June 1st, 2012
03:46 PM ET
Survey: Nearly half of Americans subscribe to creationist view of human origins
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) - Forty-six percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form at one point within the past 10,000 years, according to a survey released by Gallup on Friday.
That number has remained unchanged for the past 30 years, since 1982, when Gallup first asked the question on creationism versus evolution. Thirty years ago, 44% of the people who responded said they believed that God created humans as we know them today - only a 2-point difference from 2012.
"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," wrote Gallup's Frank Newport. "All in all, there is no evidence in this trend of a substantial movement toward a secular viewpoint on human origins."
The second most common view is that humans evolved with God's guidance - a view held by 32% of respondents. The view that humans evolved with no guidance from God was held by 15% of respondents.
Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
Not surprisingly, more religious Americans are more likely to be creationists.
Nearly 70% of respondents who attend church every week said that God created humans in their present form, compared with 25% of people who seldom or never attend church.
Among the seldom church-goers, 38% believe that humans evolved with no guidance from God.
The numbers also showed a tendency to follow party lines, with nearly 60% of Republicans identifying as creationists, while 41% of Democrats hold the same beliefs.
Republicans also seem to be more black-and-white about their beliefs, with only 5% responding that humans evolved with some help from God. That number is much lower than the 19% of both independents and Democrats.
According to Newport, a belief in creationism is bucking the majority opinion in the scientific community - that humans evolved over millions of years.
"It would be hard to dispute that most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years, and that relatively few scientists believe that humans began in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution," writes Newport. "Thus, almost half of Americans today hold a belief ... that is at odds with the preponderance of the scientific literature."
The USA Today/Gallup telephone poll was conducted May 10-13 with a random sample of 1,012 American adults. The sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
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It should read : Nearly half of Americans fail to use God's gift of Intelligence by failing to understand scientific principles.
If you look at Christians, you will realize that God does not give intelligence to his followers.
Nearly half of the population is wallowing in abject ignorance. No wonder we can't get anything done in this county, and we continually elect at least an obstructionist minority of lying, stupid, or delusional politicians who pander to ignorance for personal gain.
The half that thinks "54%" is one of the two options for the phrase "nearly half".
Simple science (and vocabulary) lesson for all. A theory (like gravity, or, in this case, evolution) is, by one definition, a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena. Most of physics' "laws" aren't "provable facts," but theories. Theories, btw, are VERY different from theorems, but you can look that up yourself. So, for you Creationists, or those who think evolution is wrong because it can't be 100% proven,I hope you thank God every time you flip the lightswitch and the bulb illuminates because the "mystical" electricity heats the tungsten coil, thus producing incandescence, 'cause that's all theory.
And they said that public schools are failing us! The genius, the science, the glory of it all. I am overwhelmed.
Yeah, it's like trying to teach your dog simple math... At some point he may get very basic repeti.tive actions that are accompanied by reward, but he will always fail to understand the concept of the number 1.
I fear your words are wasted on them, though I never tire of hearing them repeated.
More like trying to teach an ostrich.
Obtaining a college degree by no means puts you above any member of the Christian faith, or have you never heard of private universities? Evolution is a Theory which by definition means it has yet to be proven, so those of you who claim to be Atheist and yet believe in Evolution are hypocrites...The definition of religion in simple terms means to put faith into something. Science has yet to or put forth any evidence disproving the existence of God, and there are several well known scientists in the world who after obtaining their degrees and through further study have admitted that evolution is a ludicrous Theory. Example: David Berlinski (self proclaimed Atheist) who obtained his PH.D. from Princeton University and is the bestselling author of "Newton's Gift" has also written "The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and it's Scientific Pretensions". So those of you who discredit the Creationist view may want to continue to do more research of your own, and hopefully it will lead you down the path of enlightenment.
True, you can get a college degree from Liberty University and Bob Jones University and still be at the bottom of the educated class. However, getting a degree from a real college will increase your likelihood of learning how to examine, test and finally accept scientific evidence that points in one direction.
Sadly, there as still a few who receive real degrees from real colleges that need to step outside of the bounds of reality to create or contribute to fantasies which have no basis in reality. And being really smart doesn't preclude you from accepting something really stupid like religion.
I mean, to put it all in context, look at George Bush... he graduated from Yale.
The same way a layperson uses the word "theory" is not the same way a scientist would. You use the word "theory" like the word "hypothesis". Scientists uses "theory" to explain observations and data. The theory of evolution is one of the most if not the most, proven scientific theories of there. It's like the heliocentric theory. The two theories are both facts, in this case.
Are you still upset about that fact that no college would accept you because of your poor high school grades??
Agh yes invincible ignorance.
Open your mind, you're a fo ol if you think that a theory means "it has yet to be proven." Oh, you mean, like the theory of gravity? The theory of relativity? Shall I go on? Actually, in SCIENCE, a theory is something that is accepted as true because the evidence is overwhelming. See my other posts. Electricity is a theory, dude. Theories developed the machine you're typing. God did NOT create computers on Day 6. Just sayin'.
Theory of Gravity, Theory of Relativity, Theory of Fluid Dynamics, Quantum Theory, .....
Sure you understand what that word means?
ACCEPTED as true...Not true.
Yet you follow the bible where there is ZERO evidence supporting it. And there have been things disproven. Noah's ark for example....
@Open your mind..
Deaf. Dumb. Blind.
You're like the kid that covers their eyes to hide from their seekers. Just because you refuse to see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Like was already pointed out... There is a theory of gravity. You have such an issue with theories, please test this one for us.
I have found a compromise which can finally settle this argument. It is also consistent with the scientific evidence I have gathered by studying these posts. Hopefully it will please all sides.
Creationists did in fact originate from a God, and were created in His likeness when He breathed an immortal soul into them.
Everyone else clearly originated from apes, who crawled forth from the primordial soup ignited by the massive expulsion of gas known as the 'big bang.' By my scientific estimate, no more than a generation or two ago.
Human did NOT evolve from apes......Humans ARE apes. We are also primates, simians, ans several other classifications you may have heard of.
Wait, so what you are saying is that your parents or grand-parents were apes?
One thousand people isn't a very big number to represent all of America. It would be nice to know where they sampled, too. This is likely no where near accurate.
@mshub8; should have known your type would be on the front lines bashing this article.
It seems weird. I've know hundreds of people across the country, and of many religions, Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Jewish.......And none of them believe the Earth is only 6000 years old, or that humans were created in the last 6000-10,000 years. And I believe nearly all of them believe in Evolution to some extent.....
Same here. I'm in the clergy and I've never knowingly met a single member of any of my congregations who believes in the literal translation of Genesis 1 & 2. Mind you, I'm in Canada, not the US.
Agreed. I have friends of all different religions and they all believe in evolution. I guess it helps that my friends are all smart, university educated, and live in the northern half of the country.
I'm Canadian too Ceri, but I live in the US. Religion is very different is the bible belt of the US than in the northern US and Canada.
Oh sure. All your comments cannot be proven and anyone that has studied the Bible, not kept stupid religious rituals, knows that the Bible is accurate and factual. So any person that is religious and believes that Genesis is not factual is no different than that religious folks that lives during when Jesus was alive. And we all know how Jesus felt about hypocrites and false-teachers.
'no different than that religious folks that lives during when Jesus was alive'. Ummm...what??? Sorry, I can only read English and some French.
@Scott, the bible is factual? I hope you're joking...
Question for you... How did Noah get all of the animals back to their natural habitats? For example, how did he get the kagaroos back to Australia and the penguins back to Antarctica and the Polar bears back to the north pole and all of the insects back to their respective habitats?
The BILLIONS of different species of insects... They alone wouldn't have fit on the arc.....
Yes, those in the northern regions of America/Canada are largely mired in rank unbelief, sadly. It is a sign that God has given you up to hardness of heart and unbelief. If I were you, I'd get on my knees and repent of my unbelief and surrender to God before you slip into eternal hell.
We are too busy making more money than you and enjoying better healthcare, living longer and receiving a superior education guy from VA. God is treating us pretty well considering he gave up on us 🙂
@guyfromVA, for a religion that is so anti-gay there sure is a lot of getting on knees.
The crocodile has remained unchanged for millions of years. If evolution really is at work then there should have been a very intelligent crocodile by now. The age of the reptiles lasted for hundreds of millions of years, but no intelligent reptilian species exists today. Hominids have been here only a few million years, and yet human beings have become vastly more intelligent.
If evolution really is at work, then where are the intelligent reptiles ?
Or maybe there really evolved intelligent reptiles, given the fact that they were the dominant creatures for hundreds of millions of years. More than enough time to evolve into intelligent beings. Maybe they have become so technologically advanced that they have become space travelers. Maybe these reptilian beings are the ones our ancestors have worshiped as the snake-like gods (the feathered serpent "Quetzalcoatl") that descended from space or the heavens. Maybe they were the builders of the ancient megaliths that still remain a mystery today. Maybe they are the reptilian ETs in UFO stories. Or maybe they all died out when the dinosaurs did.
Then again, maybe I'm just dreaming while awake.
^ Person who doesn't understand evolution.
And here is one of those 46% clueless wingnuts they are talking about
I mean did you pay attention is science class ever?
LOL, now I've seen it all. Such a misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution is not about perfection, it's about adapting to one's environment, whatever that environment might be. There has been no environment on for "really intelligent" crocodiles (although they do possess a brain), so that's the reason you haven't see "really intelligent" crocodiles. Next I'll hear that evolution should've caused humans to fly.
"environment on earth that has called for" sorry about that.
"If evolution really is at work then there should have been a very intelligent crocodile by now."
Evolution is not directed or a directional process. There is no inherent reason to expect a species to gain intelligence over successive generations.
Here's a good resource: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01
Dudes.......I think he was joking.
Looks like it may be best if you left these musings off of public forums.
GoRemote, hopefully he was. The sad thing is that I have known people that have said exactly what he said.
Spongee, the theory of evolution would explain this rather simply. The crocodile is so successful in its environmental niche that there has been no PRESSURE for it to evolve, therefore, it hasn't. The theory of evolution isn't some sort of "everything strives to get better" doctrine, but rather, a selection of survival traits that give certain members/species advantages. We could talk about phyletic gradualism vs punctuated equilibrium, but that's an advanced topic.
@Spongee; exactly. Evolution dictates that DNA can manipulate itself and that the sequence of its self can change. Scientists know that DNA cannot change; DNA of a bird will always be "DNA of a bird". Each DNA of every creature is unique and will always be unique. DNA has proven evolution to be false.
Scott, that is absurd. DNA has helped proved that evolution did, has, and will continue to happen through showing genetic similarities between and changes thorough species. sorry if that is lost on you.
@Scott, Another person who doesn't understand evolution. Read The Selfish Gene or Climbing Mt Improbable and then come back and join the discussion.
@KidIndigo, Also there is a tendency to believe that human intelligence is the ultimate in intelligence. Humans would fail the intelligence test if the standard were flying like birds, chasing down prey like cheetahs or attacking and drowning bulls like alligators.
My country is almost hopelessly lost.
It saddens me so much that we will lose our predominance in science and technology in just a couple of more years (2014 for scientific article publications and 2015 for patents).
Our economy is in shambles, and because of a dearth of funds for public education (what made this country great), we now have an absolute need to allow a vast army of technologists in to this country (tech-visa) so that what is left of our companies can try to compete and prepare for what is coming. Of course, we also eventually kick them out unless they become citizens, so they take our technology and do it cheaper in other countries, by not caring about the environment, or human rights, or workers comp, or ethics or ....
It's so bad that every time there is a technological advance (or worse yet, a fully-expectable stumble) the comment sections are filled with "dumb Americans" complaining about how useless it is and how it will increase their taxes. (It actually turns out that most of the people who complain about this [Republicans] are actually in states that get the most federal financial assistance, but let's not pay attention to the facts.)
A lot of this is simply so people can continue to believe in a fable about a magic zombie man in the sky. It makes things simpler when you don't have to analyze your beliefs and see if they make sense. Just have "faith". (Accept things in blind stupidity, even when, or especially when they make absolutely no sense. 3 = 1? No. "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost" are either one thing, or 3 things, but not both. That's just one of the myriad absurdities of just one of the absurd religions. We have other absurd religions, but our "Christians" are working hard to make sure we only have them to worry about in the near future.
Firstly, magic zombie man? Seriously? Where did the zombie part even come from?
Secondly,having faith doesn't mean accepting things blindly, its quite the opposite. All we can do is be the best we can be on this earth with the time given us,but there is always a point in each of our lives when it's out of our hands. No matter how hard we try, there is no more we can do in the situation.
thirdly, 3 in 1, examples, water, it can be liquid, solid, or vapor but still all forms of water. Egg, yolk,white, shell all still parts of the whole. But to believe in the Father,Son, and Holy Ghost you need to believe in something bigger than yourself. Is the wind bigger than you? Can you see it, or only the effects of it? There you go not such a big stretch of the imagination. But what really blows the mind is that He cares about you and me.
Religion- "The less you know, the more you believe"
Science for the natural. Religion for the supernatural.
Science for the physical. Philosophy for the metaphysical.
Not Religion, but perhaps religion (in some hypothetical extremely atypical and unorthodox case), but definitely not hierarchical and power-hungry and bent with a drive to forcefully propagate their beliefs, at all costs, even to the point of acting in a manner that directly conflicts with the teachings of their belief system.
" Religion- "The less you know, the more you believe" "
Yes, but I try to remember to say "Orthodox Religion" to distinguish it from all the many other essential contemplations about our perception of reality.
Why no data on what the results were by age group?
Conservatives are always saying that our educational system is a failure; this article provides them with some potent statistics.
Well from the statistics I guess you are a 13%er and in the minority. Im sorry.
Etalan:"to find a replacement for fossil fuel, you need knowledge and science, and to improve our knowledge and science, we need to remove christian."
So tell us Etalan, how would you like to see this cleansing carried out?
Perhaps he (?) meant get rid of Christianity.
Suggested cleansing method: education!
Lol I was going to say education too. This is coming from someone who was sent to Catholic elementary school, and was smart enough to realize that my life would be much better off if I focused on real classes (aka science, math, and english) rather than the made up stuff (religion).
Wouldn't that be ironic, since education in the western civilizations owes a lot to Christianity.
and their Christians go taking credit for things they never did,....
go read Enoch i invented education
thats right stole all science and reason from god,....maybe that why he doesn't have any?
It's not necessarily a good news when 46% of the U.S. population are idiots, but we can still consider it a good news that we are world number one in spite of our deficiencies.
Number one is what? Highest percentage of uneducated for a developed country?
It is the mark of ignorance to say such a thing. I challenge you to first look in to creationism and its foundations before you presume what and who we are. Atheists have set out specifically to disprove Christianity and have ended up changing their beliefs to support it. One such person was Josh McDowell.
Why is it that so many of you atheists call believers idiots but so few believers call atheists idiots? May be because after all good manners cannot be explained with evolution.
Ky, we have looked at Creationism's foundations and they are ridiculous and incorrect.
"I challenge you to first look in to creationism and its foundations before you presume what and who we are. "
As far as I'm aware there is only one foundation, the Bible, and it's not a reliable source of scientific information.
While I don't agree with the name calling on either side, atheists get plenty; heathen, sinner, fool, etc.
This makes me almost as angry as people who say "pro-choice is pro-abortion."
The surprise is that only 85% of Americans are stupid enough to believe in some form of creationism. I would have predicted a number closer to 100%.
100% would also include yourself. Therefore you are saying that you are stupid. Interesting argument.
This is the problem with those that can not think for themselves. Think about the comment that you responded to for a while Jay. As a biologist, I see there are just as many people that are for evolution that don't understand it as the other side.
This would be incredibly comic if it wasn't so depressing. Scientific literacy is a boon to the individual; it gives you a cosmic orientation towards the world and a true sense of humility. The fact that the near majority of Americans are still basing their lives on ancient myths and long old-dated moral codes strikes me as profoundly sad.
yes-it is PROFOUNDY SAD that so many people still hold on to the Myth of evolution when there is not one single solitary piece of evidence for it, yet there are literally BILLIONS of pieces of evidence that God created everything-its is just beyond impossible to to believe that some people dont know that yet.
Or naming themselves after outdated false gods.....
The sarcasm that you are using the name Horus seems lost on b4bigbang
@arthurrrr.... simple science (and vocabulary) lesson for you. A theory (like gravity, or, in this case, evolution) is, by one definition, a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena. Most of physics, as you know (or more likely DON'T) know it, aren't "provable facts," but theories. Theories, btw, are VERY different from theorems, but you can look that up yourself. So, I hope you thank God every time you flip the lightswitch and the bulb illuminates, 'cause that's all theory.
Don't bother KidIndigo, arthurrr won't listen to reason, facts and hard truths, otherwise it wouldn't be pretending to KNOW what it obviously cannot.
46%.... hmmm... isn't that about Romne's polling numbers?
No, most of the 46% don't like Romney because he believes in an invisible man in the sky that's slightly different from their invisible man in the sky. Seems they are atheists about the Mormon version of God.
I would like to see the Obama/Romney split on this survey.
Dont be sad cause you are in the minority and that there are not as many athiest as you would have hoped for. It will be okay I promise.
@Rick Perry, the anti-slavery and equal rights for women and so on were also in the minority. We don't worry. Reality always wins out in the end.