Human Evolution from Lower Life Forms

Human Evolution from Lower Life Forms

According to new research, a majority of Americans accept human evolution from lower life forms. Researchers asked people whether they believed that “human beings as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” The result was that 52% of the people questioned said yes, 36% said no, and 12% said they didn’t know. 

The data also shows that only 34% of Republicans accepted human evolution as opposed to 83% of Democrats. The study’s authors say that “religious fundamentalism” is the primary factor obstructing belief in human evolution from lower life forms. They went on to qualify who is a religious fundamentalist by five criteria. They include whether a person believes in a personal God and accepts a literal reading of the Bible. It was also based on how often they attended religious services in a typical week and how frequently they prayed. Finally, the definition involved whether they agreed with this statement: “We depend too much on science and not enough on faith.” Obviously, this is broader than the typical definition of “fundamentalist.” 

It would be interesting to see someone study how these numbers correlate with moral conduct, cases of abuse, and other social ills that are increasing in our culture. The survey supposedly used “a representative national sample,” but any study like this would likely have difficulty finding a truly representative sample. For example, data from the Bible Belt would be different from New England, and the nature of the people doing the sampling can skew the data. 

As a majority of Americans accept human evolution from lower life forms, we see the educational programs and materials from DOES GOD EXIST? becoming increasingly important. With our culture becoming more polarized, extremists on both sides make progress increasingly difficult.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: This study was reported by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. The journal Public Understanding of Science published the research.