Education | Polls | Religion | Science

Gallup: Most Americans Did Not Evolve


On Friday, Gallup published the results of a poll which probed American opinions on the origins of the human species. The results: 46% of Americans believe in straight-up creationism, 32% believe in so-called "intelligent design," and a mere 15% believe humans evolved via natural selection.

Gallup conducted the poll with a random sample of 1,012 Americans. The demographic breakdown for responders was neatly summarized at

Nearly 70% of respondents who attend church every week said that God created humans in their present form, compared with 25% of people who seldom or never attend church.

Among the seldom church-goers, 38% believe that humans evolved with no guidance from God.

The numbers also showed a tendency to follow party lines, with nearly 60% of Republicans identifying as creationists, while 41% of Democrats hold the same beliefs.

Republicans also seem to be more black-and-white about their beliefs, with only 5% responding that humans evolved with some help from God. That number is much lower than the 19% of both independents and Democrats.

Over at Gallup, a helpful chart shows the evolution of Americans' opinions on evolution over the last 30 years. It's not pretty. Very little has changed since 1982, when 44% of Americans were creationists, 38% believed in "intelligent design," and 9% came out for natural selection.

Lest you think the Gallup results are mistaken, take a quick peek at the comments section over at CNN's coverage of the poll. It's a proud and appalling parade of ignorance.

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  1. Hilarious headline

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 2, 2012 12:02:10 PM

  2. I respect Gallup and their history of polling, but 1000 people is a rather small sample, 600 of whom were reach via land line. I encourage more study.

    Posted by: Fulton | Jun 2, 2012 12:10:38 PM

  3. Nah, this numbers are fairly accurate. Other polls come to the roughly the same numbers. It's an embarrassment beyond description. Most Americans are simply terminally stupid.

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 2, 2012 12:17:51 PM

  4. It is worth remembering that without the stupid and the ignorant, we could not enjoy the profound as there'd be no basis for comparison.

    That's what gets me through the day.

    Posted by: Johnson | Jun 2, 2012 12:20:24 PM

  5. It's a rightwing concept that you can vote (or have a majority rule) on what the truth is.

    Fulton, an 1,000 sample for a national study has always been the norm for pollsters. But I do agree with you, more people should be included. And since many people under 30 have ditched the landline, pollsters may have to consider other means to get a real cross-section snapshot of this country.

    Posted by: Dale | Jun 2, 2012 12:23:09 PM

  6. Ha ha ha ; this does not look well for the 'design of intelligent Americans', whatever about "intelligent design". It's so funny.

    But this confirms everything we have always known; religion is a lethal poison knowledge, science and the advancement of civilization.

    But Galileo told us that many centuries ago.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 2, 2012 12:27:49 PM

  7. So the people who don't go to church aren't anti-intellectual, anti-scientific or ignorant. Tell us something we didn't already know.

    Now. Having said that, I have to out myself: I am an Anglican Christian. My tradition has no argument with learning, education or scientific truth and inquiry. We do not believe you have to make yourself stupid to be a believer.

    However, classic American religion has, unfortunately, been a a stronghold of resisting learning, science and social change. American religionists still periodically conduct book burnings. Last week one of those snake-handling imbeciles died of a rattlesnake bite because he believed in his bible.

    Europeans washed their hands of the influence of the debilitating influence of the priests a long time ago--and as a result their societies have moved forward impressively--particularly since WWII. They have made laws that benefit the entire society, making their societies more just, healthy and happy.

    The extrapolation to make is obvious: keep the priests out of public life and everyone will enjoy a better, healthier lifestyle.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jun 2, 2012 12:28:56 PM

  8. Just give it time. Wiki says that the Galileo business started in 1610 and the catholic church - that bastion of truth, dignity, and light - apologized for persecuting 2000! In the meantime, maybe one of the 90% could explain to be who it was that created god.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Jun 2, 2012 12:38:50 PM

  9. Sounds more like "The De-evolution of Sheep."

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | Jun 2, 2012 12:39:38 PM

  10. *peek. Let's have some intelligent design with our homophones, please.

    Posted by: b | Jun 2, 2012 12:40:51 PM

  11. And public school teachers want higher pay!
    If they did even half of the job that teachers did 50 years ago, these numbers would be significantly different. Instead, they learn how to teach in college, but never learn any substantive information. It is time to just kill all schools of education and make people actually learn something in order to graduate from college.

    Posted by: Cfox | Jun 2, 2012 12:43:38 PM

  12. the only thing this Gallup poll proves is that Neanderthals never became extinct.

    they are all around us...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jun 2, 2012 12:50:52 PM

  13. Of those that beleive in intelligent design/church goers, curious how many of them beleive Jesus was a blue eyed, brown haired caucasion.

    Posted by: Jake | Jun 2, 2012 12:52:18 PM

  14. Oh FFS!! Lol. Embarrassed for our country right now.

    Posted by: AJ | Jun 2, 2012 12:54:06 PM

  15. Why should primitive beings believe in evolution when it doesn't affect them?

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jun 2, 2012 12:55:44 PM

  16. Evolution is not a matter of scientific debate. Check out this video on the genetic proof for it here:

    It just utterly demolishes the idea that evolution didn't happen.

    Posted by: Dan | Jun 2, 2012 12:59:27 PM

  17. @Cfox - actually teachers do not decide what to teach. They are told what to teach by school boards and the state and local governments. My husband and I often attended school board meetings, and we found them appalling. Michelle Bachmann started her political career as a school board member.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 2, 2012 12:59:38 PM

  18. The Republicans in Arizona have been gutting public education, trying to force parents to put their kids in religious schools.

    Posted by: homer | Jun 2, 2012 1:01:18 PM

  19. Ah, America! You had a great run, but now it's over. A once great nation fades to obscurity through stupidity, willful ignorance and unbridled greed. We'll miss you.

    Posted by: RWG | Jun 2, 2012 1:02:59 PM

  20. It seems to me that the 32% probably includes a lot of people who are merely trying to reconcile a belief in evolution with a belief in god. That means that 47% or people believe in evolution. 47/46 is still upset tingly close, but I don't think the reality is as bleak as you make it out to be.

    Posted by: Thomas | Jun 2, 2012 1:09:51 PM

  21. What amazing me most about the survey is how so many can be so incredibly stupid. That's that religion does to you.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jun 2, 2012 1:13:14 PM

  22. This just confirms what we already know: Most Americans are mentally challenged.

    Posted by: Mickey | Jun 2, 2012 1:13:33 PM

  23. The poll says a lot about the American education system. I wonder how many of the respondents were home schooled or educated in religious schools.
    How do these people fare when they go to university? I suppose they must take courses other than science.

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Jun 2, 2012 1:16:31 PM

  24. This is more frightening than terrorism.

    Posted by: Winston | Jun 2, 2012 1:16:35 PM

  25. It's sad beyond words.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Jun 2, 2012 1:23:45 PM

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