Public rejection of evolution and acceptance of creationism is not quite as much of a problem in Australia as it is in the United States, where nearly 50% of Americans say that humans were created by God directly in the last 10,000 years. But this result in a recent poll has me baffled:
A national survey reveals that one in eleven Australians do not believe in evolution — and three in eleven think that humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs. The survey, conducted by Auspoll for the Australian Academy of Science, was intended to assess the level of science literacy in Australia. The survey used the same questions as a previous poll of Australians conducted in 2010 and the California Academy of Sciences in 2009…
In the 2013 survey, 73% of respondents said that “The earliest humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs” (presumably “non-avian dinosaurs” was intended) was false while 27% said that it was true; “people with less education and older people” were the most likely to say that it was true. In 2010, 70% of respondents said that “The earliest humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs” was false while 30% said that it was true.
Also in 2013, 70% of respondents agreed that evolution is occurring, 10% said that it is not currently occurring, 9% said that they do not believe in evolution, and 12% were not sure; “men and people with higher education” were more likely to agree. In 2010, the figures were very similar, with 71% agreeing that evolution is occurring, 8% saying that evolution is not currently occurring, 10% rejecting evolution, and 11% unsure.
So 9% say they don’t accept evolution but 27% say they think humans lived alongside dinosaurs. Then I’m afraid 18% have no idea what they’re talking about. You can’t accept evolution and think that humans and dinosaurs lived together, not if you have any idea what evolutionary theory actually says. If human beings lived 65 million years ago, before any of their primate ancestors lived, then the theory of evolution has to be false.
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