A new Gallup poll on evolution

A new Gallup poll on public opinion about evolution hints at a slightly higher rate of acceptance of evolution in the United States over the years. Asked in December 2010 "[w]hich of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings," 38% of the respondents accepted "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process," 16% accepted "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process," and 40% accepted "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so."

Gallup observed, "A small minority of Americans hold the 'secular evolution' view that humans evolved with no influence from God — but the number has risen from 9% in 1982 to 16% today. At the same time, the 40% of Americans who hold the 'creationist' view that God created humans as is 10,000 years ago is the lowest in Gallup's history of asking this question, and down from a high point of 47% in 1993 and 1999," but added, "But these shifts have not been large, and the basic structure of beliefs about human beings' origins is generally the same as it was in the early 1980s." Acceptance of the creationist option was associated with a lower degree of education, a higher rate of church attendance, and affiliation with the Republican party.

According to Gallup, "The poll was based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 10-12, 2010, with a random sample of 1,019 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling"; the samples were weighted by gender, age, race, education, region, and phone lines. The maximum range of sampling error for the total sample was +/- 4%. Conveniently, Gallup provides a graph showing the results from its polls using the same question since 1982. Additionally, a collection of material — including NCSE's coverage, articles from RNCSE, and links — relevant to polls and surveys concerning the creationism/evolution controversy is available on the NCSE website.