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SCIENCE / HEALTH -
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Majority of Americans Reject Theory of Evolution

Posted in the database on Wednesday, October 26th, 2005 @ 17:32:53 MST (965 views)
from CBS News  

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Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is most accepted by those respondents who identify themselves as liberal.

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 presidential election.

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 present form.

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.



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