The Discoveroid frenzy, which we last reported in Discovery Institute vs. Methodists, Continued, shows no sign of abating.
This appears today at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog, and it has no author’s byline: New Poll: Most Americans Turn Thumbs Down on United Methodist Ban on Intelligent Design. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
According to a new poll released today, a super-majority of Americans oppose the decision of United Methodist Church (UMC) officials to ban the pro-intelligent design Discovery Institute from sponsoring an information table at the UMC’s upcoming General Conference in May. An even greater majority believes that the UMC’s ban contradicts its stated commitment to “open hearts, open minds, open doors.”
Oooooooooh — the Discoveroids are supported by a poll! This is getting serious! We’re told:
More than 70 percent of the 1,946 respondents to the nationwide survey agreed that “the United Methodist Church should not have banned an intelligent design group from renting an information table at its conference.” More than 78 percent of respondents agreed that “the United Methodist Church’s ban on the intelligent design group seems inconsistent with the Church’s stated commitment to encourage ‘open hearts, open minds, open doors.'”
Wow — those are impressive numbers! But a few questions immediately arise: Who conducted this poll? What was the methodology? What questions were asked? You’re about to find out, dear reader. Skipping a bit, we come to this:
The poll was conducted by Discovery Institute using SurveyMonkey Audience, which randomly sampled the adult members of its nationally representative panel of more than 6 million U.S. residents. Survey responses were collected from January 5-9, 2016. SurveyMonkey Audience panelists are recruited from the 30+ million people who take SurveyMonkey surveys each month.
This seems very peculiar. The Discoveroids conducted the poll? They used a previously existing audience? Who is SurveyMonkey? Wikipedia has an article on SurveyMonkey, but it doesn’t tell us very much.
This is their website: SurveyMonkey, which tells us: “We’ve got millions of real people in our survey panel ready to tell you what they think.”
That sounds odd. Most people hang up when a polling outfit calls. But SurveyMonkey has a population they’ve already selected that wants to be polled. It sounds like they’ve got a bunch of people eager to sound off on whatever is presented to them. And although their website doesn’t specifically say so, it appears that whoever wants to make a survey of this pre-existing audience can write their own questions.
The Discoveroids provide a link to the results they obtained, and it gives us the questions that were put to the SurveyMonkey audience. The questions begin with this introductory statement:
The United Methodist recently banned a group from renting an information table at the Church’s upcoming general conference because the group suports intelligent design — the idea that nature is a product of purposeful design rather than an unguided process. Some have criticized the ban as contrary to the United Methodist Church’s stated commitment to encourage “open hearts, open minds, open doors.” Rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statements:
Paraphrasing the questions put to the poll’s audience after that one-sided statement, they were: (1) The church shouldn’t have banned the group from renting a table; and (2) the ban seems inconsistent with the church’s statement.
Well, dear reader, are you impressed with the Discoveroids’ neutral questions? Are you impressed by the poll results? Let us know what you think.
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