Evolution Is Finally Winning Out Over Creationism

Dec 8, 2015

By Rachel E. Gross

Few issues have divided the American public as bitterly as Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Since On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, it has driven a wedge between those who accept that humans and this planet’s other inhabitants have evolved over time, and those who believe that our species was created in its current form with no alterations. While the majority of people in Europe and in many other parts of the world accept evolution, the United States lags behind. Today, 4 in 10 adults in America believe that humans have existed in our present form since the beginning of time, and in many religious groups, that number is even higher. This is woeful.

Now, at long last, there seems to be hope: National polls show that creationism is beginning to falter, and Americans are finally starting to move in favor of evolution. After decades of legal battles, resistance to science education, and a deeply rooted cultural divide, evolution may be poised to win out once and for all.

The people responsible for this shift are the young. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 73 percent of American adults younger than 30 expressed some sort of belief in evolution, a jump from 61 percent in 2009, the first year in which the question was asked. The number who believed in purely secular evolution (that is, not directed by any divine power) jumped from 40 percent to a majority of 51 percent. In other words, if you ask a younger American how humans arose, you’re likely to get an answer that has nothing to do with God.

The increase in younger people embracing evolution is “quite striking,” says Kenneth R. Miller, a biologist at Brown University and an expert witness the landmark court case Kitzmiller v. Dover, which kicked “intelligent design” out of public school classrooms in 2005. “We’re moving in the right direction.”
It’s not just the young who are moving in favor of secular evolution. The overall proportion of Americans who believe in secular evolution has doubled since 1999, from 9 percent to 19 percent, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. But it’s important to note that the jump in secular evolution does not necessarily correspond to an increase in the total number who believe in evolution. Instead, most of that increase has been drawn from the pool of Americans who previously reported that they believed in evolution guided by God, which simultaneously dropped from 40 percent to 31 percent.


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17 comments on “Evolution Is Finally Winning Out Over Creationism

  • The increase in younger people embracing evolution is “quite striking,” says Kenneth R. Miller,

    The young. Moving away from religious nuttery and toward rationality. Hopefully it will be in time to address the real world problems the delusional-oids ignored or turned over to their favorite delusion.



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  • Religion requires cloistering young minds and feeding them full of bullshit. They must be carefully isolated from competing bullshit or science. This is getting harder and harder to do. Science pervades every corner of life. Religion does not have a refutation for any but a tiny slice of it. Every religious YouTube video has every imaginable point of view represented in the comments. Even though George Carlin is dead, his barbs still hit home. Once the young person loses enough fear to examine his brainwashing, the edifice of nonsense comes crashing down.

    Religion is a slow motion train wreck as the older generations die off. It really is all over but the shouting. Look at the withered size of congregations. Look how many churches have closed.



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  • @OP link – While the majority of people in Europe and in many other parts of the world accept evolution, the United States lags behind.

    As the numbers of science educated people increase, the befuddled creationists, will simply be laughed at or pitied, by the majority of the population.
    As much of the creationist stance, is posturing as “expert authority figures commanding respect”, increasing public mockery of their profound ignorance, should up the rates of erosion of the deluded views of the “all-knowing- god-did-it crowd” in societies!



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  • …most of that increase has been drawn from the pool of Americans who previously reported that they believed in evolution guided by God…

    So, perhaps this is more of a statement about the decline of belief in “God” than about an increase in belief in (at least the concept of) evolution. (Not complaining. Good news either way.)

    The people responsible for this shift are the young.

    Those responsible are science educators and other freethinkers.

    …evolution may be poised to win out once and for all.

    That’s pretty optimistic.



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  • 9
    Rev. El Mundo says:

    “,,,,,,persist for “some time?” You are such a kind and gentle diplomat.

    It will persist until a cure is discovered for credulity and the instinct to distrust of the voices of reason.



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  • Evolution’s strengths lie in its elegance and simplicity.

    I think a lot of people are suspicious of those two qualities; they think it must be more complicated than that.

    So they cling on to those human constructs of religious dogma and doctrine, whose absurdities and contradictions are disguised by deliberately tautological, almost incomprehensible gibberish, self-indulgent, often gaudy, and sometimes hysterical, ritual!

    Notwithstanding which, I absolutely adore gospel music.



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  • 11
    fadeordraw says:

    “The overall proportion of Americans who believe in secular evolution has doubled since 1999, from 9 percent to 19 percent, according to a 2014 Gallup poll”, (with non-secular evolution defined as god-assisted evolution).

    To be clear, there is no such category as secular evolution – preposterous, unacceptable terminology. The writer need a gentle reprimand. The stats, however, are encouraging.



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  • fadeordraw
    Dec 9, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    (with non-secular evolution defined as god-assisted evolution).

    Theistic evolution is not science. It is pseudo-science.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theistic_evolution

    Theistic evolution, theistic evolutionism, or evolutionary creationism are views that regard religious teachings about God as compatible with modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. Theistic evolution is not a scientific theory, but a range of views about how the science of general evolution relates to religious beliefs in contrast to special creation views.

    Supporters of theistic evolution generally harmonize evolutionary thought with belief in God, rejecting the conflict thesis regarding the relationship between religion and science – they hold that religious teachings about creation and scientific theories of evolution need not contradict each other.

    The claim of non-contradiction and lack of conflict, is denial, scientific illiteracy, compartmentalism, or delusional dishonesty.



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  • One of the leading Republican hopefuls in their Presidential nomination contest, one Dr. Ben Carson – a paediatric neurosurgeon – is on record as saying : ” I will believe in evolution when they show me the fossils”. We have, according to him, the biggest frontal lobe in the animal world because we were “created in the image of God”…
    Now, is he either a cynical political opportunist or does he really believe that – and if the latter, how the hell did he get through medical school…
    As long as so-called informed and highly specialised individuals like him spout forth nonsense how can we expect lesser mortals in his audiences to understand the real truth…?



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  • Thrilled to see progress being made. To be honest all of the idiocy in the US in politics and legal battles and Christian terrorism (Planned Parenthood shootings etc) has helped our cause immensely. Change and progress can be painful, but I have no doubt we will win out in the end, just because we are RIGHT. The evidence supports reality, and that reality is Atheism.



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  • There have been, and as far as I know, still are, students studying biochemistry at Imperial College London who don’t believe in evolution.

    Guess which community they belong to.

    “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

    Theodosius Dobzhansky.

    Or, unless you’re sufficiently credulous to believe everything your told; which is natural and acceptable in very young children, but not in grown ups.



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  • It is incredulous to see so many Americans believe in a god without any evidence whatsoever of such an existence, and at the same time reject any acceptance of evolutionary change and speciation when the evidence is so overwhelmingly supportive. This same religious group also believes that a fertilized egg is a human being therefor believe contraceptives should be banned. Such delusions seem to reflect a form of mental illness.



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