Numbers don’t add up

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I was rather stunned at Donald Szepanski’s recent letter (Clarion, Feb. 20) stating “Several polls have shown a high percentage of scientists are creationists. In many scientific fields except in some biology areas a majority of scientists favor creationism.

Of the scientists and engineers in the United States, only about 5 percent are creationists, according to a 1991 Gallup poll (Robinson 1995, Witham 1997). However, this number includes those working in fields not related to life origins (such as computer scientists, mechanical engineers, etc.). Taking into account only those working in the relevant fields of earth and life sciences, there are about 480,000 scientists, but only about 700 believe in “creation-science” or consider it a valid theory (Robinson 1995).

This means that less than 0.15 percent of relevant scientists believe in creationism. And that is just in the United States, which has more creationists than any other industrialized country. In other countries, the number of relevant scientists who accept creationism drops to less than one-tenth of 1 percent.

Additionally, many scientific organizations believe the evidence so strongly that they have issued public statements to that effect (NCSE n.d.). The National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious science organizations, devotes a Web site to the topic (NAS 1999). A panel of 72 Nobel Laureates, 17 state academies of science and seven other scientific organizations created an amicus curiae brief which they submitted to the Supreme Court (Edwards v. Aguillard 1986). This report clarified what makes science different from religion and why creationism is not science.

John Tongen


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