[ASC-list] "We're a nation of creationists"

Niall Byrne niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
Sun Apr 3 21:22:29 UTC 2011


In part it depends on what people mean by believe in.

I think that many people would say “Darwin was right” and in the next breath say that God was responsible.

We’re very good at separating matters of science and faith.

The survey didn’t pass my common sense test. I guess also because a creationist has a literal belief in the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis ie the Universe was created in six days just over six thousand years ago. I suspect the survey wasn’t measuring that.

I doubt that most Australian Christians share that belief, just as I doubt that most Australian Catholics really regard the Pope as infallible.

When we were organising celebrations for Darwin’s anniversaries in 2009 – with lots of national and local media – creationism really wasn’t an issue.

Do we need to keep an eye out and encourage schools to keep faith-based materials out of the science class? Yes.

But do we need to be concerned that ‘we’re a nation of creationists”? I don’t think so.

Niall


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Niall Byrne

03 9398 1416
0417 131 977

niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
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From: Jan Thomas [mailto:jan.thomas at amsi.org.au]
Sent: Sunday, 3 April 2011 8:07 PM
To: Niall Byrne
Cc: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au; Guy Nolch (media at control.com.au)
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] "We're a nation of creationists"

I can't remember the figures but I do remember a survey of trainee physics teachers and an extraordinary number of them believed in creationism. So much as I'd like to believe it was and April fool, I suspect it could be near the truth.

Jan

Jan Thomas

Senior Fellow
Australian Mathematical  Sciences Institute
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Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
Building 161, C/- The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
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AMSI - winner of the 2008 Fast Thinking and Open Universities National Innovation Award for Science Innovation

On 03/04/2011, at 1:17 PM, Niall Byrne wrote:

The media release failed my ‘truthiness’ test.

It gets even more confusing when you read the article. It’s an open web survey with some intriguing methodology.

But before I get too carried away, we’d better ask the editor

Guy, is this an April fool?

Niall

--------

Niall Byrne

03 9398 1416
0417 131 977

niall at scienceinpublic.com.au<mailto:niall at scienceinpublic.com.au>
www.scienceinpublic.com.au<http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au>


From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au> [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Marina Hurley
Sent: Friday, 1 April 2011 5:42 PM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au>
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] "We're a nation of creationists"

Re: "We're a nation of creationists"

I find the title of this article a bit confusing. I guess I would have to read the article in full, but I cant understand the how 31% means that "We're a nation of creationists"

The figures quoted are  - "Overall, 31% of Australian adults are creationists, 27% believe in theistic evolution while most of the remaining 42% of Australian adults believe in natural evolution without any divine involvement." If you add together those that 'believe' in evolution, that is 69%. Is the definition of creationist just those 31% or is it including the "almost 60% of Australian adults believe that God or a supernatural being was behind the universe and all life".

my regards

Marina



On 1 April 2011 12:32, Marina Hurley <info at writingclearscience.com.au<mailto:info at writingclearscience.com.au>> wrote:

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Today's Topics:

  1. We're a Nation of Creationists (Guy Nolch, Australasian Science)
  2. Story Opportunities from Australasian Science,    April 2011
     (Guy Nolch, Australasian Science)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Guy Nolch, Australasian Science" <science at control.com.au<mailto:science at control.com.au>>
To: ASC Media Media <asc-media at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-media at lists.asc.asn.au>>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 09:51:23 +1100
Subject: [ASC-media] We're a Nation of Creationists
For Immediate Release
We're a Nation of Creationists
Most Australians reject Darwinian evolution, believing instead in divine creation or evolution directed by God, according to a survey completed at the University of Newcastle by Dr David Wilson and published today in the April 2011 edition of Australasian Science.
Dr Wilson, who is now Head of the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health at the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of NSW, surveyed 4300 subjects and cross-referenced his results with the most recent Australian Census.
Of almost 20 million Australians at the time of the 2006 Census, Wilson calculated that 5.3 million adults in Australia believe in the Biblical account of creation while 4.7 million Australian adults believe in “theistic evolution”, evolution directed by God.
Overall, 31% of Australian adults are creationists, 27% believe in theistic evolution while most of the remaining 42% of Australian adults believe in natural evolution without any divine involvement.
“Australian society is traditionally Christian but has become increasingly secular,” Dr Wilson writes. “Furthermore, teaching of the Big Bang and evolutionary science has become widely accepted in our school systems.
“It could therefore be considered surprising that almost 60% of Australian adults believe that God or a supernatural being was behind the universe and all life, and the majority of these people do not accept the well-established theory of evolution but believe that God brought about this universe and life, fully developed and similar to how we see it today, out of nothing.”
Dr Wilson believes that while belief in creationism will eventually decline over time, it will remain significant in Australia. “Older people are more likely to believe in creationism, with 85% of Christians aged over 60 years believing in creationism compared with 60–65% of Christians in Australia aged less than 40 years,” Dr Wilson writes.
“However, with this high prevalence of creationist belief among young adults, even in a society tending more towards secularism, widespread belief in creationism will remain in Australia for a considerable time.”
PLEASE QUOTE AUSTRALASIAN SCIENCE AS THE SOURCE OF THIS STORY.

CONTACTS
Dr David Wilson on 0428 231 002
Guy Nolch (Editor) on 9500 0015







---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Guy Nolch, Australasian Science" <science at control.com.au<mailto:science at control.com.au>>
To: ASC Media Media <asc-media at lists.asc.asn.au<mailto:asc-media at lists.asc.asn.au>>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 10:16:53 +1100
Subject: [ASC-media] Story Opportunities from Australasian Science, April 2011
For immediate release

A Nation of Creationists
A survey of beliefs in the origin of life and the universe has found that the majority of Australians believe in creationism and evolution directed by God.

Earthquakes with the Midas Touch
Stress changes generated deep in the Earth by ancient earthquakes are enabling geologists to predict the locations of rich gold deposits.

Comfort Foods and Exercise Reverse Anxiety from Early Life Stress
Stressful experiences during childhood can affect brain development, leading to increased anxiety and depression-like behaviours in adults, but this process can be reversed with diet and exercise.

New Insights into the Autistic Brain
Studies of the brain have identified a physiological basis for autism’s impact on human perception, but new technology is making it possible to develop a biologically based diagnostic tool.

Molecular Assassins
A molecular assassin that bacteria use to punch their way into our cells is also used by our immune system to return fire, opening up avenues for treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Cleaning Up the Toxins After the Fire
Toxic chemicals in firefighting foam accumulate in animal and human tissue, causing cancer and neonatal mortality. New technology is now keeping it from accumulating in the environment.

Getting to the Heart of Inflammation
Pre-term babies with bronchopulmonary disease are providing insights into inflammatory responses responsible for diseases as diverse as migraine, arthritis and diabetes.

How Tectonic Plates Take the Plunge
New evidence shows that the speed of the Earth’s tectonic plates and their boundaries, as well as the formation and destruction of mountain ranges, is controlled by the size of plate boundaries.

COMMENTARY
Don’t Rush the Science Curriculum
The rush to implement the new Australian Curriculum is jeopardising the future of science, engineering and maths education.

How Effective Is Science Outreach?
Will the International Year of Chemistry successfully promote science to the community?

Rehabilitating Eugenics
Kits that charge thousands of dollars to genetically test consumers for genes with supposed links to social characteristics are heralding a new era of eugenics.

What Were Pre-European Woodlands Like?
Understanding the structure of Australia’s forests and woodlands prior to European settlement has implications for how we manage our natural environments.

CONTACT
Guy Nolch (Editor/Publisher) on (03) 9500 0015 or science at control.com.au<mailto:science at control.com.au>

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Dr Marina Hurley
Lecturer & Consultant
Writing Clear Science
P.O. Box 2373
Richmond South
Victoria 3121
Australia
0416-097-979
Fax +61 3 94213472

info at writingclearscience.com.au<mailto:info at writingclearscience.com.au>
www.writingclearscience.com.au<http://www.writingclearscience.com.au>
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