Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Polling advice on evolution

Polling Opinion about Evolution (Science and the Media):

The available poll indicators reflect a “low information” public when it comes to the debate over evolution and science education. Few citizens possess both the motivation and the ability to understand the science and politics behind the evolution-creation controversy, and to actively deliberate the merits of proposed policies. Instead, the low information public is likely to rely heavily on their pre-existing views and only the information most readily available to them in the media as the fuzzy material from which to focus their opinions. As I have discussed, religious values are especially important since these values serve as powerful filters for accepting or rejecting arguments about evolution. Complementing religious values is the “post-modern” tendency for many citizens to place creationism or intelligent design on equal footing with the scientific theory of evolution; defaulting to their belief that students should be taught all points of view.

A low-information public requires that there be a well-coordinated and well financed public communication strategy in defense of science education.
A lot of great material to think about here. Enjoy. I'll probably have more on this later.