Gallop have published the results of their regular poll that explores belief in Creationism. From this we learn that 40% of U.S. adults ascribe to a strictly creationist view of human origins, believing that God created them in their present form within roughly the past 10,000 years.
Let’s take a look at the details they have.
Questions and Answers
Here is what was specifically asked …
Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings —
1) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process [latest percentage – 33%]
2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process [latest percentage – 22%]
3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so [latest percentage – 40%]
… and here is their graph that illustrates how people have answered this over the years since they started doing this in 1982 …
You might perhaps note that 40% + 33% + 22% only adds up to 95%. That’s because the other 5% opted out with “No Opinion”.
What is new here is that the 22% who do not believe God had any role in human evolution marks a record high dating back to 1982, the year that Gallup started tracking this. At the same time the number who believe that God guided the evolutionary process has declined.
This appears to correlate to the rising demographic of “Nones”.
Gallup also harvest two other correlations from the data.
One relates to belief and the other relates to education. Neither is perhaps a surprise …
views on evolution and creationism vary sharply based on their religious identification, how often they attend church and their education level.
Majorities of Protestants (56%) and those who attend church at least once a week (68%) believe that God created humans in their present form. Meanwhile, 59% of those who do not identify with any religion believe in evolution without any intervention from God.
Those with a college degree are much more likely to believe in evolution than creationism, while the opposite is true of those without a college degree. However, even among adults with a college degree, more believe God had a role in evolution than say it occurred without God.
I confess that I’m rather intrigued to note that 14% of those that have no religious belief, still appear to believe that God created humans in the last 10,000 years. I have no idea how that actually works.
There is also one other Correlation with Belief in Creationism
Gallup opted to keep quiet about this one, understandably so, but it is clearly there in the data. The belief in the Creationism mythology is also rather strongly correlated with those that identify politically as Conservative. Again, this is perhaps not a surprise. Such beliefs are part of the package deal for those that align with this political tribe.
A few Further Thoughts
There is a variation of Creationism known as “Intelligent Design“. This is an attempt to strip out all of the religious terms from Creationism and attempt to dress it up as “Scientific”. The very best arguments articulated by this line of thinking consists of these two …
- Irreducible complexity – It is not possible for X to have evolved naturally via a series of steps from simpler types. (See here for criticism)
- Specified complexity – This is a claim that things are just to complex to have happened naturally. (See here for criticism)
In simple terms, neither has a single jot of evidence and both have been robustly refuted. You can generally boil it all down to this – “I have no idea how this could have possibly happened naturally, therefore Magic is the right answer“.
For those that have a pre-existing culturally inherited belief, it is sufficient, but for those interested in finding out the things that are not wrong, then these pseudoscientific claims are both devoid of any robust evidence and also are intellectually bankrupt.