Thursday, 3 July 2008

Heads You Win, Tails I Lose

PZ suggested that we skew a poll, this poll.

Unfortunately, based on the question:
Do you think Creation should be taught, along with Evolution, in public schools?
And that 98.2% of the people voted no, means that they have more then enough evidence that 100% of the people oppose teaching evolution without creationism being taught as well.

Because the way the question was asked, all of us who went and skewed the poll have just given them support for banning evolution.

It sounds confusing right?

Well it isn't. First, the use of the commas means that the question is asking whether creationism and evolution should be taught. A "yes" means you support equal time, but a "no" means you don't want either being taught.

Those of us that skewed the poll probably didn't think of this before skewing it, I do wonder if PZ did, or if he thought the poll was asking about "evolution only" or "equal time".

The second reason that I am probably right?

It's because they are creationists.

They aren't the most intellectually honest group.

So had the results remained at the level of this comment, they would have said something along the lines of "71% of people support the teaching of creationism along with evolution in public schools" while now they can say "98.2% of people don't want evolution taught in schools" and they can get away with it.

And we were complicit in doing so.

Sometime in the future we will see this statistic being thrown back at us, even though we all know quite well that internet polls are not a good representation of the population at large, or even scientific at all.