Poll shows only 21% of Americans accept humans evolved without divine intervention
A plurality of Americans still believe that a supernatural agent created human beings in their present form, but that number is coming down, while the number of people who accept that humans evolved is continuing to rise.
According to the results of a poll released Monday by YouGov:
Overall, 21% of Americans believe that “human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, and God did not directly guide this process,” while 25% believe that “human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions, but God guided this process” and 37% believe that “God created human beings in their present form within the last ten thousand years”.
The number of those accepting that humans evolved without divine intervention is significantly up from 2004 numbers, when a reported only 13% of Americans accepted what science had to offer when it came to explanation of human beings and the diversity of life on Earth.
“Yet while belief in evolution is increasing,” stated the report, “Americans still remain divided on the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in public schools.”
Another plurality of 40% favored the teaching of Creationism in public schools with 32% opposed, and 29% of respondents were unsure.
Over the past few decades, courts at all levels have ruled that the teaching of Creationism and Intelligent Design were unconstitutional due to their endorsement of religious teachings in public schools (see Edwards v. Aguillard and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District respectively).
The release of the data marked the 88th anniversary (plus one day) of the Scopes Monkey Trial, where Tennessee public school teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching evolution to his students, which was illegal under the Butler Act.
Scopes was eventually convicted and fined $100, which for 1925 was a decent amount of money for a high school teacher.