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Evolution And God: Only 21% Of Americans Believe Humans Evolved Without Divine Guidance

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A display of skulls demonstrating human evolution. (Photo by Fritz Goro//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images) | Getty

Though the number of Americans who believe that human beings evolved without God's influence has increased since 2004, the percentage may still prove surprising to some.

According to a YouGov poll, only 21% of Americans believe that human beings evolved without the involvement of God, and 25% of those surveyed said, "Human beings evolved but God guided this process."

37% of respondents answered that "God created human beings in their present form," in response to the question "Which of the following comes closest to your views on the origin of human beings?"

The research shows a slow change in the national acceptance of evolution, as in 2004 only 13% of Americans said that human beings evolved without God's guidance.

However, the country remains divided on the issue of what to teach in schools, as 40% favor teaching creationism and intelligent design in schools while 32% oppose it and 29% are unsure.

June 21st marked the 88th anniversary of the Scopes Trial, when a Tennessee high school teacher, John Scopes, was tried in 1925 for teaching evolution. The practice was at that time illegal under the Butler Act, which made it unlawful to teach evolution in any state-funded school, but the trial attracted intense national attention and publicized the debate between religious "modernists" and "fundamentalists."

Scopes lost the trial, but it was a watershed moment for America, and teaching evolution in schools became the national norm. More recently the debate has been couched in the terms of the role of religion in the government, with many arguing that the teaching of creationism and intelligent design violates the separation of church and state.

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