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Polling creationism and evolution around the world

A new poll conducted by Ipsos for Reuters News in twenty-four countries found that 41% of respondents identified themselves as "evolutionists" and 28% as "creationists," with 31% indicating that they "simply don't know what to believe," according to a press release issued by Ipsos on April 25, 2011.

Respondents were prompted with "There has been some debate recently about the origins of human beings. Please tell me which of the following is closer to your own point of view" and presented with:

  • Some people are referred to as 'evolutionist's' [sic] and believe that human beings were in fact created over a long period of time of evolution growing into fully formed human beings they are today from lower species such as apes;
  • Some people are referred to as 'creationist's' and believe that human beings were in fact created by a spiritual force such as the God they believe in and do not believe that the origin of man came from evolving from other species such as apes; and
  • Some people simply don't know what to believe and sometimes agree or disagree with theories and ideas put forward by both creationist's and evolutionist's.

The countries were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States.

The "evolutionist" view was most popular in Sweden (68%), Germany (65%), and China (64%), with the United States ranking 18th (28%), between Mexico (34%) and Russia (26%); the "creationist" view was most popular in Saudi Arabia (75%), Turkey (60%), and Indonesia (57%), with the United States ranking 6th (40%), between Brazil (47%) and Russia (34%).

Consistently with previous polls, in the United States, acceptance of evolution was higher among respondents who were younger, with a higher level of household income, and with a higher level of education. Gender was not particularly important, however: the difference between male and female respondents in the United States was no more than 2%.

The survey was conducted on-line between September 7 and September 23, 2010, with approximately 1000 participants per country except for Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Russia, and Turkey, for which there were approximately 500 participants per country; the results were weighted to balance demographics.