Who Believes in Evolution?


This chart comes from a new Pew Research Cen­ter study that looks at the world­wide accep­tance of evo­lu­tion 150 years after Dar­win’s On the Ori­gin of Species by Means of Nat­ur­al Selec­tion. At least in the Unit­ed States, only a minor­i­ty of the pub­lic believes in evo­lu­tion, large­ly because evan­gel­i­cal protes­tants (a large por­tion of the Amer­i­can pop­u­la­tion) resist Dar­win’s think­ing far more strong­ly than oth­er world pop­u­la­tions. (The chart makes that sim­ple fact fair­ly clear.) A piece new­ly pub­lished by the Pew Cen­ter goes on to add:

Recent pub­lic opin­ion polls indi­cate that chal­lenges to Dar­win­ian evo­lu­tion have sub­stan­tial sup­port among the Amer­i­can peo­ple. Accord­ing to an August 2006 sur­vey by the Pew Research Cen­ter’s Forum on Reli­gion & Pub­lic Life and the Pew Research Cen­ter for the Peo­ple & the Press, 63 per­cent of Amer­i­cans believe that humans and oth­er ani­mals have either always exist­ed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guid­ance of a supreme being. Only 26 per­cent say that life evolved sole­ly through process­es such as nat­ur­al selec­tion. A sim­i­lar Pew Research Cen­ter poll, released in August 2005, found that 64 per­cent of Amer­i­cans sup­port teach­ing cre­ation­ism along­side evo­lu­tion in the class­room.

For more infor­ma­tion, see the Pew Cen­ter’s larg­er web col­lec­tion ded­i­cat­ed to the Dar­win debate. Also see a new Gallup poll that puts Amer­i­can belief in evo­lu­tion at 39%.

via The Dai­ly Dish

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Comments (6)
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  • Glen says:

    This is extreme­ly depress­ing. I don’t know how much longer I can remain in the U.S. with this steady decline in ratio­nal­i­ty appar­ent­ly tak­ing hold amongst my fel­low cit­i­zens. Every time I hear a sto­ry like this I feel nau­seous (and embar­rassed).

  • What is scary is that peo­ple are accept­ing Pew’s flame­bait sta­tis­tics at face val­ue.

    The poll has been con­struct­ed (whether incom­pe­tent­ly or delib­er­ate­ly I can­not tell) to give this result.

    Most Chris­tian’s believe in both evo­lu­tion both a cre­ator God and Dar­win­ian evo­lu­tion (not the offi­cial posi­tion of the Catholic Church, that).

  • Hannah says:

    The sta­tis­tics don’t have to be very accu­rate for this to be scary. I think even 80 pro­cent is a very low num­ber in this case…

  • Jude Bloom says:

    One does­n’t “believe” in evo­lu­tion, does one? Does one “believe” in chem­i­cal oxi­da­tion, or radioac­tiv­i­ty, or dinosaurs? I think the whole point, or one of the points, about evo­lu­tion and sci­ence and in gen­er­al, is that “belief” does­n’t have any­thing to do with it?

  • Dan Colman says:

    Jude, I take your point on my use of the word “belief.” That could have been phrased better/differently.

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