Nearly 40% of Americans say humans didn't evolve to current form, but were created by God

Unsplash/Eugene Zhyvchik
Unsplash/Eugene Zhyvchik

Nearly 40% of Americans believe present day humans are exactly as they were created by God and did not experience evolution, according to a new national Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll.

The study, which involved a survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted between Oct. 17-20 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, also showed that even though another 24.3% of respondents said humans evolved into their current form, they believe God directed the process.

Only 28.6% of respondents to the survey credited evolution for the state of humanity today, which is nearly 10% lower than the 36.9% who said God created humans as they are today.

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The findings of the survey shed new light on a previous study in 2020 from University of Michigan researchers Jon D. Miller, Mark S. Ackerman and Eugenie C. Scott of the National Center for Science Education, titled "Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020."

Miller and his fellow researchers found that with increased exposure to college-level education and declining levels of religious belief, a majority of Americans had come to believe in evolution after nearly two decades of being nearly evenly split on the issue.

According to Your Genome, “The theory of evolution is based on the idea that all species are related and gradually change over time.”

“Evolution relies on genetic variation in a population which affects the physical characteristics of an organism. Some of these characteristics might give the individual an advantage over other individuals which they can then pass on to their offspring,” Your Genome explains.

Analyzing data from a series of national surveys, including from the National Science Board and a series focused on adult civic literacy funded by NASA published over the last 35 years, the researchers found that "increasing enrollment in baccalaureate-level programs, exposure to college-level science courses, a declining level of religious fundamentalism, and a rising level of civic scientific literacy are responsible for the increased level of public acceptance."

While more than half of Americans have accepted some level of evolution, the new Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll shows more than half of Americans, or 61.2%, believe God had a partial or exclusive hand in the state of humanity today. Only 52.9% of Americans believe the state of humanity today is either exclusively or partially due to evolution.

In the 2020 study, religious fundamentalism was identified as the strongest factor leading Americans to reject evolution. Even though the population of Americans who identify as fundamentalists declined in the last decade, some 30% of Americans remain committed to their beliefs.

According to the study, even those who scored highest on the scale of religious fundamentalism shifted toward acceptance of evolution, rising from 8% in 1988 to 32% in 2019.

“Such beliefs are not only tenacious but also, increasingly, politicized,” Miller said in a release from the University of Michigan.

Some 34% of conservative Republicans accepted evolution compared to 83% of Democrats as of 2019, according to the study.

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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