- Published on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 06:21
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 3981
A new Gallup poll on U.S. public opinion about evolution shows a slightly higher acceptance of evolution over the years. The belief that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so" dropped to 40% from 44% between 2008 to 2010. More significantly, the trend from 1982 (9%) to 2010 (16%) showed a stronger belief that "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process". See the graph below for details. A second result of the poll was that the creationist option was associated with a lower degree of education, a higher rate of church attendance, and affiliation with the Republican party. Why am I not surprised? It's not scientific to make a further conclusion but it seems to say that Republicans and Church-goers are less educated! But then what do I know - I don't even live there.
But what about other countries? An article (on this site) about Canada and US attitudes to Creationism shows similar numbers for the US but that Canadians are more likely to believe in Evolution - (58% to 22% - 20% unsure)
Acceptance of evolution improved with education in Canada too - Conservatives (like Republicans) were more inclined to be creationists.
The status on the U.K. was included in a separate report with results as follows:
One of the big problems with polls on this subject, particularly in the U.S., is that people have many views on related subjects that contradict each other. Many Americans seem to support evolution simultaneously with some aspects of creationism and they also believe things that are simply not true. For example:
- Humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs,
- Archaeological findings have confirmed the authenticity of the people and incidents recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible
- There was a flood within the past 10,000 years that covered all of the earth and was responsible for most of the rock layers and fossils that are seen across the world.
These and other strange beliefs show that they are at best uneducated on science and at worst, blinded to science by their misguided faith.
For a detailed look at what Americans believe about evolution and creation, see the results of a Gallup poll taken in May-June 2010. PDF Report by the National Center for Science Education: Americans' Scientific Knowledge and Beliefs about Human Evolution in the Year of Darwin. Author(s): George F Bishop, Randall K Thomas, Jason A Wood, and Misook Gwon - Download here.
There is some information on belief in evolution in Australia here.