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A survey was conducted to explore some of the reasons why Christians have particular attitudes toward evolutionary theory and Christian theology. The following report is based on 359 responses collected during 2000. Solicitation for respondees, was done in three ways: Personal email that was forwarded widely, and email to the ‘Meta’ list on science and religion (192 responses), elicitation from the Counterbalance web-site (91 responses), and participation of students from Seattle Pacific University (40 responses). As there was no formal sampling strategy, inferences of results can not be made to various demographic groups. Indeed, we saw that the methods of elicitation had significant filtering effects on people relative to their opinions. As a further indication of the selection bias in the sampling process relative to the general population, only 71 people indicated that they were women compared to 235 who indicated that they were men.

The focal question of the survey asks for people's opinions regarding the compatibility of evolutionary theory and Christian theology. A series of related questions are used to examine possible underlying causes of people's attitudes. While additional studies aimed at examining the progression of people's beliefs over time may be needed to more fully understand causative relationships, we find evidence for a couple general hypotheses concerning these mechanisms: people's needs influence their stated beliefs; people grant different levels of credibility to various sources of information and when faced with incoherence, are likely to either reinterpret information from the less credible sources so as to resolve the conflicts or else to dismiss the lesser source if resolution is not available.

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Related Topics:

Results: Graphs
Expectations and Results
Design Issues
Sampling Issues
Hermeneutical Issues
Future Directions
Survey Questions


Counterbalance/David Caccia

See also:

Charles Darwin
DNA Double-Helix
Purpose and Design
Does God Act?
Where did we Come From?
Books on Biology, Genetics and Theology