[extropy-chat] survey on fringe ideas: evolution

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Oct 27 00:47:20 UTC 2005

Spike wrote:
> Consider the survey question:
> Do you believe in
> a) creationism
> b) evolution
> c) neither
> d) both
> A sophisticated creationist may answer choice d,
> reasoning that Noah only took aboard the ark the 
> land-based families of beasts, or possible only orders,
> then genera and speciation occurred later, by the
> mechanisms of traditional evolution.  If the survey 
> is taken in rural Alabama, I have no doubt that 
> the pollsters are appalled at how few choose b.  One 
> of our now-absent former ExI posters insisted that 
> we avoid the use of the term "believe." 

Ah that would be me. I'm not absent, I just don't always
have time to read or reply. 

> He might choose c.

 I might choose c, probably would if you were the
one asking the question because you'd know, I hope,
that for me anyway, Not believing a) is not the same 
as believing Not a), so my answering neither would
not mislead you and you could ask the question in
a different way if you chose.  

Can you see a difference between asking

"Do you believe in:

a) creation
b) evolution
c) neither
d) both "


"Which do you think is true :

a) creation
b) evolution
c) neither
d) both "


I suspect most posters to this list would see the two questions
as asking essentially the same thing. 

Brett Paatsch

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