While the overall percentage belief in evolution has stayed nearly the same since 2009, more people who characterize themselves as Republican reject evolution.
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question.
About half of those who express a belief in human evolution take the view that evolution is “due to natural processes such as natural selection” (32% of the American public overall). But many Americans believe that God or a supreme being played a role in the process of evolution. Indeed, roughly a quarter of adults (24%) say that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.”
The big change in the poll was related to political affiliation:
[...]less than half – 43 percent – of those who identify with the Republican Party say they believe humans have evolved over time, plunging from 54 percent four years ago. Forty-eight percent say they believe “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” up from 39 percent in 2009.
At 67 percent and 65 percent, respectively, the numbers of Democrats and independents who believe in evolution have remained more or less the same since 2009. They’re also in step with the population nationally: Six-in-10 Americans say they believe humans have evolved.
So there is something about being associated with the “Republican” mindset that makes you apt to reject well established science. Hmm. No surprises there but why? Is the conservative media? Is it the economic climate? The current state of society with a “stuck in the mud Congress” and a Democratic president pushing for more progressive measures? It’s complicated.
Several Republican politicians will be blatant about their evolution denialism, as if this admission of scientific ignorance will get them votes. It might. But it’s a pretty pathetic reason to withhold your vote because someone accepts a concept that has been on the books and well tested since the 19th century. Way to be anti-progressive! Back to the 18th century!!!
Anyway, this poll establishes more regarding the partisanship we are seeing. And it may be potentially good news. Facts about nature can’t be change but political opinions change over time. They, dare I say it, evolve.
More breakdown of data here.
Tip: Christopher Howard and Jeb Card