Evolutionandcreationisminpubliceducation 1 Essay examples

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Evolution and Creationism In Public Education:
An In-depth Reading Of Public Opinion

Results Of A Comprehensive, National Survey

Prepared For:
People For the American Way Foundation www.pfaw.org Prepared By:
DYG, Inc.

March 2000

Table Of Contents
Page
Executive Summary...................................................................................3
Background And Objectives ......................................................................8
Methodology ............................................................................................10
Main Findings
Teaching Evolution/Creationism In Public Schools .............................12
Can Evolution And God Co-Exist?.......................................................20
Public Expresses A Preference For A National Approach...................22
Public Rejects Kansas Decision ..........................................................25
Creationism: How Well Understood? ..................................................31
Evolution: How Well Understood and Accepted? ...............................36
Certainty and Intensity .........................................................................43
The Post Modernism Influence ............................................................47
Appendices
Sample Profile......................................................................................50
Regional Breaks...................................................................................53

People For the American Way Foundation

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DYG, Inc.

Executive Summary

People For the American Way Foundation

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DYG, Inc.

Executive Summary
Background
For decades, there has been an ongoing debate in the United States regarding how public schools can best teach about the origins and development of human beings. Teaching scientific theories on this topic without challenging the religious beliefs of many Americans is no simple task. Recently, this debate has intensified in various states and localities throughout the nation.
The current issue: whether or not to include “Creationism” in the public school curriculum as an alternative explanation to (or instead of) Evolution.
The Kansas State Board of Education has taken a major policy step by voting last year to delete Evolution from its new state science standards.
Other states may follow suit. In other areas, the issue surfaces in other ways. In Rochester, New York, for example, a controversy has erupted over attempts to create a publicly funded charter school that will reportedly include the teaching of creationism in its science classes. And in
Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, the school board has just voted to ask the
U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that found their antievolution, pro-religion disclaimer in science textbooks to be unconstitutional.
Perhaps not since the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 1920s has so much public attention been paid to this issue.
What does the American public think about this? People For the American
Way Foundation commissioned DYG, Inc. to fully explore public opinion regarding this debate.

Methodology
A representative, national survey of 1,500 Americans was conducted by telephone for this study. The interviews were conducted from November 3 to 12, 1999. Each interview lasted about 15 minutes, and was devoted exclusively to this issue. A follow-up telephone interview of a subset of initial respondents was conducted in mid December.

People For the American Way Foundation

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DYG, Inc.

An RDD (Random-Digit-Dial) sampling methodology was utilized to ensure that the results are projectable to the American public as a whole.
Sampling error for a sample of this size is ± 2.6% at the 95% confidence interval. Main Findings
The main findings of this study can be summed up as follows:
In science, emphasize Evolution:
!

The overwhelming majority of Americans (83%) want Evolution taught in public schools. While many Americans also support the in-school discussion of…