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‘Tis the Season for Slightly More Reason: More Americans Accept Evolution, But 4 in 10 Still Believe Creation Myth

December 20, 2010 by Brett Wilkins in American Idiots, Religion with 0 Comments
Humans and dinosaurs peacefully co-exist at Kentucky's Creation Museum (Flickr)

Humans and dinosaurs peacefully co-exist at Kentucky’s Creation Museum (Flickr)

A new Gallup poll surveyed a thousand American adults about their beliefs regarding the origin of our species.

The bad news first: four in ten Americans continue to believe in creationism– that is, a deity figure called “God” conjured up the human race, and that this supreme being just so happens to be the same one they believe in. How lucky for them! These people also believe that “God” created mankind around 10,000 years ago, right at the end of the last glacial period, around the time when bladed tools were being invented in what is today Iran (good thing there were no Muslims back then!) and cats and sheep were being domesticated in Africa and Asia.

The good news? The number of Americans who believe that we humans evolved over millions of years without the involvement of any imaginary friends has inched up from 14% in 2008 to 16% in 2010. Three decades ago, only 9% held  such ‘blasphemous’ notions.

Unsurprisingly, the education level of the poll respondent was indicative of how they answered. The more education one has, the less likely he or she is to believe in creationism. Also unsurprising is that 52% of Republicans believe in creationist dogma while only 38% of Democrats do. But 36% of Republicans do believe in evolution. There is hope.

For those who have chosen reason and free thought, life can be cold and lonely in this part of the world. But when we examine the beliefs of people in culturally similar countries, we find that America stands nearly alone in failing to accept the scientific reality of evolution. Only in Turkey do less people believe in evolution. While only about a quarter of Turks and a third of Americans in a 2006 Michigan State University survey accepted evolution, three quarters or more of those polled in Britain, Japan, France, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland did so.

‘Tis the season for reason… but only if you live in Europe or Japan, apparently. Moral Low Ground would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone out there a very happy Winter Solstice!

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