Polling creationism in Canada


A new national poll discussed in the Toronto Globe and Mail (March 21, 2011) indicates that 14 percent of Canadians think that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years, while 19 percent think that humans evolved over time but through divine guidance and 58 percent think that humans evolved through natural selection. The poll, conducted by Ekos Research Associates, surveyed 984 Canadians from March 15 to March 17, 2011; the medium in which the poll was conducted and the margin of error were not provided.

According to Ekos's data tables (PDF, pp. 77-79), creationism was strongest in the Atlantic provinces (25.1 percent) and Alberta (18.8 percent), stronger among women (18.8 percent) than men (9.5 percent), stronger among those with "right" ideology (22.4 percent), and stronger with those who attended religious services more than once in the past three months (38.4 percent). The "natural selection" option was particularly popular among respondents in Quebec (67.6 percent), less than twenty-five years old (73.9 percent), with university education (72.8 percent), and with "left" ideology (74.2 percent).

A previous national poll in Canada, conducted by Angus Reid Strategies in 2008, indicated that 58 percent of Canadians preferred "Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years," with 22 percent preferring "God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years" and 20 percent not sure. As the political scientist and polling expert George Bishop observed, however, minor changes in the wording of poll questions about creationism and evolution can make a substantial difference in poll results.

Ekos compared (PDF, p. 16) its results with the latest Gallup poll on evolution, conducted in December 2010, in which 40 percent of Americans preferred "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so," 38% preferred "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process," and 16% preferred "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process" — although Bishop's observation applies here as well.

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