From the new Zogby poll this week:
QUESTION: Would you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree that teachers and students should have the academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory?
Strongly agree 54%
Somewhat agree 26%
Total Agree 80%
Somewhat disagree 6%
Strongly disagree 11%
Total Disagree 16%
Not sure 4%
A large majority of respondents (80%) agree that teachers and students should have academic freedom to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of evolution as a scientific theory, with more than half (54%) saying they strongly agree. Only 16% disagree.
Although the media consistently portray support for the freedom to discuss both sides of the evolution debate as coming primarily from conservative Christians, these poll results show something far different and will shatter some preconceptions about who supports letting students hear a balanced presentation on Darwinian evolution. It turns out that:
- Democrats (82%) support giving teachers and students the freedom to discuss Darwinism’s “strengths and weaknesses” even more overwhelmingly than Republicans (73%).
- Self-identified liberals (86%) favor the freedom to discuss evolution’s “strengths and weaknesses” more than conservatives (72%).
- College graduates (84%) support the freedom to discuss evolution’s “strengths and weaknesses” more than those without a college degree.
- Individuals identifying with no Christian or Jewish denomination favor the freedom to discuss evolution’s “strengths and weaknesses” by nearly 82%.
Clearly, support for the freedom to teach the controversy about Darwinian evolution cuts across religion, party affiliation, political ideology, and educational levels.