A new Gallup poll surveying public opinion finds a slightly higher rate of acceptance of evolution in the United States over the years.
When people were asked “Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?” 38 percent of the respondents accepted “Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process.”
Sixteen percent accepted “Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.”
And 40 percent accepted “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.”
While four in 10 creationist Americans may seem like a lot, it’s down significantly from just a decade ago. The study noted that “the 40 percent of Americans who hold the ‘creationist’ view that God created humans as-is 10,000 years ago is the lowest in Gallup’s history of asking this question, and down from a high point of 47 percent in 1993 and 1999.”
Frank Newport, a spokesman for Gallup, noted in a press release that “Americans’ views on human origins vary significantly by level of education and religiosity. Those who are less educated are more likely to hold a creationist view. Those with college degrees and postgraduate education are more likely to hold one of the two viewpoints involving evolution.”
Though there was of course a strong correlation between religiosity and belief in creationism, the poll found that about a fourth of those who rarely or never attend church reject evolution. The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted with a random sample of 1,019 adults between Dec. 10 and 12.