In Polling We Don’t Trust: Follow the Money

Charles_Darwin_seatedThe Freakonomics blog at The New York Times, in it’s continuing quest to point out problems with misusing statistics and polls, wrote yesterday:

According to a Zogby poll taken this year, Darwin’s 200th anniversary, Americans favor intelligent design over Darwinian theory. According to the poll, 33 percent of respondents said they agreed with Darwinism, but 52 percent agreed that “the development of life was guided by intelligent design.

A slam dunk for the ID crowd? Not necessarily. Read on.

The poll was commissioned by The Discovery Institute, which advocates intelligent design. This is the kind of thing that gives Gary Langer fits.

That’s the kind of thing that should give all of us fits. Langer, by the way, believes bad poll modeling is often a culprit in inaccurate polling rather than the perceived truthfulness of the respondents. He writes in a 2007 blog:

But why admit that you built a bad model, asked the wrong question, asked it badly, forgot the follow-up, or just can’t figure it out, when, heck, you can just blame the respondent instead

Even if the Zobgy poll was slanted due to improper questioning or other shenanigans, it may not that be far from reality. The freethinking and scientific community must do a better job in educating the public on the reality of evolution and the inconsistency of intelligent design. Ideas?


2 Responses to In Polling We Don’t Trust: Follow the Money

  1. keithmccade says:

    MtnHumanist, Hi.

    Dinosaurs and Christianity are incompatible, logic and reality don’t seem to play a great part in acquiring Faith. Should we bother trying to convince Creationists of facts that do nothing but undermine their faith? It sounds like a lost cause to me.

    You might find this thought provoking.

  2. Mountain Humanist says:

    My answer is an unequivocal “Yes!”

    Because several resources adamantly bothered to try to convince me of the facts, my groundless faith was eventually exposed to the stunning light of reason. I’ve been a much happier person ever since I deconverted.

    So, keep those blogs a-humming.

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