New Pew Poll: 60 Percent of Americans Believe in Biological Evolution
A report from Pew Research's Religion and Public Life Project, "Public's Views on Human Evolution," finds that 60 percent of adult Americans believe that humans and other living things evolved over time while 33 percent say that they existed in their present forms since the beginning of time. Essentially there is no overall change since the last Pew poll on this topic back in 2009. One change, however, fewer Republicans now believe in evolution. From Pew:
There are sizable differences among partisan groups in beliefs about evolution. Republicans are less inclined than either Democrats or political independents to say that humans have evolved over time. Roughly two-thirds of Democrats (67%) and independents (65%) say that humans have evolved over time, compared with less than half of Republicans (43%).
The size of the gap between partisan groups has grown since 2009. Republicans are less inclined today than they were in 2009 to say that humans have evolved over time (43% today vs. 54% in 2009), while opinion among both Democrats and independents has remained about the same.
For more background see my article, "Are Republicans or Democrats More Anti-Science?"
The religious views of Americans have an impact on how they view evolution. From Pew:
A majority of white evangelical Protestants (64%) and half of black Protestants (50%) say that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. But in other large religious groups, a minority holds this view. In fact, nearly eight-in-ten white mainline Protestants (78%) say that humans and other living things have evolved over time. Three-quarters of the religiously unaffiliated (76%) and 68% of white non-Hispanic Catholics say the same. About half of Hispanic Catholics (53%) believe that humans have evolved over time, while 31% reject that idea.
While a majority of Americans think that biological evolution has taken place, a substantial proportion believe that the process has been guided by the Deity. From Pew:
Those saying that human evolution has evolved over time also were asked for their views on the processes responsible for evolution. Roughly a quarter of adults (24%) say that "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today," while about a third (32%) say that evolution is "due to natural processes such as natural selection."
For some background, see my reporting from the 2005 Creation Mega-Conference at Liberty University.