Newsweek Reporters on that 99.86% Statistic

RSR Asks Newsweek Reporters About Their 1987 Statistic: As often claimed by evolutionists, Aron Ra told Real Science Radio's Bob Enyart that 99.86% of scientists affirm Darwinism, a statistic that is unintentionally fabricated by a confused misuse of a 1987 Newsweek article that reports no poll or survey but a "count" of 700 creationist scientists. (At the time the Creation Research Society had that same number, 700, as the size of its voting membership which was made up of scientists with advanced degrees.)

By such an overtly invalid statistical method, atheists themselves would comprise only two-hundredths of one percent of 230 million U.S. adults if we calculated using "one count" of atheists, namely, the membership of the Skeptics Society. Of course that's wrong.

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* Newsweek Reporters Larry Martz and Ann McDaniel: In 1987 Martz & McDaniel wrote, "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientist) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared "abruptly." To a request for more details, on June 12, 2012 Ann McDaniel replied to Real Science Radio: "Bob – I wish I had the notes for that story, but I don’t have everything from 25 years ago, and I don’t remember. So sorry that I cannot help you." On April 1, 2013 Larry Martz wrote, "Mr. Enyart, ... I was the New York writer on this story, working from reports from Ann McDaniel and others who weren't named in the byline, along with whatever telephone reporting I did myself. I don't remember which of them came up with that figure, or what its provenance was. It might well have been Ginny Carroll, who was Newsweek's principal reporter on Christian religious affairs; but sad to say, Ginny is dead. Your conjecture seems entirely reasonable, but none of us can confirm it... I think you are probably safe to use your conjecture for the source, along with 'probably.' best, larry martz".

* NCSE Also Sees CRSQ as the Source for this "Count": From the anti-creationist group founded by Eugenie Scott, the National Center for Science Education, Glenn Branch writes, "As for 700, I speculate that it was chosen as the number of members of the Creation Research Society, which requires its voting members to have earned a 'postgraduate degree in a recognized area of science.' Its membership hovers around 700... So... ~0.75% would have been a better estimate of the prevalence of creation scientists in the U.S. life sciences and earth sciences communities circa 1987." Branch admits that his "better estimate" is only a "lower bound" (because of the invalid statistical method used) yet concludes by referencing the "97%" of scientists who agree with the (highly ambiguous) statement that "living things have evolved", a sentiment shared by most creation scientists. NCSE seems to consistently ignore, as documented over at rsr.org/doubting-darwin, that "60% of all U.S. medical doctors reject the strictly secular Darwinist explanation for our existence, with three of five docs agreeing that either God initiated and guided the process that led to human life or that God specially created human beings."

Regarding that infamous 1987 Newsweek article, Bob Enyart also spoke with Glen Wolfram, the CRS membership director who has served in that position since the 1980s. Wolfram agreed with Enyart's conclusion that Newsweek was likely referring to the publicly known number of scientist members of CRS. He provided published membership records from throughout the 1980s. Over the five years from mid-1982 to mid-1987, the average CRS membership was about 2,000 with 
36 percent being voting members, that is, having earned a postgraduate science degree. So there were an average of 710 "scientists with respectable academic credentials" as members of CRS in the years leading up to that Newsweek piece, which number was undoubtedly the source for that 1987 report.

* What Do Roger Ebert & the APS Have in Common? APS, the American Physical Society, 2005, repeated the fake news: "According to Newsweek, "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science..." That would put the support for creation science among those branches of science that deal with the earth and its life forms at about 0.14%." The late Roger Ebert may have been remembering the fabricated claim that nearly 100% of scientists reject design when he put the percent at "99.975". As for the 99.86, that percentage was, possibly unintentionally, arrived at by some who incorrectly calculated a percentage based on the "count". So Real Science Radio hereby ask evolutionists to help us creationists by correcting anyone who still promotes that incorrect 99.86%. Thanks!