Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Acceptance of evolution in the US

There is a new Pew survey on the US Public’s Views on Human Evolution.

As these surveys tend to be, it is depressing reading for science-minded people.

According to the survey, 60% of the US public believes that humans have evolved over time, while 33% thinks that humans have existed in the present form since the beginning.

This means that 1/3 of the US population doesn't accept the evidence for human evolution.

While this number is lower than in other polls, it is still a depressingly high number of people who simply disregards what science shows us, and instead goes for something which there is not just no evidence for, but something which there is actual evidence against!

It probably comes as no surprise to you that the acceptance of evolution very much depends on peoples' religious view, with unaffiliated and white mainline protestants having the highest acceptance rates (76% and 78% respectively) and white evangelical protestants having the lowest (just 27%).

White evangelical protestants are quite influential on the Republican party, and help define their policies - also on scientific issues. This might explain why the acceptance of evolution among GOP voters have dropped from 54% in 2009 to just 43% now, and the belief that humans haven't changed over time, have gone up from 39% in 2009 to 48% now.

The survey clearly indicates just how damaging it would be to sound science if the GOP got into power.

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