Saturday, September 06, 2008

Creationism: 165 Million US Americans Believe In It?

That is a statistic that has been quoted in comments to my last post.

Short answer - based on a typical political survey representative sample of around 1000, for the responsible journal Newsweek, and in Spring 2007 - is NO. Thank God for that! Two random young creationist rednecks are pictured in the Alaska backwoods, where they first started practicing for their vow of chastity, hollering: "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"

It's a NO then - but the numbers are not trivial.

Remembering that the sample should not be by any means exclusively practising Christians the true figure for creation as an event within the last 10,000 years or so was a mind boggling 48% of all adults.

There are approximately 299,398,485 people in the USA. Of these approximately 225,633,342 are over 18. Of these approximately 75% are expected to be registered to vote this time. That's about 169,200,000. Approximately 80% of these will vote - that would be 60% of the whole electorate, in 2004 58% turned out.

So, do the math! Which gives 135,360,000.

Of these - according to the Newsweek Poll and assuming creationists are as likely as anyone to be registered - 48% will be Creationists and that's around 65 million. And that's just 40% of the 165M figure being bandied about by my commenter and by members of the McCain-Palin team, even speaking with the BBC. How very dare they?

All Creationists, registered and voting or otherwise, would number around 110M not 165M. And remember assuming the registration and voting statistics don't wander too much only 65M of them will vote, many of them in fact for the Democrats or in states so thoroughly RED that they would probably vote RED whatever they believed in.

So, where does the 165M figure come from? Is there a manipulation of all these facts and figures that comes up with 165M or more "creationists", given that there are only 225M adults in the USA?

Well yes actually there is. If and only if you specialise in a very perverted form of statistics multiplied by an obscene logic. [Kinda like Sir Cyril Asbestos but let's leave him alone for today.]

The remaining 52% of the USA population are split thusly:

A. Human beings have developed over millions of years with God as the ultimate big boy bossing the whole thing: 30%
B. Human beings have developed over millions of years without God's input:
C. No answer or no opinion: 9%

It is therefore possible by adding those falling under A - which is conventional non-loon Christian teaching - to D numbering those dunces who say they believe in instant earth creation to get a figure of about 180M.

All numbers are from reputable sources and all arithmetic is hopefully correct. Will post those sources when I have enough time. Which may not be today.


Anonymous said...

Number of adults in the USA = 305million (US Office of Census Population Clock)

Of these 24.6% are under 18 (ditto)

Therefore, number of adults over 18 = 230 million.

One figure that would deflate this (and that we have both forgotten) is how many of these are not US nationals and so not entitled to vote. However ...

Number of people expected to be registered to vote by the time of the election 172.5 million (Pew Research Center)

Number of people needed to ensure winning the election will be in the region of 65 million

The christian right are not 'as likely' to be registered, they are actually 15% 'more likely' to be so.

Percantage of christians registered to vote = 85%

Number of 'born again' Christians 57 million

Number of people believing in creationism - ranges from 42% to a staggering 55% in the latest survey and 66% when you add those those seeing creation as the 'most likely' origins of the earth and humankind.

So that's anywhere between 97 and 126 million absolute creationists of whom 85% are regiestred (82.5-107 million actual registered voters).

They are also more likely to go and vote once they are registered.

In 2004, 64% of registered electors went to the polls, among the christian population it was 71%, for evangelicals and 'born again's' it reached 76%.

You do the maths. Now, i totally agree that by no menas every craeionist is going to vote McCain even with one of their number on his ticket. But a lot of non-creationists will do so.

If you add to that the potential Catholic anti-abortion and the non-metropolitan Clampett vote and you've got some pretty serious numbers.

One figure I came across on the side of the angels shows that independent and swing voters are more likely to view as a bad thing the religious right's grip on the Republicans than they do the secular left on the Democrats. Whether this will swing as many of them one way or gird them to actually vote as Palin's stance will do in the opposite direction is anybody's guess. And I suggest that at this stage it is only a guess.

Chris Paul said...

I say 110M creationists, you say between 97 and 126M and that's about +/- 10% on my figure. So we're in the same ballpark.

I'd have thought that many of these creationists will have gone Dubya last time out, that the young end of that demographic and the cleverer ones will realise that it actually ain't relevant to government and/or a bit scarey hand in hand with other idiocies that they don't share, and I think you're right about the independents. They could come running to Obama-Biden.

As well as the non-USA citizens in the population figure there are issues with other groups having tendancies to vote one way or the other. For example your average redneck (R) and your average African American (D).

In the UK at least the specifically Black churches, say some Adventist ones for example, are likely to be literal biblicists, perhaps do biblical food rules, but they are also quite likely to be social democrats or leftwards.

And I have canvassed some religious families who simply will not vote for churchian reasons. Leave it to god they say. Though what actually happens is they leave it to their godless communists and their godless money grubber neighbours.

Anyway. We do agree that this scarey figure of 165M out of 230M voters is not right at all. It's another Sarah palin lie by the look of it.

And we also agree that SP may scare away more independents and secularists and women voters than she pulls in.

McCain-Palin seems an extraordinarily unattractive ticket to me. And how they can possibly pull off insurgency against the Bush administration to which they essentially belong is a complete mystery.

Ted Foan said...

These Creationists - are they the same as those who believe in the global warming thingy which is based on data going back more than 6,000 years?

Anonymous said...


I have a feeling that they're the ones that don't believe in the 'global warming thingy' and that it's all made up by the liberal press and the Washington mafia.


I have worked out exactly where their figure of 165 million creatonists comes from. 305 million people in the USA and (according to the most recent poll - and the one that comes out with the biggest figure) 55% believe in the Biblical explanation for the origins of the universe. "Therefore" there are 165 million - man, woman, child, infant and baby.

My worry is that your comment "McCain-Palin seems an extraordinarily unattractive ticket to me" is the whole point.

Don't take this as a dig at you, because it isn't. But the Republicans will be totally interested in your views and in those of people like you. That's why they're Republicans. The fact that you disapprove would be evidence to them that that had chosen wisely. You would never vote Republican (I hope) and would definitely vote - so your vote in not in the pot for the taking. They have bigger fish to fry.

The role of the VP nominee is 'value added' Does somebody bring more votes to the ticket than they lose - especially in the key states? That can be in the form of nicking votes from the opposition; preventing them nicking your own; encouraging your own supporters to go to the polls, or; keeping your opponents vots at home.

I'm not sure if enough attention has been paid to the last group. Are there blue-collar Dems who, when it comes to tting a on a piece of paper, might just not be able to drag themselves down to the local school on a November Tuesday to vote for a black person?

Are there Clintonistas who cannot stomach the thought of voting Republican but might just find something else to do rather than vote against a woman?

I don't know. But I bet there are those who do. Or think they do.

McCain has been the presumptive nominee for many months now. There don't seem to have been any circumstances to panic them into a rash decision - no scandal, no last minute withdrawal, no imminent third party intervention. They will have done the mathematics. The South is spoken for as are many of the large industrial states. McCain must think that Ohio is his for granted this time. The relgious right will be storming theough those states that are still up for grabs to ensure that their woman is only one dodgy heartbeat away from the Presidency.

And then they can start on us.