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Most Brits don't believe in evolution

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Updated A BBC survey into Brits' views on evolution has found that while 48 per cent of people opted for evolution as that which "best described their view of the origin and development of life", 22 per cent opted for creationism and 17 per cent for for intelligent design. The remainder of the pollees "did not know".

Asked which of the three theories should be included in school science lessons, 44 per cent said creationism should be on the agenda, 41 per cent voted for intelligent design, while 69 per cent backed evolution.

According to the Beeb - which conducted its probe of 2000 participants for a programme entitled: Horizon: A War on Science - this is evidence that "more than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution".

Horizon editor Andrew Cohen said: "I think that this poll represents our first introduction to the British public's views on this issue. Most people would have expected the public to go for evolution theory, but it seems there are lots of people who appear to believe in an alternative theory for life's origins."

Hmmm. In fact, we could claim that almost 70 per cent of Brits back the teaching of evolution, although we concede that, according to the figures, they must also have backed the inclusion of at least one of the other two options. Typical woolly-headed liberal thinking there.

Regarding what people actually believe, as opposed to what they think their kids should be subjected to, the 22 per cent who got behind creationism is hardly a shocker, being as it is a de facto tenet of much of Christianity.

In fact, just 17 per cent of Brits believe in intelligent design - just ahead of the 13 per cent who really don't know or don't care.

The one interesting fact to come from the survey is that "participants over 55 were more likely to choose evolution over other groups, while those under 25 were most likely to opt for intelligent design."*

Horizon: A War on Science is on BBC Two tonight at 2100 GMT. ®

Update

* Thanks to those readers who have written to say the BBC's original version of this story now reads: "Participants over 55 were less likely to choose evolution over other groups."

Well, when we published our piece at 12.30 today, the piece certainly said: "Participants over 55 were more likely to choose evolution over other groups, while those under 25 were most likely to opt for intelligent design."

We now have no idea what people under 25 think, so you can make of the correction what you will. There's not a lot of intelligent design in there, we reckon.

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