Gallup: Forty-Two Percent Of Americans Reject The Concept Of Evolution In Humans

sisteen chapel ceilingGallup has released a new poll that shows that Americans still reject the concept of evolution of humans in high numbers. Indeed, twice the number of Americans believe that humans were created by God in their current image than there are those who believe in natural evolution. Indeed, those 42 percent believe that man was created by God in the last 10,000 years. That is a considerable difference even if you focus only on anatomically modern humans which appeared in the Middle Paleolithic period about 200,000 years ago. For those who believe in the science behind evolution, the news is not all bad. Nineteen percent believe in evolution without divine involvement while another 31 percent believe that there was evolution from “less advanced forms of life” but that God directed that process. That is fifty percent. Of course, that does appear to leave eight percent that is still . . . well . . . evolving.

Creationism remains remarkably stable in our society despite the continuing discoveries of ancient bones and archeological sites. In 1982, the first such poll showed 44% believed in the theory.

Conversely, those people who believe in evolution has been growing but at a rate only Darwin would appreciate. Those accepting evolution has risen only ten percent from late 1999. When you look at church-attending Americans, the number believing in Darwinian evolution falls to only one out every 100 church goers.

However, the poll still shows that “the percentage of Americans who adhere to a strict secularist viewpoint — that humans evolved over time, with God having no part in this process — has doubled since 1999.”

What is striking is the situation with people with less than high school education– 57% believe in a creationist version of human origin while only 10% believe in an evolution without any divine intervention. The biggest change in numbers appears to come with higher education. Once at the college level, only 27% believe that God created humans in their current image while 41% accept Darwin’s theory of evolution of humans.

As we head into another presidential campaign, it will be interesting to see if this again becomes part of the debate as it did when three out of ten Republican candidates proclaimed their faith in creationism. It would seem that evolution remains a bright line division in our society.

As an academic, I find the rigidity of the faith in creationism remarkable given the continuing finds of modern human bones going back over a million years. However, it is the impact of higher education that is particularly fascinating. It is not surprising, given the views of their parents, that high schoolers would continue to hold firm on creationism. It is the extreme shift after exposure to college that seems to bring out the greatest change. Yet, that figure could be skewed in a type of self-selection (as opposed to natural selection) since the percentage of students who believe in evolution going to college may be higher. According to the government, “In October 2013, 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates were enrolled in colleges or universities.” That leaves roughly 33 percent who would not be included in the poll sample from the high school pool. Thus, it is not clear what percentage of students actually shift from creationist to secular views of human evolution.

142 thoughts on “Gallup: Forty-Two Percent Of Americans Reject The Concept Of Evolution In Humans”

  1. David,

    Easy there. Just because I believe in God it doesn’t follow that I find anything objectionable about the theory of evolution.

    There is no scientific justification for claiming the earth is 6,000 years old and there is absolutely no justification for believing that mankind just appeared.

    I think what the creationists are doing in Kentucky is reprehensible.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think of the Flintstones as a documentary.

    Imposing a simplistic primitive view upon a such a complex world that quantum physics is only just beginning to reveal is as absurd as an atheist convincing himself that absence of proof is proof of absence.

    1. I don’t believe the earth is 6,000 years old either, but the theory of evolution has problems posed by the Fermi Paradox. If we happened in the way that the evolutionary theories are taught, the probabilities indicate that we should have encountered other life forms that originated away from earth many times over. It is VERY strange that you don’t find anything objectionable about the theory of evolution (not sure which theory you mean). Any thinking person should find at least some objections to all theories of origins, both evolutionist and creationist theories. Our knowledge is not perfect.

  2. David,

    The power of the Fermi Paradox is in its invitation to the thinker to speculate about the infinite.

    A friend of mine, who is a devout atheist, is of the opinion that Fermi’s Paradox “proves” there is no other intelligent life in the universe but our own.

    He claims that

    “once you start postulating the “possibilities” then all other unpostulated “possibilities” necessarily occur.”

    Can you see the problem such a maxim might pose for an atheist?

    1. Seriously, your devout atheist friend actually admitted that? Pretty amazing stuff.

      I don’t follow him on how “ALL” other non postulated possibilities necessarily occur, but rather I would say that some other postulated possibility must be true.

      Yeah, the Fermi Paradox poses a problem for atheists and evolutionists.

  3. Mespo,

    Does Fermi’s Paradox disprove the existence of aliens?

    Does it also disprove the existence of God?

    How does one approach speculations about the infinite?

    Your hubris regarding the certitude of your conclusions is indeed laughable.

    “What motive induced you to spend so much labour and thought in undermining the consoling and beneficial persuasion that reason is capable of assuring us of the existence, and presenting us with a determinate conception of a Supreme Being?

    “For the question does not concern the advantage or disadvantage which we are expected to reap from such inquiries; the question is merely how far reason can advance in the field of speculation, apart from all kinds of interest, and whether we may depend upon the exertions of speculative reason, or must renounce all reliance on it.

    It is absurd to expect to be enlightened by Reason, and at the same time to prescribe to her what side of the question she must adopt.” (Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason)

    1. Bob, the Fermi Paradox is a valid question to Mespo, considering his standard of proof for beliefs. Let’s hope he finds time to address it according to his worldview. Will he be consistent in how he treats it compared to the beliefs he denigrates?

  4. davidm, I totally agree. Not sure now how I misinterpreted, earlier, the first nine lines of Gilbert’s comment. Your critique is a homerun.

  5. The human animal has a need to manipulate and control others in order to feel secure. That agenda explains why the divine creation theory exists. Humans also have a need to understand how and why things happen. That desire explains why the theory of evolution was developed. Both needs are impossible to totally satisfy, but the quest to know and to control drives many to attempt to dominate others using the tools of religion and government. Nature is the way it IS, regardless of mankind’s understanding and beliefs about its origins. What is far more important is people finding ways to understand each other and to get along peacefully together while responsibly using and maintaining a clean environment that everyone needs to exists. Education which has these principles as its objectives is essential. Continuing to overpopulate and pollute the Earth while constantly fighting over whose theory of its beginning is the correct one is merely fiddling while the world burns. How it all began is basically irrelevant compared to the need to act NOW to recognize and mitigate the damage and potential destruction that Humanity is bringing upon itself.

    This is just my opinion, however. I’m sure at least 98% of everyone else here will disagree with me in one way or another.

    1. Tyger wrote: “The human animal has a need to manipulate and control others in order to feel secure. That agenda explains why the divine creation theory exists.”

      I don’t see the connection. How does a theory that posits an intelligent designer being responsible for the order of the universe facilitate the need to manipulate and control others? Our governments in the U.S. do not believe in the divine creation theory, but they are the most manipulative and controlling institutions we have.

      Also, there is not one single divine creation theory, just like there is not one single evolution theory.

      Tyger wrote: “Humans also have a need to understand how and why things happen. That desire explains why the theory of evolution was developed.”

      The desire to understand how and why things happen can easily be seen to explain the development of divine creation theories. What explains the theory of evolution is the need to understand how and why things happen without any reference to a divine creator. In other words, the need to establish atheism, to further humanism which makes man above all, that is what has led to theories of evolution. Most textbooks on evolution hammer home the idea that “primitive civilizations” reference God because they were too ignorant to understand what they were looking at. Now we know better, and we can explain it all through natural laws without any reference to God. If we can’t explain it, we will soon. Just wait for it.

      Tyger wrote:
      “How it all began is basically irrelevant compared to the need to act NOW to recognize and mitigate the damage and potential destruction that Humanity is bringing upon itself.”

      I think every creationist could agree that we need to be responsible stewards of the earth, and every evolutionist can agree with that too. The disagreement is about how serious the problem has become (whether the earth is burning at our hands, as in your Nero metaphor) and what steps are necessary for a clean environment. Personally, I like solar power and highly efficient cars and electronics. I guarantee you that my carbon footprint is much, much smaller than Al Gore’s. I am an environmentalist all the way, but also a creationist. Is there room for me in your world?

  6. Well said, Cumberdale. If there are stupid, too stupid to know they are stupid, can there be indoctrinated, too indoctrinated to know they are indoctrinated?

  7. “What is striking is the situation with people with less than high school education– 57% believe in a creationist version of human origin while only 10% believe in an evolution without any divine intervention. The biggest change in numbers appears to come with higher education. Once at the college level, only 27% believe that God created humans in their current image while 41% accept Darwin’s theory of evolution of humans.”

    When the “young skulls full of mush” as they are called reach college, they are indoctrinated by atheistic professors that have themselves been indoctrinated, and they are blindly taught evolutionism and they are not allowed to explore all the problems with the evolutionism theory. Since they are persuaded to believe that evolutionism is true, the percentages go up that actually believe in this nonsense.

    What I find particularly interesting is that there is a connection between the intellectual bankruptcy in evolutionism and the degree of protection from the elements that it is afforded. By protection of the elements, I of course mean how evolutionism is sheltered from public scrutiny and protected from students questioning the theory and examining all the problems such as a lack of evidence and contradicting theories as well as circular logic that make up the theory of evolutionism.

  8. smh it never ceases to amaze me that no matter how much truth you put in front of humans they will always choose the rose colored world. how humans came into being is known to many. the many that are not afraid of the truth.

    what does amaze is no less is how humans keep putting stock in numbers written by the same insiders who wrote and rewrote history to serve their own purpose. ex the story of noah and the ark the rest of the world perished by water but boy did that ark managed to survive not only survive but thrive with only a couple humans and hundreds of animals dangerous man eating animals but it survive and they managed to replenish the world yeahhhhhhh… right!!!!!

    polls are taken so that the elites know how to turn the worlds thinking patterns. wait till the next poll comes out and watch how the numbers change drastically to push peoples thinking into another direction

  9. Byron wrote: “How do you think the various species came to be?”

    Well, I think someone sat down and wrote the DNA code, which, for human, required so many pages that a legal-sized, four-drawer filing cabinet is needed to store them all. Of course, there are plenty of people that believe the code appeared ex nihilo, after fermentation in a tide pool somewhere. These are the same people who condescend and think some of us are still evolving.

  10. mespo wrote: “I will not denigrate the belief that we are guided best by our reason – no matter how flawed – than by the first century musings of people whose knowledge of the world would pale in comparison to that of most any bright seventh grader of today.”

    I also would not denigrate the idea that we are best guided by reason, although I certainly would draw the line at “no matter how flawed,” which would mean and include no capacity for reason at all, making you worse off than a pagan looking at the stars for guidance. Reason is a decision-making mechanism, the output of which is input dependent (shall we vote for Obama or look for a candidate in shallower waters downstream?). IOW, the outcome of your decision is valid only to the degree of accuracy of the data you act upon. Ninety percent of what people act upon today is propaganda, smoke and outright lies (if not emotion, alone), a consequence of corruption at every level of government and the economy (even including lack of individual integrity), making their decisions no more sound than a submarine with screen doors. They would all be better off relying on, instead, first-century musings. We vote to tear down a hospital, in one breath, and in another to build a new stadium because, well, we are victims of lies that do not bring jobs but only line the pockets of elites. Or we denegrate belief systems because, well, only ours matter. Tell us one belief or one profound decision you have made, and more than likely there are enough people to poke more valid holes in it than the number of times politicians lie.

  11. Chucky:

    I dont believe in holding on to knowledge, I believe in sharing it. I believe in expanding it. I also believe in patents and private property, something you have no concept of.

    The more knowledge out in the public domain, the better. It will improve the lives of human beings and one discovery sparks another and so on.

    “This is not true. I’m just not willing to give up hard-gained knowledge”

    I am called selfish by people like you because I believe a man should work for his supper if he is at all able to do so. Your statement is the most selfish thing I have ever read. You would hold onto knowledge so you can feel superior to other people? Now that is really twisted.

    According to DavidM above, you dont even know what you know. Well that is pretty much power for the course for liberals.

    You are a pretend intellectual if what DavidM says is correct and he is well read on many subjects and he does understand what he reads and is able to use the principles and information to form arguments of an abstract nature.

    You go ahead and hold on to that knowledge and feel superior all you want. Me, I’ll share what I know, make some money and maybe leave the world a little better when I exit.

    Actually, what I really like about civil engineering is soil and foundations because of the unknown elements. A building is formulaic to design, lateral forces, gravity forces need to be resisted and stress = p/a or Mc/I and that is basically what F = ma boils down to.

    That is the essence of structural engineering F = ma but the resisting internal force of the beam has to be greater.

    What do you do Chucky? Can you explain what you do in a couple of sentences? I bet DavidM can and so can Nick Spinelli. You probably denigrated both of them in your other incarnation here.

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