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Pew Research Center study finds a third of Americans don't believe in evolution
In 1842 Charles Darwin penned his first sketch of what became On the Origin of Species.
CHICAGO (AFP).- One third of Americans utterly reject the theory of evolution and believe instead that humans "have existed in their present form since the beginning of time," a new survey has found.

About a quarter of Americans believe that evolution was guided by God while only 32 percent of those surveyed believe that evolution is due to "natural processes such as natural selection," the Pew Research Center found.

The broad results were little changed from a similar survey in 2009, but Pew found a drastically widening gap along party lines.

Some 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats said they believed in evolution in 2009.

That ten-point gap more than doubled in the latest survey, which found that only 43 percent of Republicans believe in evolution while 67 percent of Democrats said humans have evolved over time.

The views of political independents were essentially unchanged, with 65 percent believing in evolution.

Evolution has long been a political issue in the United States, where science classes are a battleground between advocates of non-religious teachings in public schools and conservative Christians who push for curriculum that includes creationism or "intelligent design."

The debate has heated up in recent years as the so-called "culture wars" have reignited amid a deepening partisan divide.

Differences in the racial, ethnic and religious composition of the Democrats and Republicans surveyed "do not wholly explain partisan differences in beliefs about evolution," Pew said.

"Indeed, the partisan differences remain even when taking these other characteristics into account," the non-partisan research group said.

However, it did find strong differences among religious groups.

Two thirds of white evangelical Protestants believe God created humans in their present form while 78 percent of white "mainline" Protestants believe in evolution. Half of black Protestants believe God devised humans as they exist today.

Nearly seven in ten white non-Hispanic Catholics and 53 percent of Hispanic Catholics believe in evolution.

Meanwhile, three out of four religiously unaffiliated respondents believe in evolution and just 13 percent of them believe evolution was guided by a "supreme being."

The results released Monday were drawn from a telephone survey of 1,983 adults conducted March 21 through April 8 that has a margin of error of three percent.


© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse





Today's News

January 1, 2014

National Gallery of Ireland's traditional exhibition of Turner works opens in Dublin

9 Artists: The Walker Art Center's international multigenerational group exhibition

Rare early Biblical manuscripts return to view at Smithsonian's Freer Gallery in Washington

Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910 on view at the Nevada Museum of Art

Egypt turmoil turns Luxor into ghost town; days when about 10,000 tourists arrived daily are gone

Palm Beach Modern's Jan. 11 auction features extraordinary, never-before-publicized 1960s fashion archive

Pew Research Center study finds a third of Americans don't believe in evolution

Italian designer Martino Gamper's first exhibition in Scotland on view at The Modern Institute

Minneapolis Institute of Arts features Clark gift of Japanese art in special exhibition

Philippe Parreno's "Anywhere, Anywhere Out of the World" transforms the Palais de Tokyo

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: Jeremy Deller curates exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery

Exhibition at Astrup Fearnley presents works by Bjarne Melgaard from the museum's collection

Shipyard transformed into major contemporary art gallery in Dunkirk, France

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan...again

Pakistan's truck art masters fret over NATO withdrawal

Salon der Angst: Large scale exhibition on view at Kunsthalle Wien

Monumental artwork by artist Katharina Grosse to animate Amtrak's Northeast corridor

Celebrate Winterlude at the National Gallery of Canada

Exciting new exhibition shows China how art makes England - and England makes art

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