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  • K H
  • Mercer Island, WA
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According to a Pew Research Poll published on Dec. 30, 2013, only 43% of Republicans believe humans evolved over time. Why is this?

More than 60% of Independents and Democrats believe evolution. However fewer Republicans believe evolution than before. Republican belief in evolution has dropped from 54% in 2009 to 43% in 2013. I agree when the article claims that: " Differences in the racial and ethnic composition of Democrats and Republicans or differences in their levels of religious commitment do not wholly explain partisan differences in beliefs about evolution."
Here is the article: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/12/30/publics-views-on-human-evolution/

What is your opinion about this trend? What factors do you think are causing it? Do you expect this trend to continue?


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  • Jan 2 2014: I just copied a part of the original report by The Gallop Poll citing more survey results to as early as 1982. The report below is extracted from it which at least represents the trend BEFORE THE COMPARISON BY K H using only the difference or the "trend" between 2009 and 2013.

    June 11, 2007:
    More Americans accept theory of creationism than evolution
    by Frank Newport GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

    *Column headings in the table are: 1. Date Developed, 2. with God guiding (%), 3. Man developed, but God had no part (%), 4. God created man in present form (%), 5. Other / No Opinion (%).

    2007 May 10-13--- 38 -----14 -----43 -------4
    2006 May 8-11----- 36-----13------46--------5
    2004 Nov 7-10------38-----13------ 45------ 4
    2001 Feb 19-21-----37-----12 ------45------ 5
    1993 Jun 23-26----- 35-----11-------47------ 7
    1982 Jan--------------38 ----- 9-------44-------9

    The results above included the answers by all the Americans. Now just look at the result for 1982. The proportion of the population of both parties surveyed who agreed with evolution concept was only 18%, even include those expressed "no opinion". This longer trend is exactly opposite to the trend cited by you.
    (The percentages of accepting the theory of evolution in the 1980s and 1990s were uniformly lower, even lower than that of 43% you quoted for 2013. The percentages for Republicans couldn't be that much higher than these % figures for the all Americans. Another point you can see is that if you guess what was the %age of belief 100 years ago, I would have to say it would be no more than 2% of the Republicans agree with the Darwin's evolution theory. So, it was a trend of drastically up, then down. My theory is perhaps the 'reverse' is caused by the recent change of the members' shift toward more religious orientation in the Republican party)
      • Jan 2 2014: Thanks, Jimmy. The TED format doesn't accept tabular form, so I had a lot of trouble in copying the tables onto the posting.
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          Jan 2 2014: The TED format doesn't accept anything... ʇnq ǝɹǝɥʇ ǝɹɐ llᴉʇs sʎɐʍ punoɹɐ ʇɐɥʇ¡ OR Ⓑⓤⓣ ⓣⓗⓔⓡⓔ ⓐⓡⓔ ⓢⓣⓘⓛⓛ ⓦⓐⓨⓢ ⓐⓡⓞⓤⓝⓓ ⓣⓗⓐⓣ...

          However I haven't been able to find a way of adding tabular forms...
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      K H

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      Jan 3 2014: Bart, thanks for adding some longitudinally to the discussion. I was only referring to the two time periods in the report. There is a very similar 2011 Gallup poll that confirms the Pew numbers. On January, 2nd NPR also conducted an analysis of the Pew survey. They note that this result is in line with other polling on science related topics which shows that a growing number of Republicans are challenging the basic assumptions of empiricism and scientific method on all fronts. Again, I think a major reason for this is that most of the stuff they read bashes science. The assault on the global warming hypothesis is another example. The prosperity of America is becoming more and more dependent on science and technology, not less. The attack on science could end up destroying our economy and our environment. The pool of talented scientists will shrink as more and more people put their heads in the sand. We will become a nation of burger flippers.

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