03 February 2009

Brit-think/Ameri-think #1

I've stolen the title of this entry from a book by Jane Walmsley. My copy--location unknown, no surprise--must be twenty years old by now. There's a new title in the same vein, The Anglo Files by Sarah Lyall, waiting in my Amazon shopping cart until it's available in the UK in August.

This is a subject that I'll return to as new items appear for inclusion. For starters, though, here are the results of a survey in yesterday's Guardian that I was delighted to see. I'm so used to hanging my head in shame as yet another study comes out revealing American beliefs in creationism, angels, alien abduction, etc., that it's a great relief to discover periodically that the Brits aren't all that different.

This poll was published by the Rescuing Darwin project, scheduled to coincide with 2009's double anniversary: 200 years after Darwin's birth and 150 after the publication of On the Origin of Species.

Choice facts:

Half of British adults do not believe in evolution, with at least 22% preferring the theories of creationism or intelligent design to explain how the world came about, according to a survey.

The poll found that 25% of Britons believe Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is "definitely true", with another quarter saying it is "probably true". Half of the 2,060 people questioned were either strongly opposed to the theory or confused about it.

10% of people chose young Earth creationism – the belief that God created the world some time in the last 10,000 years – over evolution.

About 12% preferred intelligent design, the idea that evolution alone is not enough to explain the structures of living organisms. The remainder were unsure, often mixing evolution, intelligent design and creationism together.



  1. My copy of Brit-Think, Ameri-Think (your present, you will recall, in 1990) is still shelved among my favourite books and easy to reach in case of need. What if someone come up with, say, "French-Think, Itali-Think"? Mmm... I wonder if I'd be able to laugh with total equanimity...


  2. Inspired by your comment, I hunted for my copy and amazingly it surfaced. Now I'll be able to compare it to The Anglo Files in August--and possibly decide the latter should be on your shelves too. xx