A new Gallup poll measures Americans' belief in the origin of human beings, and how this belief correlates with church attendance, political party affiliation and education level. The poll was conducted by interviewing a random sample of 1,012 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The following question was asked to determine Americans' views on origin of human beings:
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,
2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process,
3) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.
Respondents were categorized as believing in theistic evolution (option 1), evolution (option 2) and creationism (option 3) depending on their answer choice.
Forty six percent Americans believed in creationism, 32 percent believed in theistic evolution and 15 percent believed in evolution without any divine intervention. As the graph below shows, the percent of Americans who believe in creationism has increased slightly by 2 percent over the last 30 years. The percent of Americans who believe in evolution has also increased by 6 percent over the last 30 years while the percent of Americans who believe in theistic evolution has decreased by 6 percent over the same time period.
Regular church attendance is strongly positively correlated with believing in creationism, and negatively correlated with believing in theistic evolution and evolution. Among those who attend church weekly, two-thirds believe in creationism, 25 percent believe in theistic evolution and a mere 3 percent believe in evolution.
Americans who believe in creationism are more likely to be Republican than Democrat or Independent, whereas those who believe in evolution are more likely to be Democrat or Independent, than Republican. Interestingly, nearly an equal proportion of Republicans, Democrats and Independents believe in theistic evolution.
Education level is strongly positively correlated with believing in evolution, and theistic evolution, and negatively correlated with believing in creationism.
Overall, in the last 30 years, there hasn't been a significant shift in Americans' belief in creationism or evolution.