Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Choice of Russians: Mr.Darwin vs. God?

I read something recently that the majority of Russians do not believe in evolution.
First of all, I was wondering if this is true?

Secondly, I thought this to be interesting, especially since the United States is more known for extremist views on the issue as well as a traditional pension for listening to crazy as a valid way to run a society. However, I thought that since Russia (for nearly a century, anyway) has been known as a secular government and Soviet times emphasized science (please, correct me if I'm wrong) they would be more inclined towards Darwinism.
Do you think there are more creationists in Russia than people who believe in evolution, and how do you think this affects the society at large?
Asked by Marie, USA
Serious question demanded serious research...et voila!


It is true that Russia is a secular State since January 23rd, 1918.
One of the first decrees adopted by young Soviet State was separating the State and official Church. The separation was not just proclaimed but also implemented by all possible means
(elimination of influential people included).
Soviet schools received the order to teach Darwin theory as a part of biology course and always did so. Soviet science was there to prove that God had not influence on the life of new society, where religion was considered as para-science or superstition.
However, we all know that people, in general, don't necessarily agree with the official point of view ...and especially during the difficult times.
It was extremely ambitious plan of the Soviet state to erase religion from the life of its citizens and control their minds and souls...but the beginning of the World War II
in 1941 proved that not all wishes come true...even when it was Stalin who wished.
Hard to say, how many of those who fought in the WWII battle fields believed in God and who in Darwin theory, but the presence of the faith during the hardest times showed that Darwin was not the best allay in motivation of the soldiers.
Soviet State had to admit that with limited military
professionals, shortage of arms and hidden discontent of civil population (remember 1937 purges) it was hard to count on self-motivation. So at that very moment all prosecuted religions were called to help motivate Soviet citizens. Both Orthodox and Muslims received certain permissions to practice their faith. With restriction ....but still.
As often before, relegious leaders didn't need to be told what to say and how to address to people. Many of them also volunteered to serve in the Red Army but the 1945 WWII victory didn't mean return of faith practicing in people's everyday life.

Becoming less aggressive the State didn't end the prosecution of the religion (many churches and mosques were still closed)... but the special scientific studies had to answer the question on God's existence.
Years later, Soviet cosmonauts had admitted that they've been questioned after returning from the space on what they could have noticed "out there"....some of them admitted that it was after "their open space walk" when they became practicing Christians.

Thus faith and scientific research managed to exist together until the very perestroika when Soviet people finally had a chance to rediscover their traditions and religions.


The recent studies of the subject showed interesting facts.
The polls published by Russian independent institute of social and national problems (РНИСиНП) in 2000 showed that by the end of XX century
46,9 % of population openly declared to believe in God, that almost twice is more than in the end of 1970th.

At the same time, the number of those who do not believe in any supernatural forces (10,3 %) has decreased. Thus 25% of people claimed to be hesitating between believing in God or in anything at all.
It showed, that the general number of believing in God(46,9 %) was much less than the general number of adherents of various religions(69,5 %).

The center "Religion in a modern society " which performed the study specified this strange fact in answers of respondents showed that the identification by religion "Orthodoxy ", "Judaism"or" Islam" was rather a way to show the affiliation to special way of life, culture, type of a civilization.
Thus among those who claimed to be non-believers (37,6 %), there were also those who believed in future (1,6 %), signs (14,7 %), in a certain supernatural force (13,2 %), in afterlife (2,8 %), sorcery and magic (3,4 %), in incarnation (2,4 %), etc. " All of this again confirmed that the majority of Russians, irrespectively of fact, if they consider themselves to be believers or not, in actual life, believe in various archaic, pre-christian and pre-muslim ideas, pagan traditions ".


Having said that I have to confirm your sources.

Latest polls showed that only 24% of Russian population believe in Darwin theory and this number equals to the one for those who believe that God was at the origin of human creation.
And to be totally honest ......53% of those who responded said that "Darwinism? Never heard this word" )))))))

P.S. Have I answered your uneasy question?