.

    From Bible Bill Aberhart to Ernest Manning to Preston Manning and Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper, the political and financial elites of the province are much more devout and protestant and evangelical than the rest of the country. While a larger number may indeed have no religious affiliation, if I recall correctly, a larger number actually regularly attend church than anywhere else. That is an important number; it’s actually quite blow-you-away astounding if it is also the place with the highest unaffiliated percentage.

    But being religious and being stupid are two very different things. Harper is an evangelical, but I don’t think he believes the world is only 6000 years old. Even if Preston Manning does, there is little (if anything) in the decades of political work he has done to suggest that he wants turn Canada into Christian Nation.

    If the “bible belt” reference is difficult to accept given the links it makes to a place like Texas; I agree with you it is a misleading description. But if you are making comparison to the rest of the country, it is more fair.

    • Don Carruthers says:

      Probably the most identifiable Bible Belt in Canada is the Fraser Valley in B.C.

      And by the way, none of the people you identified is or was a member of Alberta’s “financial elites”. All of them are or were politicians. Your statement about Alberta’s financial elites being dominated by evangelicals is fatuous.

      • Ted says:

        You misquote me. I said “more” than others. And I believe that is true.

        Compared to the US south, they are not though.

        That’s the point I’m trying to make as far as provinces are concerned (good point about Fraser Valley though).

        It is both not surprising – given that it is the fountain from which so much social conservativism has grown in this country and it is clearly more socially conservative – and not an insult to say that it is. You shouldn’t be so defensive over something that is not insulting.

        • Don Carruthers says:

          My problem is not with it being insulting; my problem is with it being false or at the very least highly exaggerated and misleading. It’s crass stereotyping and — as has been pointed out repeatedly on this thread today — the statistical justification being offered up in support of it is extremely flimsy and questionable.

    • Warren says:

      I agree, sort of. My experience is that Calgary and Deadmonton – and to an extent Lethbridge – are pretty urban places, and not any more religious than any other Canadian city I’ve lived in (Montreal, Kingston, Vancouver and Toronto).

      And don’t forget that there is a Catholic evangelical constituency, too.

      • JStanton says:

        Catholic [evangelist] is an oxymoron, surely.

        Insofar as the “evangelical movement” is a sect, or at least an off-shoot of Protestantism, which is in turn antithetical to Catholicism, I find it difficult to get my head around notions of a “Catholic evangelical constituency”.

        God, if you recall, for Catholics, can be accessed only through the auspices of the church. Protestants, however, removed the middle-man, deciding that folks had a direct relationship with God that did not require bureaucratic intervention.

        So, who are these rather unusual “Catholic evangelical constituency”?

      • Namesake says:

        The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada & Ipsos-Reid survey I link to below define it operationally thus:

        “on the basis of six key indicators, 19% of Canadians (12% Protestant and 7% Catholic) are “evangelicals.” The indicators for evangelicalism were determined by respondents’ agreement with the following [5] statements [& one behavioural criterion]:

        1. I believe that through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God provided the way for the forgiveness of my
        sins;
        2. I believe the Bible to be the word of God and is reliable and trustworthy; and
        3. I have committed my life to Christ and consider myself to be a converted Christian.
        To be called an “evangelical” the survey respondents also needed to disagree with the statements that:
        4. The concept of God is an old superstition that is no longer needed to explain things in these modern times; and
        5. In my view, Jesus Christ was not the divine Son of God.
        [6. They exhibit a certain degree of] weekly church attendance. “

    • Ted says:

      I don’t feel superior or inferior in the knowledge that Alberta leans further to the right on fiscal and social issues than the rest of the country.

      I don’t think it is any great logical leap to suggest that the most socially conservative province might also have more social conservatives.

      There are statistics on evangelicals and I’ll try to find that. It doesn’t answer the question though since there are far right and even evangelical Catholics and Anglicans.

      I guess it comes down to how do you determine “bible belt”?

      Alberta ain’t no Texas. For sure. But compared to other provinces, I do think objectively it is more religiously right (i.e. bible-ish if you will) than the rest on relative terms.

      I’m surprised saying that is any issue or controversial, frankly.

  10. eattv says:

    Maybe God only created the dumb ones.

  11. Rotterdam says:

    This photo is parody of a famous painting of Christ holding a lamb.
    The photo, along with the Flintstones jibe, ridicules Christ.
    Very offensive to many of us who believe that he died for our sins.
    Strange how its still OK to ridicule Christians.

  12. Dennis says:

    Given Christians’ attitudes toward the rest of us, I think mocking them is perfectly acceptable.

  13. Chuck says:

    Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, Warren.

    The point is nobody is going to haul you in front of an HRC for posting Jesus with the baby raptor …

  14. e says:

    Watch the NOVA Kitzmiller v. Dover documentary and you will know 95% of everything you need to know about the topic.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

    Seriously worth the watch.

  15. Anne Peterson says:

    I don’t think a high belief in creationism is funny at all. What a lot of bad decisions could be made when you add it to the idea of the rapture. Like let God take care of global warming.

    And I was raised an Albertan and I never met anyone who didn’t believe in evolution. Guess I travelled in the wrong circles.

  16. Anne Peterson says:

    Actually I think the photo ridicules creationists, not Christ.

  17. MCBellecourt says:

    We were given these marvelous brains to learn, discover and invent. Organized religion sometimes has a nasty habit of suppressing the abilities we were given (by God?)

    Organized religion contradicts itself by touting God’s gifts to us, then saying we’re not allowed to use them. If there is a God, I darethink that’s not exactly what (S)He had in mind.

    In other words, don’t mess with the science. Our brains are a gift, and science is the tool to aid our brains to be used to their full potential.

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