culture wars

most Republicans deny evolution

Posted on: Mon, 12/30/2013 - 18:37 By: Tom Swiss

From the "this is why we can't have nice things" department:

Republican Acceptance of Evolution Plummets (Slate Magazine)

A poll released today by the Pew Research Center reveals that acceptance of evolution among Republicans has plummeted in recent years, from 54 percent in 2009 to a jarring 43 percent today. The poll also found that a startling 48 percent of Republicans believe that all living things today have existed in their present form since the start of time.

Democrats and independents fared much better: 67 percent of Democrats accept evolution today (up from 64 percent in 2009), while 65 percent of independents accept it (down from 67 percent in 2013[sic]).

(That "67 percent in 2013" should read " 2009".)

But there's more: for purposes of this poll, "evolution" means only "humans and other living things have evolved over time", even if some supernatural intelligence were responsible for this change. Many Americans who accept "evolution" in this general sense don't understand or believe that it's due to natural selection, so only 32% of the American public overall believe one of the most basic tenets of biological science.

Perhaps the only good news here is that acceptance of evolution (in the general sense) is higher among young people, suggesting that despite the anti-science faction fighting tooth-and-nail, gains are being made in science education.

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