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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:56 AM

73% of Protestant Pastors Reject the Theory of Evolution

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.


http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/10/survey-u-s-protestant-pastors-reject-evolution-split-on-earths-age/?hpt=hp_t3

Wow, liberal Christians have some work to do.

There's some serious ignorance and denial out there.

32 replies, 3207 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply 73% of Protestant Pastors Reject the Theory of Evolution (Original post)
LAGC Jan 2012 OP
skepticscott Jan 2012 #1
rexcat Jan 2012 #2
Starboard Tack Jan 2012 #7
dmallind Jan 2012 #14
edhopper Jan 2012 #3
Ron Obvious Jan 2012 #4
cbayer Jan 2012 #5
dmallind Jan 2012 #6
cbayer Jan 2012 #9
Jim__ Jan 2012 #11
cbayer Jan 2012 #16
Jim__ Jan 2012 #19
dmallind Jan 2012 #15
cbayer Jan 2012 #17
ButterflyBlood Jan 2012 #8
Goblinmonger Jan 2012 #10
cbayer Jan 2012 #12
Goblinmonger Jan 2012 #13
cbayer Jan 2012 #18
deacon_sephiroth Jan 2012 #24
ButterflyBlood Jan 2012 #32
jeepnstein Jan 2012 #20
Angry Dragon Jan 2012 #21
MarkCharles Jan 2012 #22
Angry Dragon Jan 2012 #23
WolverineDG Jan 2012 #25
dmallind Jan 2012 #30
FarCenter Jan 2012 #26
cbayer Jan 2012 #27
Leontius Jan 2012 #28
LAGC Jan 2012 #29
Leontius Jan 2012 #31

Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 05:50 AM

1. Yeah, but that 73% is just a fringe minority

They are not the face of Christianity in this country.

Right?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 07:42 AM

2. More like a persecuted minority.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:51 AM

7. They are the loudest voice and ugliest face

but they do not represent all Christians. They are the Taliban of America. I remember meeting a 5th grade teacher in WV who believed the same nonsense. It shocked me because my daughter was in 5th grade at the time. The same teacher also thought soap opera characters were real people.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:21 PM

14. Random protestant pastors are the Taliban of America? Even I would not go so far.

This survey coincides with just about every similar one from Pew et al.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 09:56 AM

3. They just have

another way of knowing about this that science doesn't understand.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:46 AM

4. Is that higher than before?

I don't have numbers to back this up, but it's my suspicion that this number has been on the increase in recent decades.

I may be remembering this incorrectly, but I don't remember evolution and, for that matter, abortion, being all that controversial until the mid-80's or so.

I suppose they're outbreeding us. {sigh}

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:12 AM

5. I am having trouble finding a link to the actual survey.

Anyone else able to find it? I wanted to look at their methods and tools.

In particular, I want to see how they "randomly" selected their 1,000 participants and exactly what questions were asked. I would also be very interested in how their "random" selection broke down demographically.

It should also be noted who performed the survey - hardly a neutral group.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:34 AM

6. piss easy Google.

http://www.lifeway.com/Article/Research-Poll-Pastors-oppose-evolution-split-on-earths-age

They say random wrighted for geographical distribution. How much more detail does any survey group offer?

So now you don't believe protestant church groups on what protestant preachers believe? Would you believe them were the results less in line with what atheists have been saying all along - that sophisticated theology is a minority viewpoint among US believers and even clergy?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:00 PM

9. Actually, that's just another analysis, though it does give more information than the other.

Most surveys allow you to dig down into their methods, tools and demographics. How does one go about selecting 1,000 random Protestant ministers?

I don't take surveys done by partisan parties very seriously, no matter who does them. I do not reject the hypothesis that sophisticated theology is a minor viewpoint. I just question whether this particular survey is really a valid tool in proving or disproving that hypothesis.

For all the strong support of science and scientific method that is professed here, it is *interesting* to see a survey like this rather unquestioningly accepted. It is not the first time that parties have embraced *results* that supported their position, and I doubt it will be the last.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:07 PM

11. Did you look at the .pdf linked to from that site?

They don't give a detailed description of how they selected the pastors - they give a short blurb about it, and they do give somewhat of a breakdown by region, by denomination type (mainline or evangelical), and by education level - bachelors or graduate. It's here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/bhpub/edoc/Protestant-Pastors-Views-on-Creation.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=1FAF154W9TVZ6M3REZG2&Expires=2114895307&Signature=PIcvuvUsIYGwelzOt5urfXExwaA%3D

It also states that the results were weighted - I believe by churches per region.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:27 PM

16. Fantastic. Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much.

Interesting breakdown by region and level of education. Not quite sure what that "weighted for geographic distribution part" is all about.

Also very interesting that they didn't give any data on which denominations they reached and surveyed.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:36 PM

19. It would be interesting to see the unweighted results and how they applied the weights - n/t

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:23 PM

15. No it's the website of the survey group - the source. This survey is not an outlier at all either.

Pew's long-established surveys show very similar results amongst believers at large. Expected results generally get less scrutiny than unusual ones.

I find the projection risible - there you are all a-skeptic about this survey and in the same breath pontificating about others basing their reaction on how much they like the results.....

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Response to dmallind (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:31 PM

17. I maintain that the surveying organization had a vested interest in getting certain answers,

so I am indeed skeptical. See my response below with link to Pew survey of protestant denominations and their positions. The key here is that most Protestant denominations have taken the position that evolution and biblical teachings are not incompatible. The question that was asked here is specifically whether god could have used evolution in the creation of man.

Sorry for the pontificating. Low shot and uncalled for

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:55 AM

8. Conducted by the Southern Baptist Convention?

Yeah, that's sure going to be a fairly done poll. Not too different than if Rick Santorum released a poll showing him beating Obama.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:04 PM

10. So they want to make themselves look like ignorant idiots?

They are the largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant organization. They are pretty representative, then, of Protestants in the US?

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:12 PM

12. They are creationists according to their official resolution on the matter.

Resolution On Scientific Creationism
June 1982

WHEREAS, The theory of evolution has never been proven to be a scientific fact, and

WHEREAS, Public school students are now being indoctrinated in evolution-science, and

WHEREAS, Creation-science can be presented solely in terms of scientific evidence without any religious doctrines or concepts, and

WHEREAS, Public school students should be taught all the scientific evidence on the subject of the origin of the world and life, and

WHEREAS, Academic freedom and free speech should be encouraged rather than inhibited.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention in session in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 1982, express our support for the teaching of Scientific Creationism in our public schools.

www.sbc.net/resolutions/amResolution.asp?ID=967

While many other protestant denominations have taken a more measured approach (Episcopals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, UCC, Methodists), SBC has stood steadfastly by it's denial of evolution. These other denominations have taken the position that evolution is not incompatible with biblical teachings, basically saying that God could use it to create man. Here is a good link:
http://www.pewforum.org/Science-and-Bioethics/Religious-Groups-Views-on-Evolution.aspx

The exact question asked in this survey was whether God could use evolution in that manner.

They have a vested interest in the answer being no.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:17 PM

13. Or maybe they really believe it? n/t

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:32 PM

18. They probably do.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 03:21 PM

24. I support truth in advertising n/t

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 12:27 PM

32. By that logic California is pretty representative of the US at large

If only the rest of the US voted like California did.

There's about 16 million Southern Baptists in the US and over 150 million Protestants. So the Southern Baptists barely make up 10% of Protestants. And they are not representative most Protestants, for example most Protestant denominations ordain women, the Southern Baptists do not.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 12:39 PM

20. It's threatening to split the church.

Legalism, when it rears it's head, is quite a sight to behold. I recently heard a preacher state his case for a 6,000 year old Earth and then proceed to demand that anyone who rejected his claim be disciplined by the church. Simply put, it was his way or the highway because he was so sure he was right. And he went on to state quite strongly that anyone who rejected his claims were in effect denying the Bible in it's entirety and therefore committing the one unforgivable sin. It had to be his way because he was so sure he was right. And about half the congregation that day fell in line. I thought back to the letter I saw once proudly on display in the Vatican where they were going to condemn Galileo for his scientific research. At least they owned up to their mistake on that one.

There are those of us who don't believe the whole thing is that simple. That God's methodology might be a wee bit more complex than a literal interpretation of the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Given that they have to jump through all sorts of intellectual hoops just to make those eleven chapters say what they insist they say I'm betting that they're just as wrong as I am on what it all really means. And like little children at some level or another we simply trust Him when we see the scientific data put forward that it most likely wasn't all created in 144 hours. Science doesn't necessarily have to shake one's faith in God. But there are people who would put us into a position of being driven from our church if we reject their legalism.

It has nothing to do with science. It's all about men seeking control over the church and promoting their agendas instead of doing the work we are charged with doing in the Great Commission. It's a tremendous time waster, money waster, and ultimately it loses more souls than it saves.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:55 PM

21. Even the Catholic Church does not discount evolution

do they also believe in talking snakes??
and if they do how come snakes lost that ability over the 6,000 years??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 02:04 PM

22. Snakes lost the ability to speak? That must have been because of ...

 

the second law of thermodynamics!

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Response to LAGC (Original post)


Response to LAGC (Original post)

Thu Jan 12, 2012, 02:15 PM

25. should be 73% of those polled

from the article: The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors,

lemme guess which denomination those 1000 pastors were from. probably explains why the results are a bit, um, skewed.

One thing I've learned from my years on DU is to always question results like this. 73% of HOW MANY? how many were polled? who was polled?

I strongly doubt that 73% of ALL Protestant religious leaders (the term "pastors" is a give-away, since not all denominations have pastors) are such dumb asses.

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Response to WolverineDG (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 11:37 AM

30. Quick - find the MoE on a sample of 1000

Random as clearly noted. Also clearly noted was that they talked to the senior religious leader regardless of title.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Thu Jan 12, 2012, 05:57 PM

26. Most pastors are ignorant about science and many other practical subjects

Last edited Thu Jan 12, 2012, 06:35 PM - Edit history (1)

Most of the ones that I've met got a 40-year liberal arts degree and then went on to divinity school.

They may know a lot about being a pastor and about interacting with their parishoners, but they have very limited real-world experience, including essentially no scientific training. Most have no clue about the work life of the men in their congregation, except for the few that were employed in other occupations before the "call".

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 12, 2012, 05:59 PM

27. Which may be the explanation for the discrepancy in this *poll* based on educational levels

of those surveyed.

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Response to LAGC (Original post)

Thu Jan 12, 2012, 11:51 PM

28. If you believe the Out of Africa theory of modern mans spread there was an Adam and Eve

in all our past.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 02:27 AM

29. True, but they weren't living at the same time.

In terms of human genetics, the concept that all humans descended from two historical persons is impossible. Genetic evidence indicates humans descended from a group of at least 10,000 people, and to account for the observed human genetic variation it would take an impossibly high mutation rate if all humans descended from two individuals several thousands of years ago as young Earth creationism claims. This has caused some religious practitioners to move away from a literal interpretation and belief in the Adam and Eve creation myth. Other literalists continue to believe in what they see as a fundamental religious belief.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_and_Eve#Science

Y-chromosomal Adam lived as early as around 142,000 years ago and possibly as recently as 60,000 years ago.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam

Mitochondrial Eve is estimated to have lived around 200,000 years ago


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve

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Response to LAGC (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 12:24 PM

31. I have always thought the multiregional theory was more likely but

the genetic evidence does seem to add up for the more recent Out of Africa disperal and replacement as what happened. I think Wolpoff may be fighting a losing battle but there have been some studies indicating that regional populations were not eliminated but just submerged in the genetic pool of modern man.

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