Gallup Poll: 46% Of Americans Believe In Creationism Over Science, Republicans Even More So

In recent months, we’ve seen anti-evolution bills introduced in several states from Oklahoma, to Missouri, to Alabama, to Tennessee and elsewhere. With the exception of the Tennessee bill, these attempts to force creationism into classrooms have died. But according to a new Gallup Poll┬áconducted in May, nearly half of Americans accept creationism as fact despite the overwhelming scientific evidence in support of evolution.

“Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years. The prevalence of this creationist view of the origin of humans is essentially unchanged from 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question. About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but with God’s guidance; 15% say humans evolved, but that God had no part in the process.”

The poll also revealed that a majority of Republicans believe in creationism.

“Highly religious Americans are more likely to be Republican than those who are less religious, which helps explain the relationship between partisanship and beliefs about human origins. The major distinction is between Republicans and everyone else. While 58% of Republicans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, 39% of independents and 41% of Democrats agree.”

The most surprising number here, of course, is that 41% of Democrats believe in creationism. It certainly blows away the Republican claim that Democrats are “Godless heathens.” But the number could also prove that Democrats don’t force their religious beliefs onto others, and are more tolerable of science than are Republicans. Over the last few months, Republicans have made every effort to push religious doctrine into public schools. Democrats have fought these efforts every step of the way and have managed to halt them in many states. Clearly, one political group has drawn a line between what is taught in science and what should be left in church and the home. And that makes sense, especially considering that science is based on facts, while religion is based solely on faith. You cannot teach faith, it has to be developed within oneself.

Another aspect of the poll finds that the more education a person has, the more likely they are to believe more in evolution.

“Americans with postgraduate education are most likely of all the educational groups to say humans evolved without God’s guidance, and least likely to say God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. The creationist viewpoint “wins” among Americans with less than a postgraduate education.”

Could this statistic be part of the reason why religious Republicans want to defund education and make it harder to obtain, while at the same time trying to force religion into science class? It just might be. For years, religious conservatives have looked upon education as something that corrupts young minds into accepting evidence based facts instead of believing whatever the church and a religious text tells you to believe.

This poll may also shed light upon another often held belief among religious conservatives that the Earth is only a thousands years old. If people really believe that God placed humans on Earth in their current form about 10,000 years ago, they may also believe that the Earth is also 10,000 years old. Scientists have estimated the Earth to be about billions years old based on multiple studies, tests, and research data. Geologists have discovered through radiometric dating methods that the oldest rocks on Earth are 3.7-3.8 billion years old.

Gallup goes on to explain the implications of the poll, including the fact that the statistics have not really changed since the questions were first asked in 1982, and concludes by stating that most Americans are not scientists and do not necessarily “understand all of the latest evidence and competing viewpoints on the development of the human species,” despite the undisputed fact that most scientists agree that human beings developed over the course of millions of years through evolution.

Science has proven that the first anatomically correct modern humans appeared approximately 200,000 years ago and those humans were evolved from an earlier human species that was alive around 2.5 million years ago. These are facts derived from the fossil record, the discovery of ancient remains, carbon dating, and genetic studies. The religion versus science debate will undoubtedly continue in America for decades, but one thing is clear, Americans have religious freedom in this country and students have the right to not have religion forced upon them at school. Religion is all about faith and if Republicans really believe in God, they will allow students to find religion themselves instead of forcing them to believe against their will. Science on the other hand is about hard facts and proving hypotheses and is what students should really be learning in America’s schools if we want to keep up with the rest of the developed world.