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Due to the voluntary nature of the elicitation process and to the lack of definition of the group from which volunteers were selected, the results from this survey can not be used to conduct power analysis in preparation for larger surveys. Also, inferences concerning larger groups and sub-populations can not be supported. For example, within the population of respondees, we have designations for denominational affiliation; for example, Roman Catholic or Presbyterian. It might be tempting to think that we can say something significant about people's attitudes toward evolution and Christianity from these groups based on the results of this survey. This is not warranted, however. To illustrate this point, say that we want to run some t tests to look for significant differences in the means between sub-populations designated by religious denomination, age, or education level. We can run t-tests on the entire data set or on a fraction of the data set restricted to one or two modes of collection. Data for the survey was collected in four different manners: direct elicitation from some SPU students; email to associates; email to science-religion interest groups; and elicitation from the counterbalance web-site. Looking at t-tests run on the entire data set as opposed to a partial data set which removes most responses from the counterbalance web-site shows so much variability that it appears that the methods of collecting data are biasing our observations in ways that we are not in a position to understand relative to the categories of interest.

alpha values from t tests

Q Part. Full Method
Q5 0.1166 0.7703 0.039**
Q8 0.0099* 0.0052* 0.230
Q9 0.6415 0.1845 0.028**
Q11a 0.3222 0.1384 0.140
Q11b 0.3603 0.5547 0.330
Q11e 0.1438 0.1333 0.360
Q11i 0.6462 0.5377 0.300
Q11l 0.4089 0.9423 0.990**

* significant for test of inequality for alpha = .05

** significant for test of inequality for alpha = .1.

Column 1 gives the question from the survey which is being considered. Columns 2 and 3 test for significant differences in means between responses, to various questions, from Catholics or Presbyterians. Column 2 is based on data primarily from email and SPU sources, while column 3 also includes data from the Counterbalance web-site. Column 4 gives significance results from Catholics who participated via Counterbalance versus Catholics who participated through one of the other elicitation channels.

For what it is worth, within the population of respondees, there is a significant difference in the means of people's attitudes toward the compatibility of evolutionary theory and Christian theology depending on whether they identify as Roman Catholic or as Presbyterian.

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Related Topics:

Results: Graphs
Expectations and Results
Design Issues
Sampling Issues
Hermeneutical Issues
Future Directions
Survey Questions


Counterbalance/David Caccia

See also:

Charles Darwin
DNA Double-Helix
Purpose and Design
Does God Act?
Where did we Come From?
Books on Biology, Genetics and Theology