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Support for creation and evolution

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Support for creation and evolution varies widely according to country, religious beliefs, and other factors.

Support for creation is stronger in the United States than most if not all other countries, and this is also where the most polling has been done on the topic.

Contents

United States

Gallup polls were taken every few years from 1982, with the following results.[1][2][3][4]

Year[note 1] Naturalistic evolution God used evolution Creation Don't know
Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process. Humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process God created human beings pretty much in the present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.
1982 9% 38% 44% 9%
1993 11% 35% 47% 7%
1997 10% 39% 44% 7%
1999 9% 40% 47% 4%
2001 12% 37% 45% 5%
2004 13% 38% 45% 4%
2006 13% 36% 46% 5%
2007 14% 38% 43% 4%
2008 14% 36% 44% 5%
2010 16% 38% 40% 6%
2012 15% 32% 46% 7%
2014 19% 31% 42% 7%

A different Gallup poll was taken in the week before the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, with the following results:[5]

Do you, personally, believe in the theory of evolution, do you not believe in evolution, or don't you have an opinion either way?
Believe in evolution Do not believe in evolution No opinion either way No answer
39% 25% 36% 1%

Scientists

The 1997 Gallup poll also provided figures for scientists.[6]

Naturalistic evolution God used evolution Creation
55% 40% 5%

As there are around two million scientists in the United States[7], this is equivalent to there being approximately 100,000 scientists who believe that God created humans in pretty much their present form.

A 2009 Pew Poll found that 87% of scientists (members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) "think that humans, other living things have evolved due to natural processes", compared to 32% of the public.[8]

Both of these figures would have been for all types of scientists, including those of fields unrelated to biology and life sciences such as engineering and business administration.

A figure often quoted to show that support for creation amongst scientists in fields more relevant to evolution was published in Newsweek in 1987. This said that "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science...".[9] This is equivalent to 0.14% of earth and life scientists giving credence to creation science. However, Newsweek did not provide any details of the "count", such as how it was done, which means that the accuracy of this figure is unknown.

Of 207 scientists listed as supporting biblical creation on the web-site of Creation Ministries International,[10] 106, or 51%, have qualifications in earth or life sciences.

Doctors

A national survey in the United States of 1,472 physicians was conducted by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research in May 2005. This showed that 80% of respondents accepted evolution.[11][12]

God created humans exactly as they appear now. God initiated and guided an evolutionary process that has led to current human beings. Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement - no divinity played any role. I don't like to think about such matters
18% 42% 38% 2%

Britain

A 2009 ComRes poll[13] in Britain found that over half believe that evolution cannot explain the complex structures of some living things, and around a third believe that God created the world within the last 10,000 years.

evolution alone is not enough to explain the complex structures of some living things, so the intervention of a designer is needed at key stages
Agree Disagree Don't know
51% 40% 9%
God created the world sometime in the last 10,000 years.
Agree Disagree Don't know
32% 60% 8%

Australia

A survey by the Australian National University in 2000 found that about 45% of people doubted, or were not sure, if humans evolved via natural selection, compared to about 55% who thought this was definitely or probably true.[14]

A poll (by UMR Research) in 2004 reported in the Sydney Morning Herald found that 28% of people thought that "the Bible offers a more likely explanation of the origin of life than evolution", 43% favoured evolution, 12% opted for a mixture of both, and 17% were undecided "whether the earth was made in six days or billions of years".[15]

Notes

  1. Actual dates of polls:
    • 1982: January
    • 1993: 23rd to 26th June
    • 1997: 6th to 9th November
    • 1999: 24th to 26th August
    • 2001: 19th to 21st February
    • 2004: 7th to 10th November
    • 2006: 8th to 11th May
    • 2007: 10th to 13th May
    • 2008: 8th to 11th May
    • 2010: 10th to 12th December
    • 2012: 3rd to 6th May
    • 2014: 8th to 11th May

Bibliography

References

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