DALLAS, SEPT. 8 — By nearly a five-to-one margin, 75% of Texas residents say the state board of education should approve biology textbooks that teach both Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence against it, according to a statewide poll released today by Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based public policy think-tank..
“This poll is directed to the pivotal issue raised by the state board of education,” said Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute. “Texans want Darwin’s theory of evolution fully and completely presented, including the theory’s strengths and weaknesses.
The poll focused exclusively on how Darwin’s theory of evolution should be presented in textbooks and Texas state law regarding textbook approval. Zogby International conducted telephone interviews of 601 adults chosen at random in Texas. All calls were made from Monday, August 25 to Wednesday, August 27, 2003. The margin of error is +/- 4.1%.
Pollsters presented respondents with the following:
Which of the following two statements comes closer to your own opinion?
- A: The state board of education should approve biology textbooks that teach only Darwin’s theory of evolution and the scientific evidence that supports it.
- B: The state board of education should approve biology textbooks that teach Darwin’s theory of evolution, but also the scientific evidence against it.
Seventy-five percent answered that they agreed with statement B. Strong support was shown in every region of the state and across all ethnic and age groups.
Even higher percentages – three-fourths or more of people in most sub-groups – agree that the state board of education should apply Texas law to how evolution is presented in textbooks.
When presented with the following statement 82% of respondents answered in the affirmative:
Texas law requires students to analyze, review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific evidence and information. Should the state board of education apply this standard to how evolution is presented in textbooks?
The complete report, including cross-tabulated results for all sub-groups is available online at http://www.discovery.org/csc/texas/. Copies are also available on request from Discovery Institute.