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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i think everyone knows Yahweh didn't create us - it was the Flying Spaghetti Monster. i have been touched by his noodley appendage - have you? All hail the FSM!
learn more about the FSM's meaty balls at:
Well, looking at most of those republican / tea party folks, I find it very plausible that no evolution has taken place over the last 10,000 years
Well, looking at those republican/tea party folks, I find it plausible that no evolution has taken place in the last 10,000 years
Looking at Christians, I can only conclude that de-evolution is taking place.
Does this surprise anyone?? Most people believe reality TV is real, continue to elect the same crooks to congress/senate time after time, and fell hook, line, and sinker for the old weapons of mass destruction trick.
how unbelievably sad. christians hate facts.
Michael Faraday was a Christian. You are saying with a straight face that he wasn't interested in facts?
@Hugo. Thanks for that example. I see the atheists have no response.
Michael Faraday was born during a time when good Christians believed African Americans were subhuman. You really want to go there?
Jacob, yes. What else people thought during that era isn't material to my point. My point was to produce an exception to a "blanket statement" to disprove it.
If you say that if you roll 5 die, they will never add up to 30 and I roll the die and I get 30, talking about race will not change the fact that I got a 30.
Thanks, Hugo. We could also point to Sir Isaac Newton, possibly the most popular scientist of all time. We seem to forget about history and the fact that the rise of modern science was sprouted in a Christian culture that held to a Christian worldview, while real science was stillborn in the ancient Greeks, etc. See http://creation.com/biblical-roots-of-modern-science
It does not surprise me at all. Many people that I know who seem to possess intelligence hold these views about evolution. When I first heard them talking about this creation stuff, I thought they were joking and pulling my leg. Nope, they really beleive it. Its like they have to beleive it or else they will go straight to hell. So nothing that science says about it will be accepted. It is the same with climate deniers, they have the same fixation that humans could not possibly change the climate. The insist that the warming climate is a political scam be perpetuated by Al Gore to make money. When I am around those creationist believers, I just find something else to talk about because they will never change their minds. It certainly is a strange country that we have, religion really rules it.
Agree with you!
By definition, 50% of all people are of below mean intelligence. Only 46% are creationists? Then the intelligent people are winning!
With so much overwhelming evidence for evolution, as the evolutionists here claim, isn't it a wonder why the government favors the teaching of intelligent design in schools instead of evolution. The government must know something the evolutionists don't.
What strange country do you live in, where intelligent design is a regular part of the curriculum? Here in the United States, actual court decisions have held that intelligent design is nothing more than religious beliefs disguised as science, and have banned it from being taught in the classroom. At best, it gets included as a "and some other people believe this" afterthought in some rural or Southern school systems.
What country are you from? What government is 'favoring' intelligent design?
Just another example of "you can't fix stupid".
@Spongee. Ditto to the other comments. What government are you talking about?
There isn't a government in the country that endorses "Intelligent Design". There are a couple of school districts that tried it, but they went back to teaching science instead of religion in their science classes.
Spongee lives in Iran.
LOL – What government is that? The gov't of Iran?
Stipulating that the Bible contains many contradictions that have to be "interpreted", why can't religious American's interpret the Genesis account as an allegorical rather than a literal explanation?
Why can't evolution be God's plan for the development of life? This perspective seems entirely consistent with a Christian way of life and a belief in God, yet 46% don't accept it versus 32% who do.
Between 2011 and 2012 the spread between these two datapoints actually widened. In 2011 it was 40% versus 38%.
Actually it's good news for us. The creationists won't get hired in science, so, lots of high paying job openings. Creationists are also found more at welfare centers and soup lines, they aren't smart enough top get hired. My daughter has a really good job at a bio-research firm. You can imagine the laughter when someone from Bob Jones University or Liberty University has an interview for a job. They actually interview those people to see how dumb their belief system is and where the applicants stand in the world. Not that they will be hired, the companies gauge the output of the Universities.
Considering the Genesis account was copied from the Sumerians as was the Noah story. Whose god do you subscribe too?
@Edward Simms. This doesn't need to be an aethist v. people of faith thing.
My point is, stipulating that for Christians:
1. the Bible needs interpretation because it is inconsistent
2. and that since Evangelical Protestantism is based on self-reading and interpretation of the Bible,
What is theologically wrong with interpreting evolution as God's mechanism that fulfills the verse "God created man"?
46% of the USA population need to go back to kindergarten and start again. This time, children, put attention to the teachers and don't play with yourselves.
So 90% of Americans are fundamentalist. Fundamentalist, adheres to a belief. Only 10% are then agnostic, which states some things can not be known. So why go to war over such things ? Join the agnostics and end the crusades already !!
90 percent of Americans are not 'Fundamentalists'. Don't know how you derived that statistic, but it's far from being accurate. Only approximately 25 percent are. It would be a stretch to believe that even 40 percent are.
Carlos, are you trying to tell us that 0% are atheists? Hmm... I coulda sworn I've run into some atheists.
You guys are missing his point. He's calling atheists fundamentalists, too. Read the post.
Wow....I live in a country of idiots and fools. Seriously, 46% of you believe that we just sprung up here in the last 10,000 years?? No wonder we get such low Math and Science scores!!!
The question is, "Why do you think there is a god". It's total fantasy.
If there is one... Yes, you will see
If there isn't........No, you won't
Evidence now..... You won't.
How fvcking stupid can you be? All the evidence and scientific research shows that that way of thinking is wrong...smh.
b4bigbang... No they are not. The applicants are given an interview and graded and compared against other applicants and since those schools aren't accredited, they should feel lucky anyone is talking to them at all. They compete like anyone else. They just can't compete because they don't know biology. They have more than equal opportunity because someone at least talks to them. They just aren't expected to know what they need to know to get the job. Bio-research is based on evolution, period. You don't know the basics, you don't get the job.
Go fishing for a name somewhere else.
Why won't this damn comment section allow me to reply?
@Edward Simms: You're the genius fathering bio-tech brats – you tell us why you can't post.
b4bigbang--–I figured it out. Yea, I am probably smarter than you.
Presumably because you used a naughty word like "const.tution" which contains the very naughty word t.t.
Too smart for your own good i'd say.
Btw, you and your daughter do know that her company is in violation of federal (EEOC) law?
What's the name of the company?
Venus of Willendorf. Your argument is invalid. Moving on!
Why, in your opinion, is the cited argument invalid?
Vidas, no, that is NOT the difference between a scientific theory and a scientific law. Want to try again or do you need me to give you the answer?
There are no scientific laws. Scientific Theories are as near as facts as facts can get. Scientific theory is as valid a fact as gravity, light, and relativity and evolution. Nothing in Science is 100% correct. The old term of Laws of Nature or some call them scientific laws came from early in science and actually was a mistake and now those terms are not used.
"The USA Today/Gallup telephone poll was conducted May 10-13 with a random sample of 1,012 American adults."
This is a TELEPHONE poll - who has land lines today? Old people (I am 61). I have three adult children, they and none of their friends have land lines. I would be interested in a poll via cell phones.
Landlines are good. In times of disaster, landlines are usually working. Cell phones or cable phones break in just a puff of wind. You can count of Landlines in an emergency.
I prescribe to the creationist theory, but unlike most Fundamentalists (which I'm not one of ), I believe God also created dinosaurs in addition to starting the ball rolling on humanity much later. Create, destroy, create, destroy, and the cycle repeats itself. As well, 'evolution' is also in the scheme of God's creation. Sorry to mess with some of your minds like that, and I know this no doubt will truly be upsetting to some of you who will read my post, especially with regard to 'evolution' also being in God's grander scheme of things ~ but that's how I see things. Yes, create, destroy. The question is, when will the destroy part of this current phase happen or even if it will happen in this lifetime?
The wealth of scientific evidence states that human beings, along with all other creatures evolved slowly over millions of years from lower life forms. I believe in God and am a Christian, but denying the facts because they do not fit in with my beliefs would be stupid. The mantra of the creationist is, "Don't confuse me with the facts."
The question is, "Why do you think there is a god". It's total fantasy.
veritas, there is no evidence for evolution, so I urge you to go back and read your bible. Never put the fallible word of man above the infallible word of God.
Actually, there is plenty of evidence that supports the scientific theory of evolution.
Fossils like Tiktaalik, ambolucetus(sp?), acheoptyrx, etc.
Biogeography like marsupials in Australia, and Americas
Biochemistry like Cytochome C, etc.
Genetics like Endogenous Retrovirus (ERVs), and Human Chromosome-2, etc.
GuyfmVa... You have no idea what your talking about. Evidence for evolution fills libraries and Universities around the world, evidence for evolution is in your DNA. Because of evidence and understanding of Evolution, medical science, biology and numerous other sciences exist, including geology. Your just another one of the uneducated freaks that populate the USA. In 150years, no one has yet falsified the theory of evolution, and it being a scientific theory means it's as close to a fact as a fact can get. It ranks with gravity and relativity.
guyfmVA The bible is so wrong about so many things, bats being birds, god hates 4 legged birds, Non existent floods and the copied story of genesis from the summerians, and the list just never ends. Your bible sucks.
Live in your land of make believe. Do everyone a favor and don't use medicine. It came from evolution.
GuyfromVA, really? No evidence? Have you been living under a rock? I suppose you still believe everything revolves around the planet Earth right?
According to the definitions provided by this article, you would not be considered a "creationist," but rather one of the 32% who believe in "evolution guided by God." Unless you're saying that evolution did *not* occur at all, and humans appeared for the first time under 10,000 years ago, you're not "creationist" by this article's definition.
guyfromVA, no evidence?
What's your position on DNA?
What's your position on atomic theory?
What's your position on mathematics?
I wonder if you believe in your opinion enough to reply.
I see no reason why someone with a Christian faith cannot accept evolution as God's plan for the development of life.
It is simply a matter of "interpreting" the Genesis account, the way so many other inconsistent passages must be "interpreted". Genesis simply says "God created man". Why can't evolution be the process of creation, as opposed to something akin to magic?
I thought it was interesting to see someone professing to be Christian with a belief in evolution (veritas) an idea held by 32% of Americans and a pragmatic way of resolving this issue would be attacked by someone else professing Christianity.
That seems telling to me.
Stipulating that finding one's own path by reading the Bible is the essence of Evangelical Protestantism, why would someone who found his own meaningful interpretation of "God created man" through study and reflection be wrong?
@I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV,
I stumbled upon a TBN show the other day that had, among others, Ken Ham (AnswersInGenesis) and Dr. Hugh Ross (ReasonsToBelieve, at least I think he's a Phd). Basically, YEC Vs OEC, .... very interesting... and very hilarious... Kent Hovind's (Dr Dino, not a Phd, I don' think, but convicted of tax evasion.) son was there too. Quite entertaining, actually.
Back in the 1600's, 45% (or more) of the people thought the sun revolved around the earth. I feel like we are back in the Dark Ages.
Janet, you're right, however, a black hole was just a theory until it was actually proven...just because you don't see something doesn't quite mean it doesn't exist....just not yet discovered
"..just because you don't see something doesn't quite mean it doesn't exist"
It doesn't mean that it does exist either. The default/fall-back stance is disbelief, until proven.
LOL Bizarre, nice try
Sooooooo.... you should believe this (and any other dang thing that people imagine - especially primitive Middle Easterners):
It is taught by a disciple of New Age guru Jose Arguelles on Arguelles’ website that 3,000,000 years ago beings from Arcturus colonized the northern hemisphere of Mars and beings from Antares colonized the planet′s southern hemisphere.