Gallup Poll: 46% of Americans Are Creationists

According to a Gallup poll released today, 46% of Americans believe in Creationism, 32% of Americans believe in god-guided evolution, and 15% of Americans are actually right:

We are a country full of deluded people…

Not surprisingly, the less education you have, the more likely you are to believe in nonsense:

Americans with postgraduate education are most likely of all the educational groups to say humans evolved without God’s guidance, and least likely to say God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. The creationist viewpoint “wins” among Americans with less than a postgraduate education.

I love that “wins” is in quotation marks.

Also, to no one’s surprise, Republicans and frequent church-goers were more likely to think God poofed us into existence.

Gallup’s conclusion:

Despite the many changes that have taken place in American society and culture over the past 30 years, including new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no sustained change in Americans’ views of the origin of the human species since 1982

All in all, there is no evidence in this trend of a substantial movement toward a secular viewpoint on human origins.

almost half of Americans today hold a belief, at least as measured by this question wording, that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature.

Alright, readers from other countries. Mock us. We deserve it.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Marguerite

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is… nonexistent.

    Seriously, how on earth can this many Americans be this stupid? It boggles the mind. And frankly, it’s terrifying.

    • http://www.facebook.com/OldCharon Scott Bell

      I couldn’t agree more.  We live in a world where everyone believes in Santa Claus, and they kill for him.

    • Andrew Pang

       Think about how the younger generation is becoming more accepting of gay marriage and is walking away from religion/superstitious belief. If this poll covered people under 35 I wonder if the poll’s results for non-god-guided evolution would jump very high.

  • Onamission5

    I’m so freaking embarrassed for the educational state of my country.

    *hangs head and shuffles away*

    • Good and Godless

      You consolation is that “some college” and “sub-high school” eduction is not really the result of a full education, but still like you I am “freaking embarrassed” too. 

      Especially with the European state religions that drove our idolized forefathers to escape fading away from theology so much faster.

      • Onamission5

        Here I fall into the “some college” category, as well as the “raised by YEC fundies” one, yet, I have the capacity to comprehend that there is no way ancient herdsmen and fortune tellers had more of a handle on the facts regarding our origins than people who actually study this shit for a living.

        Which is why it boggles my mind. I am not particularly well educated, I grew up religious, isolated and poor in a bad school district, and I can still tell a reasonable explanation from a damn lie when it’s required of me. 

        • Maya Kulik

          Same here!
          My late mom was fairly open-minded, but I believe feared hell.
          Dad is a deacon at an episcopal church, and gets weirdly fundie as time passes.
          Three of us kids are atheist with a Buddhist and an Unitarian who is sort of Christian.
          We all get along great until dad makes some asinine anti-gay remark.

          • amycas

             ^^^Sort of like my family, except with my mom.

  • Good and Godless

    This is “Why” facts are not subject to a vote.

  • judith sanders

    Now, can we get a breakdown on what Creationists do for a living?  I’m curious because there was a story on NPR yesterday with an interview with a pastor who had been out of work for a long time because his church closed.  Apparently this guy had no Plan B, and did not use any of his down time to develop any new skills.  

    • Guest

       Small sample size for you but I’m a creationist. I used to work at a church but currently work as a paralegal at a law firm. I’m going back to school to get my master’s and hopefully doctorate in counseling and psychology.

      • matt

         What type of creationist? Do you believe in a young earth?

        • Guest

           I do believe in a young earth and also mature creation. That when God created trees for example, some of them would have been fully grown. And humans, I believe Adam and Eve were created as mature beings; adults.

          • Davidbagheri

            Really?  But even the Pope has now said that Adam and Eve did not really exist.  I know belief comes from “faith,” but c’mon, don’t you need at least one little iota of evidence before plunging headfirst in the faithpool?  And don’t get me started about your belief of “young earth.”  How can you possibly “believe” something that has been so massively disproven by the proof of the earth’s real age, which is at least 4 billion years?  What you call belief, I call complete, stubborn, DENIAL.  And as you know, the first step is admitting …. but alas … you are not nearly alone.  Unbelievably sad and surely the result of strict childhood indoctrination.   

            • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

              David, the Pope is not seen as an authority of any sort by many (most?) American evangelicals. There’s still that whole Protestant-Catholic thing.

              Also, arriving at Creationism as a worldview doesn’t just come from strict childhood indoctrination. Human beings are generally crap at critical thinking. We can easily be persuaded, and when you have a charismatic leader doing the persuading…well, you know the results.

            • Guest

               I didn’t know that about the Pope, I’m not catholic but that’s interesting.

              There’s a variety of Christian scientists and apologists making astute arguments for creationism, from which I would draw my one iota of evidence. Check out Tim Keller (I would challenge you to read The Reason For God), Ravi Zacharias and Allister McGrath to name a few.  While the earth’s age is a dynamic and important topic, at the end of the day whether or not my front yard is 4 billion years old doesn’t really answer my more begging questions of origin, meaning, my morality and my destiny. I don’t have all the answers but not believing in who Jesus is what he has done leaves too many of those questions unanswered.

              • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

                Well here’s the thing, Guest. We aren’t entitled to answers to everything. The argument you’re essentially making is “otherwise my questions would be unanswered therefore Jesus.” I get that you’re smart enough to see the complete absence of logic in that position.

                By the by, the earth’s age is not at all a dynamic topic. It’s been settled for a while now, scientifically. Keller’s rhetorical legerdemain doesn’t change the properties of chemical elements.

                • Guest

                   Like I said, by no means am I claiming the answers to everything. 

                  Nor am I saying “otherwise my questions would be unanswered therefore Jesus” in the same way that you might not say “otherwise my questions would be unanswered therefore science.”

                  I am saying Jesus offers the best way to live and the most consistency in regards to those 4 questions of human life.

                • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

                  You’re trying to change your argument here. I quote: “I don’t have all the answers but not believing in who Jesus is what he has done leaves too many of those questions unanswered.”

                  Right there you’ve argued that not believing in Jesus leaves your questions unanswered.

                  So your questions remain unanswered. So what? That doesn’t automagically make Jesus and his Very Jealous Dad worth believing in.

                • Guest

                   Some of them sure. It’s called faith for a reason. No one has all the answers but again, in regards to origin, morality, meaning and destiny,  Jesus and Christianity explain those with the most consistency. Jesus never said “the earth is 4 billion years old” nor did he say “the earth is 10,000 years old” I understand what I can from Scripture regarding that. But Jesus does explain where I came from, who I am, what I’m here for, why I do what I do and what’s after this life. But even that isn’t the main reason I believe in Jesus. It’s because I’m a selfish messed up person deserving the judgement of God. But Jesus took the wrath of God for me so that I didn’t have to.  I owe my life to that.

                • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

                  While I understand that you’re looking for comfort in religion, all of your assumptions regarding Jesus and your god are completely devoid of evidence. And that’s probably why you ignore the lack of evidence – if you did, you wouldn’t have the comfort of religion.

                  And so it goes.

                • Guest

                  I wish following Jesus was comfortable. But there’s more to it than that.

                • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

                  If you say so, Guest. It’s heavily lacking in evidence, however.

                • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

                  But even that isn’t the main reason I believe in Jesus. It’s because I’m a selfish messed up person deserving the judgement of God. But Jesus took the wrath of God for me so that I didn’t have to.

                  And that right there is the crux of the horror of Christianity. I just find it so terribly sad that innocent children are taught to believe such awful things.

                  You were taught that you are inherently bad, broken, “sinful,” etc. and that you are deserving of the wrath of a god, of condemnation and judgment and eternal torture. I just find that so sick and twisted.  Christianity seems to be all about trying to rob people of their self-esteem and any claim to inherent goodness or wholeness.

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                You can believe in God and accept the fact that we are more closely related to chimps than chimps are to gorillas.  Francis Collins, e.g., would tell you that.

          • Patterrssonn

            I believe that god created the universe intact, including all our memories, 15 seconds ago. If you look into your heart you will see that this is so.

    • Onamission5

      My parents are YEC. Both retired now, but my mom was a property assessor and my stepdad worked in the timber industry. 

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    If the Bible stated that the moon was made out of green cheese, then there would be at least 20% of the American population who’d believe it.

  • http://twitter.com/markdturner Mark Turner

    Surely a (relative) quick fix for this is a better educational system? I’m not the product of a US education, but when evolution is taught in school? How old are the students when it is introduced? And where do all these people finds jobs?! I’d have serious misgivings about hiring anyone who is in such denial of the truth.

    All I can say is that in the UK evolution isn’t explicitly highlighted in the context of a single lesson, it’s pretty much the entire context of everything you learn about biology for a full 5 years between ages 11-16. I remember having one lesson where we had the story of Darwin’s expedition to the Galapagos Islands, but other than that almost every topic for 5 years in some way relates to evolutionary theory.

    We have occasional creationist attempts to influence the lessons schools teach. My Mother is head of Science at a secondary school and has taught Biology and Chemistry for over thirty years, and she sometimes gets sent mysterious gifts of teaching materials and DVDs from creationist groups. There are fairly hefty laws in place to prevent the reach of these groups so aside from the 30 seconds it takes to open the mail, and then put it in the bin – it really isn’t much of an issue.

    • jdm8

      Unfortunately, I don’t think it is a quick fix at all.  Educational standards are such a touchy subject, and are a major struggle.  Adult creationists don’t want their children even exposed to the theory of evolution in school, never mind clear explanations of what it really is and how it works.  If they can’t stop the lesson plan, they’ll try to water down said lesson plan such that it isn’t communicated well. Educators try to shy away from it because they don’t want to deal with those parents.

      • Thalfon

        We also keep hearing about science teachers in the grade levels at which evolution should be taught who themselves insist it isn’t true. They’ll either just not teach it, or actually inform the kids that they’re forced to teach it but it’s a lie, or pull the “teach the controversy” nonsense. We can’t really blame the youth here when some of the educators themselves are so ignorant of the science.

    • Stev84

      It’s not a quick fix at all because the morons who set the education standards are elected and don’t really have to have any sort of qualifications for their jobs. Infiltrating the school boards is the Religious Right’s easiest way to control the country. It’s very easy to do and produced success for them relatively quickly without drawing too much attention to them.

      Also private schools in the US are not held to any standards either. They can basically do whatever they want and no one cares. If someone did try something, they’d be lynched by the religious mob

      • B_R_Deadite99

         Just like the private school I spent junior high in. Our seventh-grade science teacher didn’t even go into evolution, or even define it in class; we just skipped the chapters on geology and biology and went our merry way into the realm of Cherry-Picking, where Cretinism has equal footing with fact for obvious reasons.

    • MV

       Better education in evolution won’t solve the problem.  According to the poll, 78% of the US population believes in some form of creationism.  That means that they reject scientific fact in favor of  belief.  You really can’t be Christian and accept evolution.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dwightwelch Dwight Welch

        I’m a Christian who accepts evolution

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        The world is full of Christians who accept evolution. The strong creationist showing is a peculiarly American phenomenon. In part, it’s because Christian fundamentalism is so rampant in the U.S. Any Christian who is not a fundamentalist (which describes most of those outside the U.S.) can easily accept all the things about nature that modern science teaches us. Biblical literalism is the intellectual cancer.

      • Genexs

         And I’m Pagan and accept evolution. I don’t know if there are any numbers on this, but my strong subjective impression is that the vast majority of modern Pagans are not challenged by science.

        I know there are plenty of Christians out there who’s minds don’t go into a tailspin at the image of a microscope or telescope. Would this not be some common ground for us?

    • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

      It’s an incredibly difficult fix. The education system in the U.S. is amongst the worst in the world. And it’s this way for the same reason that we have so many other problems: states’ rights. When the country was formed, a series of compromises were agreed upon which granted a lot of autonomy to the individual states. Today, this is biting us on our collective asses in a big way. Amongst other things, it means there is almost no way to put central educational standards in place, and no way to provide uniform funding to schools. Virtually every other developed country has a national education system. The U.S. does not, and implementing one is practically impossible given the limitations of the Constitution.

      There are thousands of school districts, each with their own standards, their own local funding, their own assessments, and their own way of doing things. Look how often this forum describes some school fighting over prayer or posting the Ten Commandments. How serious do you think any of those schools are about teaching evolution, or any sort of critical thinking at all?

      • Stev84

        It would be a big step forward if a single state had uniform standards, but they can’t even get that right. Local school boards just have way too much power. It’s one thing to let them decide how to spend funds so that they can respond to local conditions. But individual school districts should have no say whatsoever over the core curriculum.

  • Jay Q

    This is more than just the “poor educational state” of your country. This has to do with general intelligence as well. IMO, an intelligent person, with or without higher education, should be able to see the flaws in creationism. Why aren’t these people showing up in the survey?

    Also, 67% of the well educated believe God had her hand in creation. So two thirds of college graduates, despite their higher educations, still believe in general terms, that “God did it”.

    To me, this shows that their is a distinct lack of critical thinking nurtured at a young age in the US, plus of course, horrid child indoctrination that is a stain that is difficult to wash off, even after a “good” education.

    • watchemoket

      I have to admit that your second  point is what scares me the most.  Among college educated adults in this country, 46 – 47% are “Young Earth” believers!! I am completely baffled at how anyone can earn a college degree (well, some did) and still cling to what is so obviously false.

      Of course, we do have quite a few “Christian” colleges, as well as many Jesuit and other Catholic colleges, where science apparently is  subject to litmus tests based on their ‘understanding’ of the Bible. 

      And then there is this: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/646072-update-how-christian-fundamentalists-plan-to-teach-genocide-to-schoolchildren 
      Get ‘em while they’re young and fill ‘em full of “God” – yessiree!

      • Dbaker13

        I spent a while chatting with a biologist at my university in Arkansas. He said he guessed at LEAST a third of biology majors didn’t believe in evolution.

        I’m ashamed of this place.

    • Canadian Atheist, eh!

      I see it, frankly, not as a matter of intelligence but of arrogance. You’ve got a culture that glorifies individualism and far overvalues the merits of having your own beliefs — whatever they are. It seems more important to Americans just to have a belief than that that belief have any correspondence with reality. From the outside, it’s bizarre.

      I mean, the phenomenon is not necessarily unique to the US, just way more pervasive.

    • nnmns

      It certainly reflects poorly on us.  I have a hypothesis that way too many HS biology teachers also don’t believe in evolution.  And of course in some places if you really teach it you may be putting your career at risk; especially in places that get rid of tenure, as politicians in my state are trying to do.

  • Rolf Obermaier

    I have always admired the United States, because your defense of the individual freedom, the greatness of American history and the American people. But I shudder when I think of the path chosen by some of your leaders and a large part of the population towards obscurantism and religious fanaticism.  I passionately wish this will change in the short term, for the sake of your great country.

  • Markyjt

    PMSL. Does that correspond to literacy rates, average IQ, number of macdonalds on each block, weight…

  • Ken

    I am always amazed at the demands for equal time for Creationism.  How long does it take to say “God magically created everything, and the Bible says so” then move on to evolution, which has considerably more substantiation. And still we get these kinds of numbers?  It’s tragic.  On one side are reams of supporting documentation and information.  On the other side is a couple pages of magical thinking and zero support, and we’re still losing?  Maybe there is a God, and he just wants us all to be stupid.  Oh, the shame, the shame of it all.

  • http://twitter.com/moother moother

    reader from other country here (netherlands to be precise)

    whenever i mock you guys you always say, “not all of us are like that,” or something like, “you don’t even capitalise so you’re an idiot too.”

    i don’t think that you are a nation of deluded people…, every nation is deluded to a large degree… you are just a nation of idiots, fools and morans!

  • Tim

    Hemant.

    I can mock your country if you want me too (from the UK), but it is clear that Americans are not stupid (or at least no more stupid than other people).  I don’t think that your education system is too bad either (although some countries do better, plenty do worse) 

    I suspect that the reason the US belives this stuff is simply because a) you are more religious than most of the rest of the West, and b) you have a type of religion that makes this an issue.  Most religious people in the UK do not make creationism an issue. 

    The weird thing about America seems to be that essentially the only people who think evulution is true are those who are atheists.  There just isn’t such a strong link in the UK.  Perhaps there was 100 years ago, but not now.

    • cipher

       but it is clear that Americans are not stupid

      How is that clear?

  • Gus Snarp

    This just makes me so sad. I really just don’t understand my fellow Americans sometimes.

  • KarlVonMox

    Unbelievably sad. It doesn’t help that our education system sucks, and these same creationists are trying to undermine it by putting nonsense in textbooks.  The only way to move things in a more secular direction is to reform education and make sure children are actually learning critical thinking, science, etc.

  • OverlappingMagisteria

    I’m not quite as pessimistic about the the 15% stat. Altogether, 47% believe in some kind of evolution,  and though there is still a lot of room for improvement, it is not surprising that a lot of people will believe in God guided evolution. Theists will believe that God guided EVERYTHING down to how a leaf falls, so I think this is more of a reflection of God-belief than in the understanding of evolution. It’s interesting that the 15% statistic is very close to the percentage of non-religious. I’d bet that it will rise as more people flee from religion (as per current trends.)

    Though 43% creationists is something to worry about.

    • MV

       I’m sorry, but you don’t understand the definition of evolution.  It’s likely that most of the 32% doesn’t either.  God guided “evolution” is called creationism.  Sure, it might not be YEC but rather OEC, ID, etc., but it is still creationism.

  • Patterrssonn

    You can mock us Canadians too, our minister for science and technology is a creationist chiropractor

    • T-Rex

      Ohhhhhh! Snap!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arthur-Bryne/100002441143047 Arthur Bryne

    Odd that six points shifted from “guided” to “created” since the last time they surveyed. That’s kind of a significant jump, relative to the ±4% confidence interval.

    Looking at the methodology shows survey data were collected May 10-13. Checking the news, May 9 was when Obama announced his adjusted stance on gay marriage. I wonder how much of the shift is a result of people having been primed by significant current events to a more religious mode of thinking — not to mention a few more reflexive chants of “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

    I’m hoping this (or something similar) is the cause for the not-inconsiderable kink in the trendline.

  • Denis Robert

    Maybe we need to pull the plug on the U.S.: there’s no brain activity left, it would seem. 

  • Joan

    For me, personally, I would want another choice:  “Humans evolved, and it is completely irrelevant to me whether any god or gods, living or dead, had any part in the process.”  (Guess I’m an agnostic.  I could entertain the possibility that a god or gods put things in motion and let it go from there.  I’m not saying that’s likely, but I guess I’m not quite comfortable stating without a doubt that god/gods “had no part in process.”)  OK, you guys can all call me an idiot now. :-)

    • Anon.

      Atheism doesn’t mean you reject the possibility of a god.  It just means you don’t have any proof.

      Agnosticism is a trap.

  • Tim

    In my district (12) here in north Texas, all four Republicans running in the State Board of Education primary were creationists, including one who was outspokenly a young earth creationist. The 3rd and 4th place candidates at least thought their creationism should be kept out of public schools, but, not finishing in the top 2, they are no longer in the picture. 

    There were a total of about 70,000 votes cast from 481 precincts (about 146 people per precinct). With such low turnout, you don’t need to convince the general populous to vote for you; you only need to organize the people who already support you. Once you control the Texas SBoE, you control the content of textbooks and the curriculum used in public schools. As has been widely reported, Texas textbooks also influence the rest of the country as well. 

    Want to make more creationists? Indoctrinate the children and control what they are taught. Say what you want about the religious right, but they play the game with frightening savvy.

    • Stev84

      School board elections of the type practiced in America are really a gigantic flaw. Also because the people who get elected don’t need to have any qualifications for the job. It’s the perfect breeding ground for a low-level theocracy.

      • Sstx70

         This is so true. I also live in Texas and the SBoE is a joke! the majority of them are creationists and their choices on textbooks and curriculum standards have ramification for the whole US. The fact that most of these people have no background in education or even in the subjects they are  tasked with setting standards for is appalling. Scientists and historians and the like put forth the recommendations for curriculum but then the Board has the power to reject those recommendations and go forward with their own theocratic agenda!
        I’m not sure how local state school boards are allowed to get away with it. what exactly is the Department of Education doing and what is it for if it just allows for the blatant disregard for the separation of church and state to go unchecked!?

        • David

          I teach a college level course in Science and Religion. The majority of my students were new earth creationists at the beginning of the course. They knew next to nothing about evolution. The students tell me that their HS biology teachers either didn’t believe in evolution or were too afraid of controversy and just avoided the whole subject. I had the students read Origin of Species and some contemporary updates to evolutionary thought. They also had to read creationist and intelligent design literature. By the end of this process, the majority of the students realized that creationism and ID had serious flaws and came to some sort of position that accomodated evolution into their religious beliefs. I came to think that the persistence. of creationism reflects complete ignorance more than anything else. 

          BTW, if you compare acceptance of evolution between countries, you will see that the US is TOTALLY out of step with all other developed counties. We have more in common with conservative Muslim countries like Saudi or Libya. 

  • Pedro Lemos

    I wish I could mock you Hemant… but if they made that poll here in Brazil, I´ll bet the results would be like, 95% of us believe in creationism or a guided evolution…

  • fred

    It’s the 15% that are deluded, and should be mocked.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      I know, right?! How absurd can that 15% get, taking scientific evidence over utter horseshit?

    • Baby_Raptor

      Yup. Mock those of us who like facts. Making shit up is the new truth!

  • MariaO

    This is a true stury: A wise old professor of geology in Uppsala was teaching a class of people from an African country that had come to us for a year to learn how to lessen the destruction of agriculturally useful land in their home country. Part of the course was on evolution. The students protested: you cannot ask us beleive that, it is against our religion! The professor calmly answered:
    “I do not care if you beleive it or not. But if you do not learn it you will not pass the examination.”
    He had no further troubles – his pupils accepted to learn it as a crazy European myth, as long as they did not have to say it was true.
    Could something similar be done in “creationist country”?

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      Maria the issue here isn’t just over knowledge or curriculum. This is a huge battle between VALUES. Creationists form the core of the U.S. Religious Right, who positively crave absolute authority over social values. They’re bloody-minded, and are willing to build their cause brick-by-brick, over the very long haul. The Religious Right is like the Terminator: “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel
      pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until
      you are dead.”

    • Baby_Raptor

      The problem with that is, the Christians would still whine about their rights being violated. They think they have the right to not even hear things that challenge their fragile beliefs.

      The rest of us, who maybe don’t want to hear Creationism, because we prefer facts for our beliefs? We’re screwed.

  • T-Rex

    I hope most of those delusional idiots are located and staying put in the Bible belt so as not to spread their ignorance. This is just flat out depressing news.

  • CanadianNihilist

    I know I say it a lot but, education is clearly the answer to this problem. More money needs to be spent funding schools that teach real science. Postgraduate schools also need to be more accessible to people.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      Hello fellow Canadian! :-)

      I fear I must disagree, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned. This isn’t a question of education, it’s a question of values and culture. Until the Creationists/Religious Right are completely marginalized in the U.S., they will continue to fight tooth-and-nail to establish their authority on social values in the United States, which includes taking control of education, women’s rights (there won’t be any), health care and every social institution you can name under the sun.

      I don’t think the solution is to quietly educate. I think there has to be a pushback of continually growing proportions, a vilifying of religion in politics, in a manner that is as bloody-minded and unwavering as that of the theists.

      • Nolamama10

        Canadian living in the US here: lots of well educated people here continue to reject evolution. I work with several geologists who are religious… I wonder how they integrate the age of the rocks they study with the age of the earth. I would note that the educational ‘standards’ here seem to be all over the map.

        • Stev84

          It’s really only a problem for people who take the Bible literally and think it’s flawless. That kind of insanity is extremely widespread in the US, but it’s not an integral part of Christianity as a whole

    • Timatter

      Here is a survey of preachers.  Supposedly educated, but still 3/4 reject evolution and 1/2 think the Earth is 6000 years old.  http://bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=36917 

      • nnmns

        I think we may reasonably assume some preachers are decently educated but a lot of them went to a Bible College and got, at best, a very limited and slanted education.  In fact the fundamentalists among them almost have to disbelieve in evolution.

  • BdrLen

    The link between education and faith is very clear in this study. Also it would seem that people who are religious are becoming more religious.

  • http://twitter.com/LynnFDR LynnFDR

    The religious viewpoint is about nothing but pride.  Man conceives of a god which then creates man in the god’s image – pride.

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    One of the interesting things about this is that there’s a clear increase in the fraction of people who accept evolution with no divine intervention. But the YEC numbers remain constant, so there’s a shift in people who from believing in divinely guided evolution to just evolution. 

    Also, another thing to note is that CBS has done some similar polls http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500160_162-965223.html . For reasons I don’t understand they routinely get slightly larger percentages of YECs. But the Gallup numbers are closer than the CBS numbers to what other data sets suggest. 

    There are some patterns in the broader data set, and most of it is about what you would expect. For example, around 60% of Republicans are Young Earth Creationists while a little under 40% of Democrats are Young Earth Creationists. http://www.gallup.com/poll/108226/Republicans-Democrats-Differ-Creationism.aspx . The political breakdown has not changed much in the last few years. But one shouldn’t take away from this that Republicans are ignorant or bad about science as a whole. If one isn’t using questions about evolution or the age of the Earth then Republicans and Democrats look pretty similar, with Republicans by some metrics having slightly better numbers.  You see a similar pattern when one looks at self-identified conservatives v. self-identified liberals. See http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/03/the-republican-fluency-with-science/ and http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2011/03/republicans-are-more-scientifically.html which both look at GSS data for science questions. One thing that is clear from both that data and others is that in the US, the self-identified political moderates are often the least knowledgeable about science. 

  • Biggs

    OK, so a correlation was found between education and personal beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they are related.  For example a strong correlation has been found between thumb size and complexity of vocabulary.  So are thumbs somehow effecting the number of big words we have bouncing around our noggins? Not even sort of. They both happen to share a correlation with a different element: age.  I’m not claiming belief and education aren’t related.  But seriously, making a claim off of one study suggests the lower echelons of educated groups.  If you’re going to make a claim off of data there better be more than just the results–I want to see numbers polled, demographics, etc.  Then maybe I’ll take this seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Wolf/100002044553558 Mary Wolf

    Just to give you one example, my 14 yo twins will be studying evolution for the next 3 weeks in their freshman year science class in their Connecticut public school.  They studied evolution briefly in the 7th grade (public school) while we were living in Michigan.  It seems to depend on the culture and socio-economic makeup of the locale that determines whether evolution will or will not be taught. 

    I still believe that if you were to give truth serum to the 46% who claim believe in creationism many of them would change their claim to an acceptance of evolution as fact.  I think many of these people are saying what their religion requires them to say, in other words, they are “testifying for the Lord.”  The Lord is always watching, you know.

  • Hibernia86

    Well, at least the rational side is growing (very very slowly)

    *sigh*

  • Hibernia86

    I grew up in rural Virginia. In 7th grade I had a teacher who I think personally believed in evolution, but at the beginning of the section he said that he was teaching them what the theory was, not telling them what to believe. I was so scared that some parent was going to go into a rage that he had to add disclaimers to his science teaching.

  • Ndonnan

    Do you have any idea how absurd evolution is.Science Ha all looking at rocks and making up stories about what this creature was thinking,and you mock creation. 

    • http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com/ Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

      Ndonnan, please intelligently ponder  real evolution by Googling http://www.pandasthumb.com 

    • Timatter

      Ndonnan- You might not realize it, but you just proved the point about the less educated believing in creationism.  Your grammar is barely readable.

      • Ndonnan

        Wow thats original,which proves my point,youve got nothing,plus you can hardly read

  • http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com/ Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

       Lamberth’s the atelic/teleonomic argument belies God-directed evolution,that oxy-moronic obfuscation, in that as science finds no divine intent behind natural phenomena, then He does not have the power to be the Creator, Designer and so forth and thus cannot exist as Himself with intent, He cannot exist! Without those referents, He perforce cannot exist! Having incoherent, contradictory attributes, again He cannot exist!  Violating the Ockham by having convoluted, ad hoc assumptions, He is a useless redundancy, despite Alister Earl McGrath. In sum, He cannot pass Lamberth’s ignostic-Ockham challenge [argument]!
       Hemant and others,my arguments explicitly makes what we otherwise implicitly state. Please use it to substantiate in brief why He cannot possibly exist!
       Hemant, should you have the time, please vet my arguments in my blogs that one can  find Googling lamberth’s naturalistic arguments about God and also skeptic griggsy.
       Please overlook the prolix!
       That 15 % must be atheists,agnostics or isteists – higher power but not God. Paul Draper is an isteist.

      Carneades-Hume  blogspot. Lord Griggs wordpress 
      Leucippus, Democritus, Kant, Hume
     

  • johhn

    Does anybody think it is accurate to say that if 46% of about 1000 people say they believe in creationism, the 46% of the 350 or so million Americans believe in creationism?????  I think their logic is flawed and this studies’ conclusion is invalid.  I do not believe that 46% of Americans believe this…..?????????????

    • Curiosity

      It’s called a confidence interval. If the sample size is large enough and randomly selected from the population, it is able to predict trends with a very small margin of error. For a sample size of 1000, the margin of error is about +/- 3%.

      As we increase the sample size, the costs of polling go up linearly but the gains go down exponentially (you can find the equation online, I don’t remember it off the top of my head). That is the reason why pollsters usually cap the sample size at 1000 – it gives them a reasonable margin of error while minimizing the costs of polling.

  • http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com/ Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

    My gnu atheism is anti-theism: no God exists! By analysis, not by dogma, we atheists can state that God cannot exist. We need then not to travel the Cosmos nor have omniscience ourselves to maintain that! After eons,without ever putting forth any substantiated argument for Him, then in line with Charles Moore’s auto-epistemic rule and with Victor Stenger, where mountains of evidence should exist and no does, then indeed evidence of absence is absence of evidence, and no argument from ignorance! God then is like the perpetual motion machine and square circle and married bachelors! We no more need Him than we need demons and gremlins as the Aquinas’s Primary Cause and  Leibniz,s Ultimate Explanation!
    Be then a strong -postive atheist-anti-theist!
     Google the presumption of naturalism, the problem of Heaven, the atelic/teleonomic argument, the argument from pareidolia and the reduced animism one.

  • http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com/ Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

    My gnu atheism is anti-theism: no God exists! By analysis, not by dogma, we atheists can state that God cannot exist. We need then not to travel the Cosmos nor have omniscience ourselves to maintain that! After eons,without ever putting forth any substantiated argument for Him, then in line with Charles Moore’s auto-epistemic rule and with Victor Stenger, where mountains of evidence should exist and no does, then indeed evidence of absence is absence of evidence, and no argument from ignorance! God then is like the perpetual motion machine and square circle and married bachelors! We no more need Him than we need demons and gremlins as the Aquinas’s Primary Cause and  Leibniz,s Ultimate Explanation!
    Be then a strong -postive atheist-anti-theist!
     Google the presumption of naturalism, the problem of Heaven, the atelic/teleonomic argument, the argument from pareidolia and the reduced animism one.

  • http://fathergriggs.wordpress.com/ Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth

    My gnu atheism is anti-theism: no God exists! By analysis, not by dogma, we atheists can state that God cannot exist. We need then not to travel the Cosmos nor have omniscience ourselves to maintain that! After eons,without ever putting forth any substantiated argument for Him, then in line with Charles Moore’s auto-epistemic rule and with Victor Stenger, where mountains of evidence should exist and no does, then indeed evidence of absence is absence of evidence, and no argument from ignorance! God then is like the perpetual motion machine and square circle and married bachelors! We no more need Him than we need demons and gremlins as the Aquinas’s Primary Cause and  Leibniz,s Ultimate Explanation!
    Be then a strong -postive atheist-anti-theist!
     Google the presumption of naturalism, the problem of Heaven, the atelic/teleonomic argument, the argument from pareidolia and the reduced animism one.

  • Timatter

    There is hope on the horizon.  The next generation is growing up being able to fact check religious claims because of the internet, and many are figuring out who is lying to them.  Having been repeatedly told that Christianity and evolution are incompatable, when they figure out that evolution is true, they naturally conclude that Christianity is not.  It didn’t have to be that way, but they refuse to see they are on the losing side and keep insisting people choose one or the other.  “The internet.  Where religions come to die. – Thunderf00t” 

    • zagamaphatoadis

      I fall into this category, I was raised a young earth creationist by my dad, As I grew older I realized that the theory was full of inconsistencies and didn’t fit with the facts. Once I realized that evolution actually was true and not a false theory spread by an Atheist conspiracy, I realized that if that much of the bible was false, What reason was there to take the rest of it as inerrent?

  • Danman

    Science: knowledge–as to facts, phenomena, and cause. Gained and verified by organized experiment, exact observation, and correct thinking.
    Please tell how (macro) evolution can be science? It has not been observed and therefore falls in the realm of faith. http://www.creationscience.com
    The more education one has the more indoctrination in evolution one has. it is very elementary. since the universities vet the profs to be of a certain mindset, what you get (liberals and atheists) is exactly what I would expect.
    if you presented ALL of the evidence in a university setting the results will necessarily point to intelligent design and creationism

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      There is no such thing as ‘macro evolution’.  There’s just ‘evolution’.  What ID calls ‘macro evolution’ is just evolution over longer time periods.

      Most scientific theories can’t be ‘observed’.  We can’t see neutrons and protons, let alone electrons, but nobody disputes the nuclear theory.

      Every single living thing on this planet has a DNA code that can be compared to any other living thing on this planet.  DNA replication includes errors at a generally regular rate.  In this way we can compare the DNA of any two living things and obtain a fairly accurate approximation as to their earliest common ancestor.  The DNA of all living things is a clear record of the gradual changes that have separated us over billions of years.  Cats don’t turn into dogs.  Or ducks into crocodiles.  But common ancestors do evolve into both.

      intelligent design is not even a hypothesis.  It presents no explanation has to how anything happened other than ‘design’.  Design by what?  Who?  How? So what ‘evidence’ for ID would you present?  There is none.  ID is nothing but debunked ‘evidence’ against evolution.  There’s nothing wrong with a science course presenting attempts to falsify a theory.  That’s what science does.  But that doesn’t create some new science of  “Not Evolution”.

      At least various creation stories propose how things happened.  Pretty ridiculous ways that are flat out obviously wrong, but at least they make a claim.

      • Danman

        Macroevolution-from goo to you by way of the zoo. No evidence.
        But a fairy tale.
        Microevolution-seen all the time as adaptation within a kind-which is what Darwin saw with the finches.
        Commonality in segments of the DNA point to a smart creator who would use similar design for a similar environment (earth–which happens to be in a goldilocks zone for all of it’s inhabitants).
        funny that the coelacanth fish did not change even after millions of years (and could have been used in that whale to man evidence by some modern ‘scientist’ until a new and better ‘theory de jour’ came along.

        • Ndonnan

          Yep what passes for “science” these days really is fairytales.The fossils of the creatures still around today are still the same,despite being”millions of years old”.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Yeah, all those horse fossils 
            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html
            are actually rabbits…

            http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v14/n1/horse 

            adaptation within a kind

            Not that anyone can provide any kind of definition of a ‘kind’.

            Commonality in segments of the DNA point to a smart creator

            Like ERVs?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh7OclPDN_s

            Or the appendix, or tailbone?

            funny that the coelacanth fish did not change even after millions of years

            Right, because because an intelligent creator made something half baked.  Or everything must change.  Or, what?

        • cipher

           No evidence. But a fairy tale.

          You mean like the stories in your “holy” book?

  • Scarlett

    “46% of Americans believe in Creationism, 32% of Americans believe in god-guided evolution, and 15% of Americans are actually right”
    I’m not (but I know other christians are) trying to say that the 15% above are wrong, but you can’t say that the 32% are wrong (because you can’t prove it)

    And neither can I prove that they are right, because I can’t prove it.

    Point is, believing in a god (of any kind) is nothing that can be proven right, and it is not destructive (or any other thing christians are accused of, rightfully or not) by default, but will be used as an excuse (for descriminating behaviour as an example) by those who hold those “grudges” (regardless weather they hold them by themselves or indoctrinated by anyone else).

    Most of the time I’d say religion isn’t the source of the bad thing, but the justification (someone CLAIM something to be “of god”)

    Also what is to say that a person who beleaves in a god AND evolution would be less informed?

  • Jakeandleslie

    It would be worth everyone’s time to view the movie by Ben Stein “Expelled” discussing Intelligent Design”. This is the position of many scientists who fail to see how evolution can explain the origin of existence itself and explain all life. I enjoyed the film and show it to my students in class. Evolution explains change over time, within species but is quite weak in explaining the formation of different species. No matter what your opinion, take the time to view the movie.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      I just hope you provide ‘equal time’ to 
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html

      But that’s ok, I’m sure your students are smart enough to use google and find http://www.expelledexposed.com/

    • Au_catboy

       Ben Stein is a fraud.  Expelled was made by stealing and bearing false witness (things that your imaginary god is supposed to have some sort of problem with, but of course I’m not stupid enough to expect religious fanatics to follow the tenets of their own death cult if doing so would be the least bit inconvenient).  Intelligent Design is just creationism without even the minimal shred of honesty necessary to admit to being creationism.  Only brainwashed morons believe in ID, and the people promoting it are lying for money. 

  • cipher

    The comments posted here by creationists demonstrate the utter futility of attempting to argue with them.  I agree with Jay Q; it’s a matter of innate intelligence, coupled with what Altemeyer has termed “authoritarianism”. These people have an inborn need to see reality in terms of rigidly defined hierarchical structures of authority. The notion of a universe that isn’t overseen by a stern, avenging father figure is deeply terrifying to them. They will avert, deflect, ridicule – anything to avoid having to look objective reality in the eye. Combine that with a pathologically low level of self-esteem which
    appears to be endemic to their subculture (which, I’ll concede, may be
    environmental), and you have people who are absolutely convinced they
    deserve to be tortured forever. This toxic admixture characterizes the people who have spent the past thirty years commandeering our society.

    An overhaul of our educational system would help, but ultimately the answer would be to breed these maladaptive traits out of the genome. Of course, this will never be done, which is the principal reason we’re screwed.

    • Jessinger

      Regarding objective reality, please answer my question below, which is derived from the following:

      1.  Aging measurement methods for the Earth are based on isotope ratios of sufficient half-life.

      2.  These isotopes are generated during natural solar fusion/fission processes.  Once these materials leave this environment via Big Bang, supernovae, etc., the ratio is at time-zero and begins to change based on half-lives.

      3.  We don’t know how long it took for ejected solar material, already containing these aging isotope ratios, to coalesce into Earth, etc.

      So, have can isotope ratios be used to determine the age of Earth? 

      • cipher

         Really, you could just Google “age of the earth”, and get answers to these questions – but you won’t accept them.

        Just continue to believe whatever AIG and ICR tell you, and anticipate being able to see us all burning in hell.

        • Jessinger

          Cipher, apparently you can’t/won’t answer an objective science question.  Post the link that has the answer to my question, and good luck finding one.  In fact, I challenge any nuclear physicist/chemist to provide an objective answer. 

          • cipher

            We don’t have to run through Basic Science 101 each and every time we encounter one of you guys online, and yet, each and every time, that is precisely what you expect us to do.

            Toddle off now and tell the other fundies you bested the big, bad atheists. Then you can sit around indulging your sadomasochistic fantasies involving us burning in hell while you, Jesus and Dubya point and giggle like schoolchildren. I’m sure it will give you all great, big erections.

            • Jessinger

              Cipher, apparently you don’t have a graduate degree in a physical science (as I have), and have taken graduate course work in nuclear physics and relativistic physics (as I have), and so you’re totally missing the objectivity of my question.   I’d suggest you find a scientist that can answer the question. 

              • cipher

                 I suggest you stop trolling.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            Can God make a rock so big that he can’t lift it?

            • Jessinger

              That’s a very old Carlin joke.  Answer the question Rich:  Since the isotope ratio starts aging immediately after leaving a fusion environment, how old were these aging isotopes before the Earth formed? 

              • B_R_Deadite99

                Why don’t you visit a science forum? Or visit your local college/university and ask one of the professors of geology or paleontology to help you? Why even take the question here when most of us are not qualified to answer it? Which leads us to the conclusion that you’re trolling. Now since you’re a creationist, maybe you won’t mind telling me how many types of mutations there are and what the difference between sympatric and allopatric speciation is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.tobin Robert Tobin

    It shows the harm the GOD VIRUS has caused to the United Christian States of America., And the same number of brainwashed people believe the World was created in six days beginning on the 23rd October 4004BCE at 9:00am and that the grand Canyon was created by “Noah’s Flood”, an event that never happened. They also beoieve that the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel according to John was preached, not by Jesus, but by Rev. Billy Graham.

    What hope is there for the United Christian States of America if religion is allowed to control the country for much longer.

  • Ariabrams

    ONLY MORE TO COME

    As a very devout believer in G-d I want you to know that only more and more people will believe G-d made the world as time goes by.

    Religious people have over twice as many children as atheists.

    Your people are dying out.  G-d arranges for this to happen.  You are being used.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Religious people have over twice as many children as atheists.

      Nice endorsement of religion, if your growth comes through indoctrinating your children :-)

      However, the correlation isn’t actually between birth rate and religion.  It’s between birth rate and … http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

  • John John

    WAY TO SKEW THE DATA….please tell me you’re not claiming to be one of the intelligent ones. I can tell you without question my IQ is higher than yours by your conclusions but this has never been about IQ..but of the heart.

    First Mr math…the data shows 67% of those with a Postgraduate degree believe God created Human beings. It seems your bias forced you to completely deceive your audience in favor of your worldview.
    Doesn’t the math of the situation show you those with higher  education overwhelmingly believe God created humans? In Psychology–it is the Norm that defines NORMAL in case you missed that class. So it is abnormal to believe we’re clumped together by chance.

    You also missed out on probability and statistics. It is 3rd grade you teach..because one of the reasons so many intelligent people think we are designed is its beyond obvious in all of 3 seconds of thought. Just the atoms cohesion is a statistical miracle let alone the fact that there are actually LAWS that govern such things..

    There is only one field of science where atheism rules and that is the field of Origins. Again, you missed Psychology so I’ll explain to you that people who already see what our origins are  have no desire dedicating their lives to answers they already have. For instance, Doctors belief in God is over 70%–but I guess they are dumb according to your reasoning—a reasoning that concluded that a massive explosion of particles that have no business even existing just happened to all clump together to form DNA–which has a blueprint of the exact spacial location of the 4 chambered heart, its precise electrical current, and complex pressure system.

    There are reasons why Intelligent people believe in God and there are also reasons why many good people dont trust the dogma coming out of the atheistic field of origins. I think its quite clear the earth is billions of years old but Im also not so myopic and biased to dismiss young earthers as just stupid when there are very valid reasons to mistrust the atheists who run those fields. When a small group of intelligent people have forgone logic and reasoning for bias towards their own personal worldview–spewing out nonsense such as Multiverse now–from static universe–Then.. which was against all evidence and the clear logical fallacy of an infinite regress to the many frauds perpetrated by the evolutionary community…many have no interest in thoroughly investigating what they say.

    I dont blame them. I blame these atheists who are now on TV with entire 2 hour programs on Creation of the Universe without a single mention of God. People notice this, my friend. God has been on the top of the mountain as _The explanation for design and origin of the Universe for all of human history and it is an insult to intelligence, and a clear demonstration of bias and wish making, to suggest the majority of mankind is under a radical delusion when the very definition of radical is found in the scant minority.

    So science is clearly to blame and has failed its community responsibility. They went to great lengths to educate the public on what a “theory” is in regards to evolution and have clearly and unequivocally called “String Theory”–a fanciful hypothesis that has failed every single prediction it has made, by the same name as Evolution. We KNOW these scientists world view by their various capitalist ventures found in every book store…so they have nowhere to hide their bias.
    It has been revealed to the public it is suppose to serve and now with this absurd multiverse which doesn’t stand up to even 2 seconds of critical thinking modern science has embarrassed itself to the point of irreparable damage. Just the fact that this community cannot see how utterly ludicrous this explanation is to account for the zero probability of finetuning occurring naturally has doomed them forever. We see the entire movement as a psychological trick you play on yourselves to avoid being judged by God. That’s a powerful bias..we understand that. We know if you even consider you’re wrong..its the biggest and most dreadful mistake a person can make–so you have great incentive in ridiculing us.

    So how about stepping back and contemplating the damage these people have done to education. The majority of Christian denominations officially agree with current age estimates and also believe in some from of evolution. But they are not so inept to believe Amino Acids colluded together to design life. Understand the audiences skepticism with atheistic sources and if education is really your aim, and not gathering biased buddies to help you sleep better at night, maybe more Christians would fall back in love with science.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ghostianity Serious Hat

    Theistic evolution (evolutionary creation) is a form of old-Earth creationism.
    It’s rather more accurate to interpret this study this way:
    46% of U.S. adults deny human evolution.
    A 2011 Gallup poll reports that about 90% believe in a god/creator deity.
    I haven’t found a survey explicitly on YEC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drkaj1 Keith Jenkins

    But notice that far more persons with postgraduate education choose the option you (and Gallop) seem uninterested in talking about: evolutionary theism. Among the most highly educated segment of our society, 42% subscribe to some form of evolutionary theism, as opposed to 29% and 25% at the two extremes. Therefore, the summary statement, “Americans with postgraduate education are most likely of all the educational groups to say humans evolved without God’s guidance, and least likely to say God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years,” while technically accurate, is the height of intellectual dishonesty and distorts the true findings.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      From my POV, theistic evolution doesn’t deny observable reality. If people want God to be involved, that’s fine. Well over 80% of the US believes in some sort of god or gods, so it’s natural to think that they think a god will be involved, even if it’s only at the initial creation of life.

      But the people who think humans were created independently in their current form, along with many, but not all, of the same genetic markers as chimps, and many, but not as many, genetic markers as gorillas, and fewer still common markers with mice…. well that’s almost like Anton-Babinksi syndrome.

      Frankly, I wish many more Americans really understood what evolution is, even if they think God has a hand it. I think it’s sad that so few people understand such a fundamental, and amazing aspect of life simply because they’re offended by the reality that they are distantly related to sea slugs.

  • yb

    Guys, the statistics are almost as concerning in many other countries around the globe as they are here in the U.S. If religion was to be introduced to society in today’s reality, I’m pretty sure the numbers you see above would have been the exact opposite of what they are now. – Peace


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