Monday, May 18, 2015

Evolution and the Environment: A Graph by Josh Rosenau

Josh Rosenau, at NCSE has constructed an interesting, if somewhat reductionist graph plotting acceptance of evolution and support for environmental regulations among the major religious groups.  Downloading questionnaire data from the Pew Research Center, the two questions he analyzed were:
  • Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy; or Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost and
  • Evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life on earth
The Graph that he came up with is here.  The x-axis is the evolution question and the y-axis is the environmental question.  The first surprise I found is that the Seventh Day Adventists exhibit more support for environmental regulations than the Pentacostals.  Not sure what is driving that.  It is a given that most members of those denominations reject evolution almost uniformly.  In fact, as Ron Numbers points out, many of the early creationists, including Ellen White, were SDA. 

I am also not surprised at the non-denominational evangelical lack of support for evolution.  Many of those folks, like me, came of age in the 1980s when house churches were springing up everywhere and inductive bible studies were the rage.  Those folks are now in their 40s and 50s and raising their own kids.  My church could serve as a poster child for this group.  This group, based on what I have read, also makes up the vast majority of the home school movement, which is almost lock-step anti-evolution.  

There is much lost in the analysis of only two questions and each group's theology has nuances that are certainly not covered here, but it is an interesting analysis of these two questions.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:09 AM

    We homeschool because it is best for our kids. One of the specific reasons that encouraged us was that our schools tend to ridicule open acceptance of evolution. That's right. We teach evolution in our homeschool, and a science teacher argued with our daughter because she openly admitted that evolution was sound science.