By Michael W. Chapman
(CNSNews.com) – A new survey shows that 42% of Americans believe God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years, and an additional 31% believe that humans evolved from simpler life forms over millions of years but that God has guided that evolution.
Only 19% of Americans said they believe humans evolved over millions of years without any guidance from God, the Gallup poll reported.
The survey also showed that for Americans who attend church weekly, 69% think God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, and for those who attend church “nearly weekly/monthly,” 47% believe that God created humans within the last 10,000 years.
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Gallup has been asking the human origins question since 1982. At that time, 44% of Americans believed that God created humans and that number peaked at 47% in the late 1990s.
“The percentage of the U.S. population choosing the creationist perspective as closest to their own view has fluctuated in a narrow range between 40% and 47% since the question’s inception,” said Gallup.
However, the number of people believing in strict evolution for human origins, with no godly intervention, has doubled since 1999, rising from 10% then to 19% now.
“Historically, Americans’ views on the origin of humans have been related to their religiousness, education, and age,” said Gallup. “Religiousness relates most strongly to these views, which is not surprising, given that this question deals directly with God’s role in human origins.”
“Educational attainment is also related to these attitudes, with belief in the creationist perspective dropping from 57% among Americans with no more than a high school education to less than half that (27%) among those with a college degree,” said Gallup. “Those with college degrees are, accordingly, much more likely to choose one of the two evolutionary explanations.”
Americans who believe in the creationist origin of human life “tend to be highly religious, underscoring the degree to which many Americans view the world around them through the lens of their religious beliefs,” said the pollsters. “Those who adopt the creationist view also tend to have lower education levels, but given the strong influence of religious beliefs, it is not clear to what degree having more education or different types of education might affect their views.”
“Still, few scientists would agree that humans were created pretty much in their present form at one time 10,000 years ago,” said Gallup, “underscoring the ongoing discontinuity between the beliefs that many Americans hold and the general scientific consensus on this important issue.”
The survey was conducted by telephone interviews May 8-11, using a random sample of 1,028 adults, age 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Michael Chapman is Managing Editor of CNSNews.com.
First published at CNSNews.com
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