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The Political Polarization of Evolution

Another interesting survey from Pew Research:

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” […]

There also are sizable differences by party affiliation in beliefs about evolution, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown. In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said humans have evolved over time, a difference of 10 percentage points. Today, 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats say humans have evolved, a 24-point gap.

Not a new topic, but four years is a short time for change like this. And think about the consequences of this — we have a two-party system in which the majority of one party believes “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time”.

Correction: It’s not quite a majority of Republicans — 48 percent — who believe that. But only 43 percent believe in evolution, so it is a plurality, outside the margin of error for the poll. And the trend is clear — just four years ago, 54 percent of Republicans believed in evolution and only 39 percent believed this “existed in their present form since the beginning of time” nonsense.

Monday, 30 December 2013