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Darwinism results

Here are the results of the survey. Since we had such a small response size (n=104) I do not know what can be taken from this. The results were pretty much as I expected – Selection is the main, but not only, key idea of Darwinism, a substantial minority think Darwinism does not exclude religion (even though close to all were not religious), 40% or so include genetic drift under “Darwinism”, but most think it means “natural selection” overall. Comments?


2. Age of respondent


Chart Q3 140505


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Chart Q6 140505


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Chart Q8 140505


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  1. Chris Ho-Stuart Chris Ho-Stuart

    So…. you going to give us the correct answers now?

  2. Question 8 answers are so weird. Over 40% does not think that adaptationism is a key idea of Darwinism?! Adaptation is a key idea of natural selection. Does adaptationism mean something else than adaptation, perhaps?

    • Possibly they did not think that natural selection is the key idea of “Darwinism”?

      • Porlock Junior Porlock Junior

        Or there may have been varying ideas, including none at all, about “adaptationism”.

        I’m projecting here, I suppose. I know what adaptation means, or think I do; but I’m not anywhere near so confident when it’s an -ism. I tend to see the latter, because of a certain amount of usage I’ve seen, as a pejorative applied by some people whom the world would see as Darwinists to Those Other Guys (whom the world would also see as Darwinists) who consider adaptation all-important in evolution (ignoring genetic drift and cockeyed spandrels and so on).

        So, anybody who perceives the word in this way, if there is anybody, would see the question as not asking whether adaptation in an essential point in evolution but rather whether one agrees with the critique I tried to describe here.

    • The most natural interpretation of “adaptation” as a word in English is as an active process. But natural selection produces adaptedness of species by a passive process in which no individual or gene is deliberately adapting. So until someone defines it otherwise, I would say that the most natural interpretation of “adaptationism’ is as another word for Lamarkianism.

  3. I would have said “Common descent with modification” but even after the bug with the “Other” option was (mostly) fixed, I still wasn’t able to use that for #6, so I chose “Natural selection”.

    As for the ” correct answers” – I’d be interested to know who you think best represent evolution, John. I’m not familiar with several of the names, so I (think I) chose Ernst Mayr.

    • TomS TomS

      Too bad that we don’t get to see the write-in votes.

      • SurveyMonkey won’t let me access them for some reason.

  4. Since when has 68% been “a substantial minority”?

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