1 February 2009

Are you reading Lord Drayson?

This evening any Briton with enough brains to make a mockingbird fly crooked will be watching David Attenborough present Charles Darwin and the tree of life on BBC1.

Yet, 150 years after Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species, The Guardian is reporting a poll that indicates....
25% of Britons believe Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is "definitely true", with another quarter saying it is "probably true". Half of the 2,060 people questioned were either strongly opposed to the theory or confused about it.
I would like a look at the survey before it went through the media mangle, but if the report is an accurate reflection of the state of British knowledge of the basic of biology, we are a sadly ill-educated country. What have successive secretaries of state for education and ministers for science been doing for all these years? Not getting the basics right in the classroom.

We obviously need an icon to help science teachers get across the great theory that is evolution. We can't put the feet of schoolchildren on the Galapagos, but we could put them on an HMS Beagle. Lord Drayson, the letter wil be in your inbox Tuesday AM.

The poll was done for the thinktank Theos, who are currently trying to 'rescue' Darwin. I think transient form like a thinktank, doomed to extinction having the hubris on stilts to think it can rescue Darwin, or that such a towering scientist needs their puny, soluble lifering is a bit rich.

The poll was by Comres, and despite the newspaper report the detailed poll has not yet appeared on their website or on that of Theos. Data please.

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