The number of Americans who believe that God made humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years is more than double the number who believe humans evolved from other primate species with no intervention from God. That is according to the findings from a new Gallup poll just released.
In all, 42% say that God made man in his present form sometime around or after 8,000 B.C. Another 31% believe that humans did evolve “from less advanced forms of life,” but God had a hand in the process. Finally, 19% believe that humans evolved on their own without any help from a higher power.
The number who believe in the creationist vision of humanity’s origin has held very steady in the 32 years Gallup has asked the question. In 1982, the first year the question was posed, 44% said they believed God created humans in their present form. The lowest number ever recorded by Gallup was 40% in 2011.
The number of people who believe in the Darwinian version of evolution with no input from God, however, has been on a slow and steady increase over the past 15 years. In late 1999, Gallup found 9% of people believed humans evolved without any help from God. That number now stands at the aforementioned 19%.
The increase in believers of Darwinian evolution mirrors a decline in the number of people who believe in the God-assisted version of human evolution.
Gallup’s poll also found that, of the respondents who attend church on a weekly basis, 69% believe God created humans in their current form. However, only one weekly church-goer out every 100 believes in Darwinian evolution.
A higher concentration of older Americans also believe in creationism. Of those asked by Gallup who are 65 or older, half believe in the biblical version of human origin compared to 16% who think Darwin had it right.
Similar numbers play out among Americans without a high school education: 57% believe in the Old Testament version of human origin while just 10% believe in an evolution without any divine intervention. Compare those findings to the responses of college graduates; 27% believe that God created humans as we are today while 41% believe that the human story told by Darwin is the correct one.
In a recent conversation with msnbc’s Chris Hayes, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson commented on the conflict that often arises between the scientific community and creationists. Tyson said of his own beliefs, “I try to have my personal philosophies disrupted daily.” He also added, “We know … how susceptible the human mind is to fooling itself.”
This poll was taken between May 8 through May 11 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4%.