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BBC Survey On The Origins Of Life

Published:30 January 2006
Fieldwork:5 - 10 January 2006
Source:BBC Horizon
Keywords:Beliefs, Education, Religion, Science
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Ipsos MORI carried out a survey for the BBC Horizon programme, looking at beliefs among the British public on how life started in earth and what should be taught in science classes on this topic. For the survey, a nationally representative quota sample of 2,112 adults was interviewed by Ipsos MORI throughout Great Britain. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home between 5-10th January 2006. Data are weighted to be representative of the adult (15+) population.

Q1 I am going to read out three different theories or explanations about the origin and development of life on earth. Can you tell me which of the following theories best describes your view?

  1. The "evolution theory" says that human kind has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life. God had no part in this process.
  2. The "creationism theory" says that God created human kind pretty much in his / her present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.
  3. The "intelligent design theory" says that certain features of living things are best explained by the intervention of a supernatural being, e.g. God.

Base: All respondents (2,112)

  %
The "evolution theory" 48
The "creationism theory" 22
The "intelligent design theory" 17
Don't know 12

Q2 I am going to read out the same three theories. For each one can you tell me whether you think they should or should not be taught in school science classes, or are you unsure? For each, on balance, do you think …
Base: All respondents (2,112)

  "Evolution theory" "Creationism theory" "Intelligent design theory"
  % % %
Yes, should be taught in school science classes 69 44 41
No, should not be taught in school science classes 15 39 40
Unsure 17 17 20
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