Over half of Americans don’t accept the Theory of Evolution.

A not surprising, but still disheartening, poll by CBS News indicates that half of Americans believe Evolution is false. Of those polled 51% said God plopped everything down on the planet pretty much as it is today, 30% said that humans evolved, but God guided the process, and only 15% said humans evolved and God had nothing to do with it.

This question on the origin of human beings, asked both this month and in November 2004, offered the public three alternatives: 1. Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this process; 2. Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, but God guided this process; or 3. God created human beings in their present form.

The results were not much different between the answers to that question and those given when a specific timeline was included in the final alternative: God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

Americans most likely to believe in only evolution are liberals (36 percent), those who rarely or never attend religious services (25 percent), and those with a college degree or higher (24 percent).

White evangelicals (77 percent), weekly churchgoers (74 percent) and conservatives (64 percent), are mostly likely to say God created humans in their present form.

If there’s one bit of good news in the poll it’s that the percentage of folks who claim it’s all God’s doing dropped from 55% in November 2004 to 51% today, but the poll only managed to hit around 808 people and as such has a margin of error of about 4 percentage points. This is just an ongoing symptom of the sad state of science education in this country. It’s really not surprising that the ignorant majority have felt the need to try and spread their ignorance to the rest of us by forcing their idiotic concepts into science classrooms. When you put morons in charge they tend to institutionalize their ignorance.

25 thoughts on “Over half of Americans don’t accept the Theory of Evolution.

  1. The poll is bogus.  Belief in evolution has absolutely nothing to do with belief in god.  The mere fact that the poll involves god, at all, shows a lack of understanding when it comes to evolution.

  2. Not true. The poll reflects pretty much the spread of religious belief. I would suspect that the 15% are atheists.

    I remember a quote from the movie Contact saying something like: “How could we choose someone who doesn’t believe what 90% of the world does believe?”

    What I am surprised about is that it has taken this long to come to a head. The Evolution of man is just a theory. Evolution is not a theory, it’s a proven fact. It’s been tested in many species that have very short life spans, where the species evolution can be seen over time.

    Religion has many times in the past adjusted it’s teachings to match what science has proven. Look at Astronomy and the adjustments made to match the fact that Earth is, in fact, not the center of the universe. So now God placed the planets in their orbits. Fine if that’s what they want to do, I have no problem with that.

    Now they want to say that God has had a hand in the evolution. In my mind, it just proves that science is the leader in what we believe and teach.

    My big question to the religious folks is: “If you want ID thought in schools, then why are you not teaching Evolution in church?

  3. It’s not that great a leap from someone who believes that God created the Earth in it’s present form seven thousand years ago, to someone who believes they should kill all the infidels so that they can go to paradise and get their seven virgins, or 77 or whatever the hell it is!

  4. Evolution is not a fact. Neither is Creation. There is no physical evidence of anything that life evolved from.There is not one missing link. There are millions. No link between any species to another species. None. Ask a scientist. Evolution is a theory. You cannot believe in God, yet you believe in ectoplasmatic goo. There is no scientific fact to prove either. You must weigh the facts and form an opinion based on those facts. Based on the facts, evolution is a religion. One cannot prove it, they just say it is right. The prophet Darwin said himself, and I quote, “If cells are ever proven to be complex, it will destrot the theory of evolution”.

  5. What’s that noise? Oh it’s the typing of Les and five others typing up responses to your tired arguments [if they can even be called that].

    Or maybe they won’t even bother since it’s all been layed out in countless other threads before.

  6. Randy chimes in from the land of the clueless…

    Evolution is not a fact.

    Incorrect. It’s as much a fact as gravity is.

    There is no physical evidence of anything that life evolved from.

    Incorrect. There’s plenty of physical evidence out there and more is being found all the time.

    There is not one missing link. There are millions.

    Make up your mind. First you say there’s none then you say there’s millions. You can’t even get your own argument straight.

    No link between any species to another species. None. Ask a scientist.

    I have asked a scientist. More than one. They say you’re wrong. I agree with them.

    Evolution is a theory.

    Yes indeed it is. This is the only the second correct statement you’ve made so far. The fact that it’s a theory doesn’t mean it’s not also a fact.

    You cannot believe in God, yet you believe in ectoplasmatic goo.

    Who said I believe in “ectoplasmic goo”? Certainly not me. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

    There is no scientific fact to prove either.

    That makes three correct statements so far. So at least you’re not completely clueless.

    You must weigh the facts and form an opinion based on those facts.

    A fourth correct statement, you’re practically on a roll! Can you maintain it?

    Based on the facts, evolution is a religion.

    Oh no! You blew it! You were headed in the right direction and then you crashed and burned like so many others before you. Not only are you ignorant of Evolution, but you also appear to be ignorant of what a Religion is.

    One cannot prove it, they just say it is right.

    Back to talking out of your ass as though you have a clue again. Such a shame. I was really rooting for you there for awhile.

    The prophet Darwin said himself, and I quote, “If cells are ever proven to be complex, it will destrot the theory of evolution

  7. The poll is bogus.  Belief in evolution has absolutely nothing to do with belief in god.  The mere fact that the poll involves god, at all, shows a lack of understanding when it comes to evolution.

    Well, Disenfranchised, it depends- are you saying that belief in evolution has nothing to do with belief in god:
    a) for you (or in fact); or
    b) for the public?

    If you mean a), for yourself, I can’t argue with that.  But if you look at the the second page of the poll, you will see that while 90% of those who believed in evolution thought it possible to believe in both God and evolution, only 48% of those who believed that God created humans in their present form thought it possible to believe in both God and evolution.  So the involvement of God does have something to do with evolution for many people.

    And Randy- I can’t really add anything to what Les said, but you should also be aware that we’ve heard it all before here.  After checking out TalkOrigins and Pharyngula  for what the scientists say, you have a hankering for something homier, you might want to sample some of what we here at SEB have thrashed through on this topic.  When you come back better prepared to debate, we’ll be here.

  8. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know the percentage of Canadians that believe Creationism? Maybe I’m happier not knowing. “Ignorance is bliss” seems to be a trend these days anyway…

  9. Yea, what Les just said!

    By the way, Canadians are not nearly as religiously handicapped as Americans. The percentages are more in line with Northern Europe. (England, Germany, Scandinavia, France etc.) grin

  10. They forgot the 47% of people who believe that God formed them in this perfect state, but that their stinking neighbors certainly look as if they have evolved from some lower animal…

    Kidding aside, I recently read an interesting article in a popular science mag. While wholeheartedly supporting the theory of evolution, it talked about the enourmous trouble scientists have in creating a theory for life’s initial origin.

    Even the the simplest lifeform ever found, nanoarchaeum equitans, has about 400 genes, of which about half are totally taken up with encoding the gene replication of the organism itself.

    The article talked about a project called the ‘Los Alamos Bug’ of the ProtoLife company, where scientists are now trying to bridge the gap between dead matter and living stuff with a manufactured, radically simplified lifeform originally constructed of peptides. Still, the author was very sceptical, and also raises the question why the gulf IS that big. Why ain’t there any simpler life-forms in between left? Even the biggest proponents of evolution will not postulate a mutation that creates 400 genes and a replicating mechanism in one step.

    All said, this seems simply one of the real unknwons yet, and the theory of evolution will probably go through a couple paradigm shifts before humanity understands is even reasonably fully.

  11. Still, the author was very sceptical, and also raises the question why the gulf IS that big. Why ain’t there any simpler life-forms in between left?

    The most likely answer: they couldn’t compete with their more sophisticated and efficient offspring, and went extinct.

    As far as the problems of duplicating biogenesis go:  it may well be that it will prove difficult to speed up the chemistry by much, and not many scientists are willing to spend more than a few hundred million years on one project…

  12. Evolution is not a fact.

    Evolution is fact.

    Both sentences are true depending on which definition of evolution that you choose to employ.  The *fact* of the matter is that evolution is not law.  Neither is God.

    God is a theory, much like evolution is a theory.  BUT, evolution is a theory based on factual evidence, whereas God is a theory based on anecdotal evidence.

    This is why a class on intelligent design would be wrong.  Although a class on religions of the world would be nice, but then you would have a situation like what most recently occured in California.  People would denounce the said class as a means to push other’s religions on society.

    Funny, I thought that’s what the intelligent design debate was hoping to accomplish….

  13. zilch—

    My point was that Evolutionary theory does not deal with “god” or the origin of life.  The theory itself has absolutely nothing to do with god’s existance.

    Sure a majority of the people are confused, but then again, a majority of people voted for Bush as well, so that isn’t saying much.

  14. a majority of the people are confused, but then again, a majority of people voted for Bush as well

    Seems like two different ways of saying the same thing! (ducks, runs)  LOL

  15. Duplicating biogenisis seems to be a bit ironic to me.  If we manage to create the basis of life from non-life have we not committed ID ourselves?

    I am positive that we will discover eventually the origins of life someday and there will still be someone there denying it because somehow the knowledge kills all morals.

  16. If we manage to create the basis of life from non-life have we not committed ID ourselves?

    Yes and no.  If we manage it in a chamber that simulates early Earth conditions, it would only demonstrate the possibility of life occurring without intervention.  If we had to assemble molecules atom-by-atom using subatomic tweezers, we’d have demonstrated precisely nothing except that we’re really good with tweezers.

  17. Yep.  I remember reading in Watchtower years ago, that scientists haven’t been able to create life yet, which proves that God exists; and moreover, even if they did someday create life, that would prove the necessity for an Intelligent Designer, and thus prove that God exists.  Ain’t Received Truth wonderful?

  18. Well now that I think of it, should we assemble life atom-by-atom, we would demonstrate that “life” is not a mysterious force in the sense of having to be granted to nonliving molecules by some deity.  It’s just chemistry, baby.

  19. Regardless of evolution or intelligent design.  I postulate that the speghetti monster could have created the universe as it is at any point in time with the history it posesses.  In this case all our existance could have been pastad out of sauslessness anywhere from a few minutes to millions of years ago.

    In this way the speghetti monster both set the conditions for our observed world and also set the physical parameters that makup the interactions that produce observations of evolution.  We explain, belief in intelligent design, and observation of evolution by saying the parameters for our observable science were set by the divine, because neither science nor religion is yet ready to ask questions about these fundamental constraints.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the science background to disprove the big bang and big crunch, but I just can’t reconcile this.  People seem to be able to grasp that the universe was compressed at a single point and it expanded to form the universe.  My immediate question is . . what was the universe “in” when it started expanding.  This infinate space that the universe is in is something that most people don’t like to think about.  However, it seems they are a little more capable of considering the infinity of space, but are paralized by the concideration of infinite time.  If you remove our limited mortal frame of reference, then infinate time makes much more sense than anything we have discussed so far.

    Sunrise and Sunset are two very ingrained terms that have nothing to do with the observed events.  Are you going to teach your children to use some kind of term like rotation to the sun and rotation from the sun to signify the event?  It is easier to use the commonly understood terminology to describe the event, but this left over history tends to blur our vision when we try to look clearly at something like ID and evoloution.  Like our earlier ranting about giving instant support to religion by defining an athiest by their absence of god.

    So, how does this relate to this forum and this thread?  I personally think the whole idea is a mu answer.  (You are not asking a question that you would understand the answer to using your current frame of reference).  This is both true for the church of ghod and the curch of reason neither of whome give me any confidence they know what they are talking about.

  20. Everyone knows the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a false god! The universe was actually set in motion by a plethora of Gods. These Gods include: Lo Mein (on which FSM is based), Chow Fun, Rice Noodle, Fried Rice, Egg Foo Young, and the Gods’ pet Moo Goo Gai Pan, also known as the Angry Chicken. Anyone who disagrees with this premise is a heretic and will spend an eternity in hell being forced to watch badly dubbed kung fu movies.

  21. …Gods’ pet Moo Goo Gai Pan, also known as the Angry Chicken.

    That explains what happened in the toilet this morning!

  22. Bravo, very good post.  We need more of this viewpoint to be taught to young American kids, so they don’t grow up stupid, believing in fairy tales and voting for idiot presidents.

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