Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Of Birds and Feathers
New Zealanders are generally a liberal bunch, especially compared to Americans. According to a recent poll:
New Zealanders were significantly more tolerant than Americans about having a baby outside of marriage, sex between an unmarried man and woman, abortion, divorce and homosexual relations.But Kiwis are still not convinced by the theory of evolution:
Americans were much keener on the death penalty, with 66 per cent saying it was morally acceptable compared to 42 per cent of New Zealanders.
The UMR Research study compared New Zealanders' attitudes with those of Americans using findings from a US Gallup Poll conducted this year.Some in the educational field were taken aback:
Just 26 per cent of Kiwi respondents said the theory of evolution was definitely true.
Around the same percentage believed in the theory of creationism, with 24 per cent agreeing that "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it".
More than 50 per cent of Americans agreed with the creationist statement and 28 per cent said the theory of evolution was definitely false.
Hazel Chapman, who teaches evolution at Canterbury University, said she was really surprised by the results.If you figure out how to do that, be sure to let us in America how it's done.
"I guess it just reflects how much religion there is around and how much it colours people's views on evolution," she said.
"I think we need to be paying more attention to teaching evolution well in schools."