Charles Darwin's theory of
evolution is most accepted by those respondents who identify themselves
Most Americans do not accept the theory of evolution. Instead, 51 percent
of Americans say God created humans in their present form, and another three
in 10 say that while humans evolved, God guided the process. Just 15 percent
say humans evolved, and that God was not involved.
These views are similar to what they were in November 2004 shortly after the
This question on the origin of human beings, asked both this month and in November
2004, offered the public three alternatives: 1. Human beings evolved from less
advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this
process; 2. Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions
of years, but God guided this process; or 3. God created human beings in their
The results were not much different between the answers to that question and
those given when a specific timeline was included in the final alternative:
God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.
Americans most likely to believe in only evolution are liberals (36 percent),
those who rarely or never attend religious services (25 percent), and those
with a college degree or higher (24 percent).
White evangelicals (77 percent), weekly churchgoers (74 percent) and conservatives
(64 percent), are mostly likely to say God created humans in their present form.
Still, most Americans think it is possible to believe in both God and evolution.
Sixty-seven percent say this is possible, while 29 percent disagree. Most demographic
groups say it is possible to believe in both God and evolution, but just over
half of white evangelical Christians say it is not possible.
Opinions on this question are tied to one’s views on the origin of human
beings. Those who believe in evolution, whether guided by God or not, overwhelmingly
think it is possible to believe in both God and evolution – 90 percent
say this. However, people who believe God created humans in their present form
are more divided: 48 percent think it possible to believe in both God and evolution,
but the same number disagrees.
This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 808 adults, interviewed
by telephone October 3-5, 2005. The error due to sampling for results based on
the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points.