But of those self-selected, self-describing Christians polled by Ipsos-Mori on behalf of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science a significant number do not know or believe in the central tenets of the faith, do not pray, and do not go to church. The question that led to Richard Dawkins’ faux pas on the today program was this one from the poll
Q23. What is the first book of the NEW Testament?
- Matthew 35 %
- Genesis 19 %
- Acts of the Apostles 3 %
- Psalms 3 %
- Don’t know 39 %
- Prefer not to say 1%
I’m actually very surprised by this result as I would expect most people, religious or not, educated in our school system to know this, especially as it is presented as a multiple-choice question. It was therefore a pertinent point for Dawkins to make when interviewed on Radio 4’s today program.
In response co-interviewee Reverend Giles Fraser asked Dawkins to name the full title of Darwin’s Origin of Species (On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in The Struggle for Life), which apart from or perhaps because of its irrelevence caught him off guard.
The point is, that all weekend Dawkins has been the subject of attack and attempted ridicule on totally spurious grounds because an independently commissioned scientific poll has proved something we all knew, but has been denied by interested parties; that the relevence of the Church to public life is minimal and that our constitutional religion is a sham making the case for secularism even more sound and negating the assertions of Baroness Warsi that faith and God should be central to our way of life. More interestingly the reactions from the press and the attempt to use Dawkins’ ancestral family and personal foibles to detract from the unassailable conclusions of this research prove that the intellectual battle is won. Let the culture war begin…