In fact, this attempt by scientists to convince the American public that evolution poses no threat to faith has largely fallen on deaf ears, perhaps because it is simply untrue, and believers can see this clearly enough.

2010 Gallup Poll found that only 16 percent of Americans believe in "Naturalist Evolution," defined as the view that "Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life [and] God had no part in the process." This is exactly the same percentage of Americans who declare themselves unaffiliated with any religion. It may be that the only Americans who accept naturalist evolution are those who do not participate in any organized religion.

Of 34 developed nations surveyed for their acceptance of evolution, defined as humans and apes sharing the same ancestor, only Turkey was lower than the U.S.

So, what is it that the Americans who do participate in organized religion believe? The Gallup Poll found that 30 percent of all Americans agree with "Theistic Evolution" defined as "Man has developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process, including man's creation." And, an amazing 40 percent adopt the "Creationist View" in which "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years." This is despite the fact that only 26.3 percent of all Americans belong to Evangelical churches where the Bible is taken literally. This suggests that almost half of the churchgoers who reject evolution do so not because it disagrees with the Bible, but because it disagrees with their personal view of humanity's place in the scheme of things -- that humans are special.

Darwin is remembered as a great thinker because he saw that pure random variation was enough to allow natural selection to work. If he had said that supernaturally guided variation created the biological world, nobody would know his name today because that theory has no explanatory power. It just pushes the puzzle off into the never-never-land of the supernatural.