Despite decades of taxpayer subsidies to preach the theory of evolution in government schools, a recent Gallup survey showed that slightly more Americans believe the biblical account of creation today than 30 years ago when polls on the subject first began. Just 15 percent of respondents thought godless evolution explained the origin of man.
About 46 percent of those polled said they believed in what is known as creationism — that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so. In other words, almost half of Americans support a literal interpretation of the Bible's book of Genesis, which says that the Creator made Adam and Eve after creating the Earth in six days.
When the question was first asked by Gallup in 1982, around 44 percent of Americans held that view. In the last three decades — despite overwhelming emphasis on teaching the theory of evolution in government schools — the number has held fairly constant, bouncing back and forth between 47 and 40 percent.
Meanwhile, around a third of those surveyed said they believed that — with God’s guidance — humans had developed over millions of years, down six percent from 30 years ago. The prevalence of that view, sometimes known as “theistic evolution” or “evolutionary creation,” reached a new low in 2012 among Americans.
Only 15 percent of those surveyed thought man had evolved from less advanced life forms without any divine intervention. But while still deeply in the minority, that figure has been rising fairly steadily — up from nine percent in 1982. Last year, 16 percent of respondents said they believed the theory.
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Illustration: The Creation of Adam, Michelangelo