One third of Americans do not believe in evolution 14

We hate to concede anything to the Left, but it seems that on one subject there are more sensible Democrats than Republicans.

This comes from Pew Research:

Six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question.

About half of those who express a belief in human evolution take the view that evolution is “due to natural processes such as natural selection” (32% of the American public overall). But many Americans believe that God or a supreme being played a role in the process of evolution. Indeed, roughly a quarter of adults (24%) say that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.”

These beliefs differ strongly by religious group. White evangelical Protestants are particularly likely to believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Roughly two-thirds (64%) express this view, as do half of black Protestants (50%). By comparison, only 15% of white mainline Protestants share this opinion.

There also are sizable differences by party affiliation in beliefs about evolution, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown. In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said humans have evolved over time, a difference of 10 percentage points. Today, 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats say humans have evolved, a 24-point gap.

Views About Evolution by Party Affiliation


There are sizable differences among partisan groups in beliefs about evolution. Republicans are less inclined than either Democrats or political independents to say that humans have evolved over time. Roughly two-thirds of Democrats (67%) and independents (65%) say that humans have evolved over time, compared with less than half of Republicans (43%).

The size of the gap between partisan groups has grown since 2009. Republicans are less inclined today than they were in 2009 to say that humans have evolved over time (43% today vs. 54% in 2009), while opinion among both Democrats and independents has remained about the same.

Differences in the racial and ethnic composition of Democrats and Republicans or differences in their levels of religious commitment do not wholly explain partisan differences in beliefs about evolution. Indeed, the partisan differences remain even when taking these other characteristics into account.

Differences by Religious Group

A majority of white evangelical Protestants (64%) and half of black Protestants (50%) say that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. But in other large religious groups, a minority holds this view. In fact, nearly eight-in-ten white mainline Protestants (78%) say that humans and other living things have evolved over time. Three-quarters of the religiously unaffiliated (76%) and 68% of white non-Hispanic Catholics say the same. About half of Hispanic Catholics (53%) believe that humans have evolved over time, while 31% reject that idea.

Just as religious groups differ in their views about evolution in general, they also tend to differ in their views on the processes responsible for human evolution. For instance, while fully 78% of white mainline Protestants say that humans and other living things have evolved over time, the group is divided over whether evolution is due to natural processes or whether it was guided by a supreme being (36% each). White non-Hispanic Catholics also are divided equally on the question (33% each). The religiously unaffiliated predominantly hold the view that evolution stems from natural processes (57%), while 13% of this group says evolution was guided by a supreme being. Of the white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants who believe that humans have evolved over time, most believe that a supreme being guided evolution.

Do people tell the truth to pollsters? Pew explains how the poll was conducted. The methods are well-tested. The margin of error is small (+/-3.0 percentage points.) Still, we can doubt the accuracy of the figures. Especially on subjects touching on religion, some might say what they believe listeners around them expect them to say rather than honestly give their opinion.

Nevertheless, we have to accept that millions of Americans don’t believe in evolution. And even among those who do, there are millions who believe that it’s “guided” by a supernatural agency.

And the percentage of Republicans who believe in evolution has actually dropped since 2009, from 54% to 43% – while the number of Democrats who believe in it has risen from 64% to 67%, if the poll is to be trusted.

Depressing news.


(Hat-tip Frank)

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, Mysticism, Religion general, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 3, 2014

Tagged with , ,

This post has 14 comments.

  • WmarkW

    Basically looks like everyone who believes in Creationism has joined the Republican party. Why aren’t there more Thomas Sowell’s and Walter Williams’? It’s hard to convince people to believe in an ideology they associate with Michelle Bachmann, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck. (Ann Coulter is usually right, except about calling everyone who disagrees with her an idiot.)

  • Dale Jensen

    As the Left doubles down on its religion. The Conservatives double down on theirs. But the problem runs deeper. The way things have played out on the level of epistemology is this: either you are secular and accept philosophic skepticism, i.e. there are no absolutes and no absolute standards, and thus you are a pro-Marxist or pro-Rawlsian Leftist. Or you accept that absolutes come from a divine source and you are that combination of relatively pro-liberty (mainstream Conservatives) and pro-faith. Most religious people would tell you that it is not possible to have morality without god.

    My sympathies lie with the religious even though I am not religious myself. The Left is so malevolent, so vicious and so NIHILISTIC, and all in the name of secularism, that I can understand why secularism and all of its related ideas (i.e. evolution) have a bad reputation. Even with evolution, most Leftists present evolution as inevitable linked with determinism. I remember Larry Auster, who was a brilliant Conservative, rejecting evolution largely because it was so packaged with moral relativism and determinism by the Left. He had his theological reasons to be sure, but the idea that evolution destroys human volition and thus morality was a big turnoff for him and his fellow trads.

    Sadly, evolution is linked with the modern left and I think reflexively many Conservatives just reject it because of that. This is a tough situation to be in because it means that the battle lines for our future are being fought along flawed lines; i.e. religion vs the Left or supernaturalism vs socialism/Communism. Some alternative.

    • pepaz

      yes that is what I wanted to say- that the question in this very pool is wrong. If I was asked about by beliefs in evolution I would say no, I do not believe in evolution. But I of course do not doubt that it happened that way.

    • liz

      Exactly! It’s so frustrating that people see these as the only two alternatives. They are too busy battling it out with each other to rethink their own positions, whether those positions are rational or not.


      Great ideas, Dale.
      What these highly unlikely beliefs on all sides indicate I believe, is the unacceptability of the most intelligent of these folks to closely, and, most importantly, to unbiasedly examine their life by measuring their personal beliefs, religious or social, against the unfalsifiable and undeniable perceptions of the Natural world.

      As an example, I was in debate with someone yesterday on the subject of Conservative ideas versus those of Socialism, making the observation that the entire Socialist premise is unnatural, as it causes the individual(s) under it’s influence to substantially weaken as a result of living under it’s tenets, rendering Socialism unworkable in Nature.

      I asked this person the question “As a perfect model of Socialism provides those under it’s influence almost every need of life that they would seek, without the person being required to expend a significant amount of his own energy, when was the last time that Mother Nature provided food to the lion, without it or some other animal expending a great quantity of it’s own energy to track down, chase, and kill the food source?”

      Also, I asked this man the question: If Socialism is so great and you are so genuinely attracted to it, do you observe it’s tenets entirely in your home?
      IOW, would you allow any reasonable number of your fellow human beings free and total access to your home, car, bank account, without some sort of re-payment?
      What about all of the food from your refrigerator, without any compensation to you?

      Yes, I thought so….as long as someone else will “take the hit” for provisions, and the Socialist “needy” are the on the receiving end of the deal, Socialism is “the answer” to the planet’s problems.

      I argue that all forms of Socialism are rooted in the victim mentality. These “victims” have learned exist, not live, through being irresponsible to themselves, because of, and in direct relation to their subliminal training supplied by the authority figures in their lives.

      They’ve been trained to have and to promote a sense of equality which is not ever possible despite everything that one hears from the charlatans of the world. Equality is a perennial state of death.

      When your automobile battery is equal on both poles, it is dead.
      Inequality causes energy to flow. Equality means flow stops, as it is even and equal in all locations. Without flow, nothing moves and nothing lives.

      Socialism cannot exist without the perversion of the Capitalist system. Capitalism does not need Socialism, nor any perversion of it in order to function properly.

      • liz

        Good insight on the flow of energy to how capitalism works!
        Illustrates well it’s basis in natural law, and socialism as the unnatural -and unworkable -perversion.

  • pepaz

    the English language puts the question quite inaccurately. The question “believing in evolution” is somehow making that issue a part of one’s faith. Nazis made the evolution a part of their faith and it was wrong.

    • liz

      Yes, believers are good at using facts to “support” their beliefs, after twisting them to fit. Such as the acceptance of evolution in animals, but not humans- what a mangled Frankenstein patchwork of fact and fiction!

    • Frank

      Whether someone “believes in” evolution or not is irrelevant; it is a scientific fact.

      • pepaz

        Yes that is what I point at. That the whole questionaire is irrelevant. It is like asking people if they believe that the US. is larger than Russia. They should ask how they think it was without considering their faith.

        • pepaz

          The whole questioning is called “differences in beliefs about evolution”

  • liz

    What’s known among the religious as “revival” results in regression into irrationality – “the abdication of intellectual responsibility”. (Smith)
    Whether to God or government, that seems to be the order of the day.

  • Azgael

    Much like the Enviro-Nuts are doing now, Doubling down on their wack job crap when faced with evidence to the contrary, the Religitards do the same…There IS only 1 Difference between Demorats and Religitards, 1 worships a imaginary sky tyrant the other worships a very real tyrant…Government.

  • Frank

    The figures for all adult Americans are – 60% believe in evolution and 33% do not. The people in the 33% group are now in complete control of the Republican Party. Yet they wonder why they keep losing elections. I can tell them why. It’s because the normally incompetent politician is much preferable to the delusional whack job politician.