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Americans’ Scientific Knowledge and Beliefs about Human Evolution in the Year of Darwin
The year 2009 marked the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Over eighty years ago, the Scopes "monkey trial" in Dayton, Tennessee, marked the beginning of a long battle for the soul of American public opinion, pitting biblical creationism against the teaching of human evolution in public schools. But how well do we understand what Americans know and believe about human evolution? National surveys by Gallup have certainly told us much about trends in Americans’ core beliefs about
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A new poll indicates that public acceptance of evolution is significantly higher in Great Britain and Canada than in the United States.
A recent Harris poll included questions on evolution and creationism, with unsurprising results.
"Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time," while only 61% of the public agrees, according to a new report (PDF, p. 37) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
"Just in time for the bicentennial observance of Charles Darwin's birth, a new survey of Louisiana residents shows 40 percent of the respondents believe evolution is not well-supported by evidence or generally accepted within the scientific community," the Baton Rouge Advocate (April 14, 2009) reports.
Scientists at public and private universities in Texas overwhelmingly reject the arguments advanced by the antievolutionists seeking to undermine the treatment of evolution in Texas's state science standards, according to a report just released by the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.
Among Canadians, 58 percent accept evolution, while 22 percent think that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, and 20 percent are unsure, according to a new poll from Angus Reid Strategies. The poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 1007 Canadian adults interviewed on-line on July 29 and 30, 2008, and its margin of error is +/- 3.1%.
A noteworthy new paper reports on a national survey of high school biology teachers concerning the teaching of evolution. According to Michael B.