Monday, 5 August 2019

40% of Americans Believe in Creationism!

40% of Americans Believe in Creationism.

As though having elected Donald Trump as president wasn't bad enough for America's reputation, we now learn that four out of every ten Americans still believe that a god created modern humans exactly as they are today.

However, hidden in these abysmal figure is evidence that this sorry state of affairs is changing. Believe it or not 40% is close to the historical low for this figure since Gallup began polling on this issue in 1982. Although there is a statistically insignificant rise of 2 percentage point in the last year, this is the third year in a row that the figure has been at or below 42%; a figure only once before bettered with 40% in 2010. Prior to 2008, figures in the upper 40s were the norm.

Also now beginning to stand out as a sustained trend is the growth in the percentage of Americans who believe a god played no part in human evolution. This is now double what it was at the turn of the century at 22%.

Taking the average figure for belief in divine intervention of some sort the gap between divine and natural origins for humans has closed from 33 percentage points in 1982 to just just 14.5 percentage points in 2019. The figure for those believing in divine intervention of some sort has meanwhile fallen from 82% to 73%. This is still shockingly high, given the vast amount of readily available data showing how humans have evolved.

Three sets of data show how these beliefs are conditioned less by education and more by religious dogma or teaching from the pulpit. Not surprisingly, those who have rejected organised religion and self-identify as 'none' are far more likely to accept that humans are the result of natural processes. 59% of 'nones' accept a natural origin, while 18% of Catholics and a mere 9% of Protestants accept unguided evolution.

Similar differences are found dependent on the commitment to religion as measure by church attendance. Of those who attend church weekly, just 3% accept unguided evolution, rising to 6% for monthly attendance and 36% for those who seldom or never go to church.

Lastly, and not surprisingly, education plays a significant roll, though perhaps not so much as might be expected. Those with a college education are less likely to believe in special creation and more likely to accept natural evolution. However, they are more likely than those with no college education to believe in guided evolution.

It's still a shocking statistic that in 2019, 63% of college-educated Americans believe some form of magic was involved in human development and only one in three accept the scientific explanation.

It's almost as shocking as the fact that a large number of voting adults in America think Donald Trump is fit to be their president.

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