Level of support for evolution
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The level of support for evolution among scientists, the public and other groups is a topic that frequently arises in the creation-evolution controversy and touches on educational, religious, philosophical, scientific and political issues. The subject is especially contentious in countries where significant levels of non-acceptance of evolution by general society exist although evolution is taught at school and university.
The overwhelming majority of the scientific community accepts evolution as the dominant scientific theory of biological diversity. Many scientific associations have rejected the challenges to evolution proposed by ID proponents.
There are religious sects and denominations in several countries for whom the theory of evolution is in conflict with creationism that is central to their dogma, and who therefore reject it: in the United States, South Africa, India, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, and Brazil, with smaller followings in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan, Italy, Germany, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
- 1 Scientific support
- 2 Support for evolution by religious bodies
- 3 Support for evolution in medicine and industry
- 4 Other support for evolution
- 5 Public support
- 5.1 Argentina
- 5.2 Australia
- 5.3 Bolivia
- 5.4 Brazil
- 5.5 Canada
- 5.6 Chile
- 5.7 Colombia
- 5.8 Costa Rica
- 5.9 Dominican Republic
- 5.10 Ecuador
- 5.11 El Salvador
- 5.12 Guatemala
- 5.13 Honduras
- 5.14 India
- 5.15 Indonesia
- 5.16 Mexico
- 5.17 Nicaragua
- 5.18 Norway
- 5.19 Pakistan
- 5.20 Panama
- 5.21 Paraguay
- 5.22 Peru
- 5.23 United Kingdom
- 5.24 United States
- 5.25 Uruguay
- 5.26 Venezuela
- 6 Trends
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 References
The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, molecular biology, genetics, anthropology, and others. One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science". A 1991 Gallup poll found that about 5% of American scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.
Additionally, the scientific community considers intelligent design, a neo-creationist offshoot, to be unscientific, pseudoscience, or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own. In September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying "Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying "intelligent design is not science" and calling on "all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory".
In 1986, an amicus curiae brief, signed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners, 17 state academies of science and 7 other scientific societies, asked the US Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard, to reject a Louisiana state law requiring that where evolutionary science was taught in public schools, creation science must also be taught. The brief also stated that the term "creation science" as used that law embodied religious dogma, and that "teaching religious ideas mislabeled as science is detrimental to scientific education". This was the largest collection of Nobel Prize winners to sign anything up to that point. According to anthropologists Almquist and Cronin, the brief is the "clearest statement by scientists in support of evolution yet produced."
There are many scientific and scholarly organizations from around the world that have issued statements in support of the theory of evolution. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution. The prestigious United States National Academy of Sciences, which provides science advice to the nation, has published several books supporting evolution and criticising creationism and intelligent design.
There is a notable difference between the opinion of scientists and that of the general public in the United States. A 2009 poll by Pew Research Center found that "Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time – 87% say evolution is due to natural processes, such as natural selection. The dominant position among scientists – that living things have evolved due to natural processes – is shared by only about a third (32%) of the public."
Votes, resolutions and statements of scientists before 1985
One of the earliest resolutions in support of evolution was issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1922, and readopted in 1929.
Another early effort to express support for evolution by scientists was organized by Nobel Prize–winning American biologist Hermann J. Muller in 1966. Muller circulated a petition entitled "Is Biological Evolution a Principle of Nature that has been well established by Science?" in May 1966:
There are no hypotheses, alternative to the principle of evolution with its "tree of life," that any competent biologist of today takes seriously. Moreover, the principle is so important for an understanding of the world we live in and of ourselves that the public in general, including students taking biology in high school, should be made aware of it, and of the fact that it is firmly established, even as the rotundity of the earth is firmly established.
This manifesto was signed by 177 of the leading American biologists, including George G. Simpson of Harvard University, Nobel Prize Winner Peter Agre of Duke University, Carl Sagan of Cornell, John Tyler Bonner of Princeton, Nobel Prize Winner George Beadle, President of the University of Chicago, and Donald F. Kennedy of Stanford University, formerly head of the United States Food and Drug Administration.
This was followed by the passing of a resolution by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in the fall of 1972 that stated, in part, "the theory of creation ... is neither scientifically grounded nor capable of performing the rules required of science theories". The United States National Academy of Sciences also passed a similar resolution in the fall of 1972. A statement on evolution called "A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science." was signed by Nobel Prize Winner Linus Pauling, Isaac Asimov, George G. Simpson, Caltech Biology Professor Norman H. Horowitz, Ernst Mayr, and others, and published in 1977. The governing board of the American Geological Institute issued a statement supporting resolution in November 1981. Shortly thereafter, the AAAS passed another resolution supporting evolution and disparaging efforts to teach creationism in science classes.
The Discovery Institute announced that over 700 scientists had expressed support for intelligent design as of February 8, 2007. This prompted the National Center for Science Education to produce a "light-hearted" petition called "Project Steve" in support of evolution. Only scientists named "Steve" or some variation (such as Stephen, Stephanie, and Stefan) are eligible to sign the petition. It is intended to be a "tongue-in-cheek parody" of the lists of alleged "scientists" supposedly supporting creationist principles that creationist organizations produce. The petition demonstrates that there are more scientists who accept evolution with a name like "Steve" alone (over 1370) than there are in total who support intelligent design. This is, again, why the percentage of scientists who support evolution has been estimated by Brian Alters to be about 99.9 percent.
Support for evolution by religious bodies
Many creationists act as evangelists and their organizations are registered as tax-free religious organizations. Creationists have claimed that they represent the interests of true Christians, and evolution is only associated with atheism.
However, not all religious organizations find support for evolution incompatible with their religious faith. For example, 12 of the plaintiffs opposing the teaching of creation science in the influential McLean v. Arkansas court case were clergy representing Methodist, Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal, Catholic, Southern Baptist, Reform Jewish, and Presbyterian groups. There are several religious organizations that have issued statements advocating the teaching of evolution in public schools. In addition, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, issued statements in support of evolution in 2006. The Clergy Letter Project is a signed statement by 12,808 (as of 28 May 2012) American Christian clergy of different denominations rejecting creationism organized in 2004. Molleen Matsumura of the National Center for Science Education found, of Americans in the twelve largest Christian denominations, at least 77% belong to churches that support evolution education (and that at one point, this figure was as high as 89.6%). These religious groups include the Catholic Church, as well as various denominations of Protestantism, including the United Methodist Church, National Baptist Convention, USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (USA), National Baptist Convention of America, African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church, and others. A figure closer to about 71% is presented by the analysis of Walter B. Murfin and David F. Beck.
Michael Shermer argued in Scientific American in October 2006 that evolution supports concepts like family values, avoiding lies, fidelity, moral codes and the rule of law. Shermer also suggests that evolution gives more support to the notion of an omnipotent creator, rather than a tinkerer with limitations based on a human model.
Evolution and Ahmadiyya
The Ahmadiyya Movement universally accepts evolution and actively promotes it. Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has stated in his magnum opus Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge & Truth that evolution did occur but only through God being the One who brings it about. It does not occur itself, according to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The Ahmadis do not believe Adam was the first human on earth, but merely the first prophet to receive a revelation of God.
Evolution and the Baha'i Faith
A fundamental part of `Abdul-Bahá's teachings on evolution is the belief that all life came from the same origin: "the origin of all material life is one..."[incomplete short citation] He states that from this sole origin, the complete diversity of life was generated: "Consider the world of created beings, how varied and diverse they are in species, yet with one sole origin"[incomplete short citation] He explains that a slow, gradual process led to the development of complex entities:
- "[T]he growth and development of all beings is gradual; this is the universal divine organization and the natural system. The seed does not at once become a tree; the embryo does not at once become a man; the mineral does not suddenly become a stone. No, they grow and develop gradually and attain the limit of perfection"[incomplete short citation]
Evolution and the Catholic Church
The 1950 encyclical Humani generis advocated scepticism towards evolution without explicitly rejecting it; this was substantially amended by Pope John-Paul II in 1996 in an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in which he said, "Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis." Between 2000 and 2002 the International Theological Commission found that "Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution." This statement was published by the Vatican on July 2004 by the authority of Cardinal Ratzinger (who became Pope Benedict XVI) who was the president of the Commission at the time.
The Magisterium has not made an authoritative statement on intelligent design, and has permitted arguments on both sides of the issue. In 2005, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna appeared to endorse intelligent design when he denounced philosophically materialist interpretations of evolution. In an op-ed in the New York Times he said "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not." This common line of reasoning among theologians is flawed, as evolution by natural selection is not random at all; only mutations occur in a stochastic manner, while natural selection establishes genes which aid survival in a particular environment.
In the January 16–17 2006 edition of the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, University of Bologna evolutionary biology Professor Fiorenzo Facchini wrote an article agreeing with the judge's ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover and stating that intelligent design was unscientific. Jesuit Father George Coyne, former director of the Vatican Observatory, has also denounced intelligent design.
Evolution and Hinduism
Hindus believe in the concept of evolution of life on Earth. The concepts of Dashavatara—different incarnations of God starting from simple organisms and progressively becoming complex beings—and Day and Night of Brahma are generally cited as instances of Hindu acceptance of evolution.
US religious denominations that dispute evolution
In the United States, many Protestant denominations promote creationism, preach against evolution, and sponsor lectures and debates on the subject. Denominations that explicitly advocate creationism instead of evolution or "Darwinism" include the Assemblies of God,[incomplete short citation] the Free Methodist Church, Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,[incomplete short citation] Pentecostal Churches, Seventh-day Adventist Churches, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Christian Reformed Church, Southern Baptist Convention, and the Pentecostal Oneness churches. Jehovah's Witnesses produce Day-age creationism literature to refute evolution but reject the "creationist" label, which they consider to only apply to Young Earth creationism.
Support for evolution in medicine and industry
A common complaint of creationists is that evolution is of no value, has never been used for anything, and will never be of any use. According to many creationists, nothing would be lost by getting rid of evolution, and science and industry might even benefit.
In fact, evolution is being put to practical use in industry and widely used on a daily basis by researchers in medicine, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics to both formulate hypotheses about biological systems for the purposes of experimental design, as well as to rationalise observed data and prepare applications. As of May 2017 there are 475,793 scientific papers in PubMed that mention 'evolution'. Pharmaceutical companies utilize biological evolution in their development of new products, and also use these medicines to combat evolving bacteria and viruses.
Because of the perceived value of evolution in applications, there have been some expressions of support for evolution on the part of corporations. In Kansas, there has been some widespread concern in the corporate and academic communities that a move to weaken the teaching of evolution in schools will hurt the state's ability to recruit the best talent, particularly in the biotech industry. Paul Hanle of the Biotechnology Institute warned that the United States risks falling behind in the biotechnology race with other nations if it does not do a better job of teaching evolution. James McCarter of Divergence Incorporated stated that the work of 2001 Nobel Prize winner Leland Hartwell relied heavily on the use of evolutionary knowledge and predictions, both of which have significant implications for the treatment of cancers. Furthermore, McCarter concluded that 47 of the last 50 Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology depended on an understanding of evolutionary theory (according to McCarter's unspecified personal criteria).
Other support for evolution
There are also many educational organizations that have issued statements in support of the theory of evolution.
Repeatedly, creationists and intelligent design advocates have lost suits in US courts. Here is a list of important court cases in which creationists have suffered setbacks:
- 1968 Epperson v. Arkansas, United States Supreme Court
- 1981 Segraves v. State of California, Supreme Court of California
- 1982 McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, U.S. Federal Court
- 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard, United States Supreme Court
- 1990 Webster v. New Lenox School District, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- 1994 Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- 1997 Freiler v. Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- 2000 Rodney LeVake v Independent School District 656, et al., District Court for the Third Judicial District of the State of Minnesota
- 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, US Federal Court
- 2006 Hurst v. Newman US District Court Eastern District of California
There does not appear to be significant correlation between believing in evolution and understanding evolutionary science. In some countries, creationist beliefs (or a lack of support for evolutionary theory) are relatively widespread, even garnering a majority of public opinion. A study published in Science compared attitudes about evolution in the United States, 32 European countries (including Turkey) and Japan. The only country where acceptance of evolution was lower than in the United States was Turkey (25%). Public acceptance of evolution was most widespread (at over 80% of the population) in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.
According to a 2014 poll produced by the Pew Research Center, 71% of people in Argentina believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 23% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
A 2009 poll showed that almost a quarter of Australians believe "the biblical account of human origins" over the Darwinian account. 42 percent of Australians believe in a "wholly scientific" explanation for the origins of life, while 32 percent believe in an evolutionary process "guided by God".
A 2010 survey conducted by Auspoll and the Australian Academy of Science found that 79% of Australians believe in evolution (71% believe it is currently occurring, 8% believe in evolution but do not think it is currently occurring), 11% were not sure and 10% stated they do not believe in evolution.
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 44% of people in Bolivia believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 39% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
In a 2010 poll, 59% of respondents said they believe in theistic evolution, or evolution guided by God. A further 8% believe in evolution without divine intervention, while 25% were creationists. Support for creationism was stronger among the poor and the least educated. According to a 2014 poll produced by the Pew Research Center, 66% of Brazilians agree that humans evolved over time and 29% think they have always existed in the present form.
In a 2012 poll, 61% of Canadians believe that humans evolved from less advanced life forms, while 22% believe that God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years.
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 69% of people in Chile believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 26% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 59% of people in Colombia believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 35% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 56% of people in Costa Rica believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 38% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 41% of people in Dominican Republic believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 56% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 50% of people in Ecuador believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 44% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 46% of people in El Salvador believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 45% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 55% of people in Guatemala believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 38% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 49% of people in Honduras believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 45% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
Among those who had heard of Charles Darwin and knew something about the theory of evolution, 77% of people in India agree that enough scientific evidence exists to support Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Also, 85% of God believing Indians who know about evolution agree that life on earth evolved over time as a result of natural selection.
In a survey carried among 10 major nations, the highest proportion that agreed that evolutionary theories alone should be taught in schools was in India, at 49%.
A 2009 survey conducted by the McGill researchers and their international collaborators found that 85% of Indonesian high school students agreed with the statement, "Millions of fossils show that life has existed for billions of years and changed over time."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 64% of people in Mexico believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 32% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 47% of people in Nicaragua believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 48% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2008 Norstat poll for NRK, 59% of the Norwegian population fully accept evolution, 24% somewhat agree with the theory, 4% somewhat disagree with the theory while 8% do not accept evolution. 4% did not know.
A 2009 survey conducted by the McGill researchers and their international collaborators found that 86% of Pakistani high school students agreed with the statement, "Millions of fossils show that life has existed for billions of years and changed over time."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 61% of people in Panama believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 34% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 59% of people in Paraguay believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 30% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 51% of people in Peru believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 39% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
A 2006 UK poll on the "origin and development of life" asked participants to choose between three different explanations for the origin of life: 22% chose (Young Earth) creationism, 17% opted for intelligent design ("certain features of living things are best explained by the intervention of a supernatural being, e.g. God"), 48% selected evolution theory (with a divine role explicitly excluded) and the rest did not know. A 2009 poll found that only 38% of Britons believe God played no role in evolution. In a 2012 poll, 69% of Britons believe that humans evolved from less advanced life forms, while 17% believe that God created human beings in their present forms within the last 10,000 years.
US courts have ruled in favor of teaching evolution in science classrooms, and against teaching creationism, in numerous cases such as Edwards v. Aguillard, Hendren v. Campbell, McLean v. Arkansas and Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.
A prominent organization in the United States behind the intelligent design movement is the Discovery Institute, which, through its Center for Science and Culture, conducts a number of public relations and lobbying campaigns aimed at influencing the public and policy makers in order to advance its position in academia. The Discovery Institute claims that because there is a significant lack of public support for evolution, that public schools should, as their campaign states, "Teach the Controversy", although there is no controversy over the validity of evolution within the scientific community.
|US Group||Young Earth Creationism||Belief in evolution guided by supreme being||Belief in evolution due to natural processes||NA|
|Religious Institution Attendance||Young Earth Creationism||Belief in God-guided evolution||Belief in evolution without God|
|Attend Church Weekly||69%||24%||1%|
|Attend Church Nearly Weekly/Monthly||47%||39%||9%|
|Seldom/Never Attend Church||23%||32%||34%|
The US has one of the highest levels of public belief in biblical or other religious accounts of the origins of life on earth among industrialized countries.
According to a 2007 Gallup poll, about 43% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so." This is only slightly less than the 46% reported in a 2006 Gallup poll. Only 14% believed that "human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process", despite 49% of respondents indicating they believed in evolution. Belief in creationism is inversely correlated to education; only 22% of those with post-graduate degrees believe in strict creationism. A 2000 poll for People for the American Way found 70% of the American public felt that evolution was compatible with a belief in God.
|Political identification||Do not believe in evolution||Believe in evolution||NA|
|Political identification||Creationist||Believe in evolution||NA|
A 2005 Pew Research Center poll found that 70% of evangelical Christians believed that living organisms have not changed since their creation, but only 31% of Catholics and 32% of mainline Protestants shared this opinion. A 2005 Harris Poll estimated that 63% of liberals and 37% of conservatives agreed that humans and other primates have a common ancestry.
According to a 2014 poll produced by the Pew Research Center, 74% of people in Uruguay believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 20% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
According to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center, 63% of people in Venezuela believe "humans and other living things evolved over time" while 33% believe they have "always existed in the present form."
The level of assent that evolution garners has changed with time. The trends in acceptance of evolution can be estimated.
Early impact of Darwin's theory
The level of support for evolution in different communities has varied with time. Darwin's theory had convinced almost every naturalist within 20 years of its publication in 1858, and was making serious inroads with the public and the more liberal clergy. It had reached such extremes, that by 1880, one American religious weekly publication estimated that "perhaps a quarter, perhaps a half of the educated ministers in our leading Evangelical denominations" felt "that the story of the creation and fall of man, told in Genesis, is no more the record of actual occurrences than is the parable of the Prodigal Son."
By the late 19th century, many of the most conservative Christians accepted an ancient earth, and life on earth before Eden. Victorian Era Creationists were more akin to people who subscribe to theistic evolution today. Even fervent anti-evolutionist Scopes Trial prosecutor William Jennings Bryan interpreted the "days" of Genesis as ages of the earth, and acknowledged that biochemical evolution took place, drawing the line only at the story of Adam and Eve's creation. Prominent pre-World War II creationist Harry Rimmer allowed an Old Earth by slipping millions of years into putative gaps in the Genesis account, and claimed that the Noachian Flood was only a local phenomenon.
In the decades of the 20th century, George McCready Price and a tiny group of Seventh-day Adventist followers were the among the very few believers in a Young Earth and a worldwide flood, which Price championed in his "new catastrophism" theories. It was not until the publication of John C. Whitcomb, Jr., and Henry M. Morris’s book Genesis Flood in 1961 that Price's idea was revived. In the last few decades, many creationists have adopted Price's beliefs, becoming progressively more strict biblical literalists.[dead link]
Recent public beliefs
||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
In a 1991 Gallup poll, 47% of the US population, and 25% of college graduates agreed with the statement, "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years."
Fourteen years later, in 2005, Gallup found that 53% of Americans expressed the belief that "God created human beings in their present form exactly the way the Bible describes it." About 2/3 (65.5%) of those surveyed thought that creationism was definitely or probably true. In 2005 a Newsweek poll discovered that 80 percent of the American public thought that "God created the universe." and the Pew Research Center reported that "nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools." Ronald Numbers commented on that with "Most surprising of all was the discovery that large numbers of high-school biology teachers — from 30% in Illinois and 38% in Ohio to a whopping 69% in Kentucky — supported the teaching of creationism."
The National Center for Science Education reports that from 1985 to 2005, the number of Americans unsure about evolution increased from 7% to 21%, while the number rejecting evolution declined from 48% to 39%. Jon Miller of Michigan State University has found in his polls that the number of Americans who accept evolution has declined from 45% to 40% from 1985 to 2005.
In light of these somewhat contradictory results, it is difficult to know for sure what is happening to public opinion on evolution in the US. It does not appear that either side is making unequivocal progress. It does appear that uncertainty about the issue is increasing, however.
Anecdotal evidence is that creationism is becoming more of an issue in the UK as well. One report in 2006 was that UK students are increasingly arriving ill-prepared to participate in medical studies or other advanced education.
Recent scientific trends
The level of support for creationism among relevant scientists is minimal. Only 700 out of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists gave credence to creationism in 1987, representing about 0.146% of relevant scientists. In 2007 the Discovery Institute reported that about 600 scientists signed their A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism list, up from 100 in 2001. The actual statement of the Scientific Dissent from Darwinism is a relatively mild one that expresses skepticism about the absoluteness of 'Darwinism' (and is in line with the falsifiability required of scientific theories) to explain all features of life, and does not in any way represent an absolute denial or rejection of evolution. By contrast, a tongue-in-cheek response known as Project Steve, a list of scientists named Steve who agree that evolution is "a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences," has 1,382 signatories as of November 24, 2015[update]. People named Steve make up approximately 1% of the total U.S. population.
The United States National Science Foundation statistics on US yearly science graduates demonstrate that from 1987 to 2001, the number of biological science graduates increased by 59% while the number of geological science graduates decreased by 20.5%. However, the number of geology graduates in 2001 was only 5.4% of the number of graduates in the biological sciences, while it was 10.7% of the number of biological science graduates in 1987. The Science Resources Statistics Division of the National Science Foundation estimated that in 1999, there were 955,300 biological scientists in the US (about 1/3 of who hold graduate degrees). There were also 152,800 earth scientists in the US as well.
A large fraction of the Darwin Dissenters have specialties unrelated to research on evolution; of the dissenters, three-quarters are not biologists. As of 2006, the dissenter list was expanded to include non-US scientists. Despite the increase in absolute number of scientists willing to sign the dissent form, and an increase in public support, proportionately the figures indicates the support from scientists for creationism and intelligent design is steadily decreasing.
Some researchers are attempting to understand the factors that affect people's acceptance of evolution. Studies have yielded inconsistent results, explains associate professor of education at Ohio State University, David Haury. He recently performed a study that found people are likely to reject evolution if they have feelings of uncertainty, regardless of how well they understand evolutionary theory. Haury believes that teachers need to show students that their intuitive feelings may be misleading (for example, using the Wason selection task), and thus to exercise caution when relying on them as they judge the rational merits of ideas.
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- Ruling, Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83: "an overwhelming number of scientists, as reflected by every scientific association that has spoken on the matter, have rejected the ID proponents’ challenge to evolution."
- Noah, Timothy (2000-10-31). "George W. Bush, The Last Relativist". Retrieved 2007-10-23.
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- "And finally..". Warsaw Business Journal. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
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- "Worldwide creationism, Shotgun stunner, and more". New Scientist. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- Numbers, Ronald L. (2009). Galileo goes to jail: and other myths about science and religion. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 221–223. ISBN 0-674-03327-2.
- Numbers, Ronald L. (2009). "Myth 24: That Creationism is a Uniquely American Phenomenon". Galileo goes to jail and other myths about science and religion. Cambridge and London: Harward University Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-674-03327-6. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
Antievolutionists in Australia celebrated in August 2005, when the minister of education, a Christian physician named Brendan Nelson, came out in favor of exposing students both to evollution and ID...
- Numbers, Ronald L. (2009). "Myth 24: That Creationism is a Uniquely American Phenomenon". Galileo goes to jail and other myths about science and religion. Cambridge and London: Harward University Press. pp. 217, 279. ISBN 978-0-674-03327-6. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
Three years later the New Zealand Listener surprised many of its readers by announcing that "God and Darwin are still battling it out in New Zealand schools."
- Numbers, Ronald L. (2009). "Myth 24: That Creationism is a Uniquely American Phenomenon". Galileo goes to jail and other myths about science and religion. Cambridge and London: Harward University Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-674-03327-6. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
Writing in 2000, one observer claimed that "there are possibly more creationists per capita in Canada than in any other Western country apart from US."
- McCollister, Betty (1989). Voices for evolution. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Science Education. ISBN 0-939873-51-6.
- Matsumura, Molleen (1995). Voices for evolution. Berkeley, CA: National Center for Science Education. ISBN 0-939873-53-2.
- Working Group on Teaching Evolution, National Academy of Sciences (1998). Teaching about evolution and the nature of science. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press. ISBN 0-309-06364-7.; available on-line: United States National Academy of Sciences (1998). "Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (ebook)". Washington DC: National Academy Press. Retrieved 2007-10-23.
- Myers, PZ (2006-06-18). "Ann Coulter: No evidence for evolution?". Pharyngula. scienceblogs.com. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- The National Science Teachers Association's position statement on the teaching of evolution.
- IAP Statement on the Teaching of Evolution Joint statement issued by the national science academies of 67 countries, including the United Kingdom's Royal Society (PDF file)
- From the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society: 2006 Statement on the Teaching of Evolution (PDF file), AAAS Denounces Anti-Evolution Laws
- Fact, Fancy, and Myth on Human Evolution, Alan J. Almquist, John E. Cronin, Current Anthropology, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jun., 1988), pp. 520–522
- As reported by Newsweek: "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared 'abruptly'."Martz & McDaniel 1987, p. 23
- Public beliefs about evolution and creation, Robinson, B. A. 1995.
- Many scientists see God's hand in evolution, Witham, Larry, Reports of the National Center for Science Education 17(6): 33, 1997
- See: 1) List of scientific societies rejecting intelligent design 2) Kitzmiller v. Dover page 83. 3) The Discovery Institute's A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism petition begun in 2001 has been signed by "over 600 scientists" as of August 20, 2006. A four-day A Scientific Support For Darwinism petition gained 7733 signatories from scientists opposing ID. The AAAS, the largest association of scientists in the U.S., has 120,000 members, and firmly rejects ID. More than 70,000 Australian scientists and educators condemn teaching of intelligent design in school science classes. List of statements from scientific professional organizations on the status intelligent design and other forms of creationism.
- National Science Teachers Association, a professional association of 55,000 science teachers and administrators in a 2005 press release: "We stand with the nation's leading scientific organizations and scientists, including Dr. John Marburger, the president's top science advisor, in stating that intelligent design is not science.…It is simply not fair to present pseudoscience to students in the science classroom." National Science Teachers Association Disappointed About Intelligent Design Comments Made by President Bush National Science Teachers Association Press Release August 3, 2005
- Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action Journal of Clinical Investigation 116:1134–1138 American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2006.
- "Biologists aren’t alarmed by intelligent design’s arrival in Dover and elsewhere because they have all sworn allegiance to atheistic materialism; they’re alarmed because intelligent design is junk science." H. Allen Orr. Annals of Science. New Yorker May 2005.Devolution—Why intelligent design isn't. Also, Robert T. Pennock Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism.
- Junk science Mark Bergin. World Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 8 February 25, 2006.
- National Academy of Sciences, 1999 Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition
- The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Nobel Laureates Initiative. Intelligent design cannot be tested as a scientific theory "because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent." Nobel Laureates Initiative Archived December 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. (PDF file)
- Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales. 20 October 2005. Intelligent Design is not Science - Scientists and teachers speak out
- Amicus Curiae brief in Edwards v. Aguillard, 85-1513 (United States Supreme Court 1986-08-18). , available at "Edwards v. Aguillard: Amicus Curiae Brief of 72 Nobel Laureates". From TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- Norman C, 1986. Nobelists unite against "creation science". Science 233:935.
- List of numerous US scientific societies that support evolution and their statements about evolution
- List of 68 international scientific societies on the Interacademy Panel (IAP) that endorse a resolution supporting evolution and a multibillion year old earth, June 2006.
- National Science Board letter in support of evolution 1999
- Royal Society statement on evolution, creationism and intelligent design, 11 Apr 2006.
- Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, Second Edition, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1999.
- Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998), National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998.
- Pew Research Center: "Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media" July 9, 2009.
- AAAS Resolution: Present Scientific Status of the Theory of Evolution, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Adopted by the AAAS Council, December 26, 1922. AAAS Executive Committee readopts this resolution on April 21, 1929.
- The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine., G. R. Morton, Copyright 2002 G.R. Morton
- Bales, James D., Forty-Two Years on the Firing Line, Lambert, Shreveport, LA, p.71-72, no date.
- The Day the Scientists Voted, Bert Thompson, Apologetics Press: Sensible Science, 2001, originally published in Reason & Revelation, 2(3):9-11, March 1982.
- American Biology Teacher, January 1973.
- A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science, The Humanist, January/February, 1977, p. 4-6.
- AAPG Explorer, January, 1982.
- "Creation-Science" Law Is Struck Down, Raloff, J., Science News, 121:20, January 9, 1982.
- Attie AD, Sober E, Numbers RL, Amasino RM, Cox B, Berceau T, et al. (2006). "Defending science education against intelligent design: a call to action". J Clin Invest. 116 (5): 1134–8. PMC . PMID 16670753. doi:10.1172/JCI28449.
- (Few Biologists but Many Evangelicals Sign Anti-Evolution Petition, Panda's Thumb, February 21, 2006)
- National Center for Science Education "Project Steve"
- List of living scientists who accept the biblical account of creation from Answers in Genesis
- The List of Steves
- Finding the Evolution in Medicine Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Cynthia Delgado, NIH Record, July 28, 2006.
- Religious Groups: Opinions of Evolution, Pew Forum (conducted in 2007, released in 2008)
- For a discussion about some controversy about this, see Kent Hovind.
- Princeton theologian Charles Hodge, in his book Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1975, vol. 2, p. 15, argues that "First, it shocks the common sense of unsophisticated men to be told that the whale and the humming-bird, man and the mosquito, are derived from the same source... the system is thoroughly atheistic, and therefore cannot possibly stand."
- Evolution and Christianity are opposites, p. 36 of Evolution and Society, Volume 2 of Scientific Facts Against Evolution-Origin of the Universe: 3 Volume Encyclopedia states, of evolution and Christianity, "there can be no reconciliation between the two. One view stands for fighting, warfare against the supposed weaker ones, and atheism; the other is for peace, self-sacrifice for the good of others, and belief and trust in the Creator God...Even evolutionists and atheists have declared that their creeds are totally different than those of Christianity." Also in the article Evolution and the churches on pages 39-41 of the same volume, "In spite of clear-cut statements by evolutionists that "evolution IS atheism," many denominations today accept one form or another of evolutionary theory."
- McLean v Arkansas, Encyclopedia of Arkansas
- Defending the teaching of evolution in public education, Statements from Religious Organizations
- Archbishop of Canterbury backs evolution: Well, he is a Primate, Chris Williams, The Register, Tuesday 21 March 2006
- Matsumura 1998, p. 9 notes that, "Table 1 demonstrates that Americans in the 12 largest Christian denominations, 89.6% belong to churches that support evolution education! Indeed, many of the statements in Voices insist quite strongly that evolution must be included in science education and "creation science" must be excluded. Even if we subtract the Southern Baptist Convention, which has changed its view of evolution since McLean v Arkansas and might take a different position now, the percentage those in denominations supporting evolution is still a substantial 77%. Furthermore, many other Christian and non-Christian denominations, including the United Church of Christ and the National Sikh Center, have shown some degree of support for evolution education (as defined by inclusion in 'Voices' or the "Joint Statement")." Matsumura produced her table from a June, 1998 article titled Believers: Dynamic Dozen put out by Religion News Services which in turn cites the 1998 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. Matsurmura's calculations include the SBC based on a brief they filed in McLean v. Arkansas, where the SBC took a position it has since changed, according to Matsurmura. See also NCSE 2002.
- Christianity, Evolution Not in Conflict, John Richard Schrock, Wichita Eagle May 17, 2005 page 17A
- Matsumura 1998, p. 9
- The Bible: Is it a True and Accurate Account of Creation? (Part 2): The Position of Major Christian Denominations on Creation and Inerrancy, Walter B. Murfin, David F. Beck, 13 April 1998, hosted on Coalition for Excellence in Science and Math Education website
- Darwin on the Right: Why Christians and conservatives should accept evolution, Michael Shermer, Scientific American, October 2006.
- Effendi 1912, p. 350
- `Abdu'l-Bahá 1912, pp. 51–52
- `Abdu'l-Bahá 1908, pp. 198–99
- Pope John Paul II, Speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 23, 1996
- "Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God" Archived June 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., International Theological Commission.
- Tom Heneghan. "Catholics and Evolution: Interview with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn", BeliefNet, Jan. 5, 2006 
-  Finding Design in Nature by Christoph Schönborn
- "Intelligent design" criticized in Vatican newspaper, NCSE article, January 20, 2006
- In "Design" vs. Darwinism, Darwin Wins Point in Rome, Ian Fisher and Cornelia Dean, New York Times, January 19, 2006.
- Intelligent Design belittles God, Vatican director says Archived March 23, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., Mark Lombard, 1/30/2006, Catholic Online
-  Dave Hernandez - Michigan State University
- GCAG 1977, General Council of the Assemblies of Godofficial assertion of creationism
- Barry 2001, pp. 60–61
- Official Seventh-day Adventist belief statement advocating creationism
- Southern Baptist Convention Resolution on Creationism
- Prof. Michael J. Ghedotti, "Evolutionary Biology at Regis, a Jesuit Catholic School.
- "Are Jehovah's Witnesses Creationists?". Awake!: 3. September 2006.
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- Ham, Ken (1998-09-01). "French creation interview with French scientist Dr André Eggen" (asp). Creation. 20 (4): 17–19. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- Williams, George; Nesse, Randolph M. (1996). Why we get sick: the new science of Darwinian medicine. New York: Vintage Books. p. 304. ISBN 0-679-74674-9.
- Isaak, Mark (ed.) (2005-10-04). "Index to Creationist claims: Claim CA215". TalkOrigins Archive. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- Mindell, David A. (2006). The evolving world: evolution in everyday life. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-02191-6.
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- Waging War on Evolution, Paul A. Hanle, Washington Post, Sunday, October 1, 2006; Page B04
- McCarter, James (n.d.). "Evolution is a Winner - for Breakthroughs and Prizes" (asp). National Center for Science Education. Retrieved 2007-10-22.; originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2005-10-09.
- List of educational organizations that support evolution and their statements about evolution
- Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998) Appendix A, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1998.
- Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97. (1968)
- Segraves v. California, No. 278978 Sacramento Superior Court (1981)
- McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255, 50 (1982) U.S. Law Week 2412
- Edwards v. Aguillard, 482, U.S. 578, 55 (1987) U.S. Law Week 4860, S. CT. 2573, 96 L. Ed. 2d510
- Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1004 (7th. Cir., 1990)
- Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School District, 37 F.3d 517 (9th Cir., 1994)
- Freiler v Tangipahoa Board of Education, No. 94-3577 (E.D. La. Aug. 8, 1997)
- Order Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum, Court File Nr. CX-99-793, District Court for the Third Judicial District of the State of Minnesota 
- Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District No. 04-2688 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 20, 2005)
- Hurst v. Newman court documents
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- 59% dos brasileiros acreditam em Deus e também em Darwin
- Angus Reid Polls
- Opinions on evolution from ten countries July 2nd, 2009, National Center for Science Education
- Darwin and unnatural disbelief July 1, 2009. Los Angeles Times
- Darwin teaching 'divides opinion' BBC News; Monday, 26 October 2009. The 10 nations among which the survey was carried out were: Argentina, China, Egypt, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, USA.
- Chang, Kenneth (2009-11-02). "Creationism, Without a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
- Chris Veløy (13 March 2008) 1 av 10 tror ikke på evolusjonen NRK. Retrieved 14 January 2014 (in Norwegian)
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- BBC Survey On The Origins Of Life IPSOS-Mori
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- Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory Almost half of Americans believe God created humans 10,000 years ago Frank Newport Result of 2004 Gallup poll showing about 45% of the US public believe in the biblical creation account, and only 1/3 believe in Darwinian theory.
- See Majority of Republicans Doubt Theory of Evolution.
- Harper, Jennifer (2006-06-09). "Americans Still Hold Faith In Divine Creation". Washington Times (on-line). Archived from the original on 2006-06-16.
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- 2005 Pew Research Center poll
- Nearly Two-thirds of U.S. Adults Believe Human Beings Were Created by God, The Harris Poll #52, July 6, 2005.
- The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, expanded edition, Ronald L. Numbers, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England, 2006[permanent dead link] ISBN 0-674-02339-0
- Why doesn't America believe in evolution?, Jeff Hecht, New Scientist, 20 August 2006
- Science, vol 313, p 765
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- Discovery News, "Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling", Sun Jan 22, 2012 09:24 AM ET. Content provided by LiveScience.com
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- Matsumura, Molleen (1998). "What Do Christians Really Believe About Evolution?". Reports of the National Center About Evolution. National Center for Science Education Inc. 18 (2): 8–9. Retrieved on 2007-02-07
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