Evolution: One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In It for Humans

Image: Evolution: One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In It for Humans

Tuesday, 31 Dec 2013 02:28 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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One-third of Americans reject the idea of human evolution, according to new study by the Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project out Monday.

According to the analysis, six in 10 Americans say "humans and other living things have evolved over time" while 33 percent say that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

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The research shows views on evolution differ between religious groups and political party affiliation. Some 64 percent of those who describe themselves as White evangelical Protestants believe that humans have existed since the beginning of time, as well as 50 percent of African-American Protestants.

By comparison, 15 percent of white mainline Protestants believe the same thing, according to the poll. Seventy-six percent of those not affiliated with a religion believe humans evolved over time, along with 68 percent of white non-Hispanic Catholics and 53 percent of Hispanic Catholics.

"This has been a staple of evangelical Protestantism for nearly 100 years," Alan Lichtman, an American University history professor and author of "White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement," told Reuters.

A quarter of those surveyed told Pew that "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things."

In 2009, the poll said that 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats believe that humans evolved over time. Today, the gap between the parties has grown from 10 percentage points to 24, with 43 percent of Republicans believing in human evolution and 67 percent of Democrats.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted from March 21 to April 8, 2013, with a representative sampling of 1,983 adults, ages 18 and older.

Pew researchers conducted the poll on landlines and cellphones in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia with a margin of sampling error of plus/minus 3.0 percentage points.

The poll stated that half of its respondents who expressed a belief in human evolution said it happened because of "natural processes such as natural selection."

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