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In America, 46% of People Hold a Creationist View of Human Origins 1359

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-ess-ay!-you-ess-ay! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The latest Gallup poll is out, and it finds that 46% of Americans hold the view that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. According to Gallup, the percentage who hold this view has remained unchanged since 1982, when they first started asking the question. Roughly 33% of Americans believe in divinely guided evolution, and 15% believe that humans evolved without any supernatural help."
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In America, 46% of People Hold a Creationist View of Human Origins

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  • by skovnymfe (1671822) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:14PM (#40183663)

    Results are based on telephone interviews conducted May 3-6, 2012 with a random sample of –1,024—adults, aged 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

    It's the very first line of the report. http://www.gallup.com/file/poll/155006/Creationism_120601.pdf [gallup.com]

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grygus (1143095) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:22PM (#40183825)

    That is complete nonsense. Christians are expected to memorize several passages word-for-word, and though you are correct that the specific set and wording passages varies by denomination, they all have their set. In denominations with Confirmation, members are expected to basically memorize an entire catechism. Things like The Lord's Prayer are universally expected. If you attend church regularly, you will end up memorizing hymns, the more ritualistic parts such as the blessing and benediction, and oft-cited passages in sermons (which again may vary by church or pastor/priest, but they all have favorites.)

    I do not know of any church that adopts new translations as they release; the vast majority of Christian churches adopt one translation and stick with it for years and years.

  • by hoppo (254995) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:24PM (#40183885)

    Catholic dogma treats the book of Genesis as an allegorical work.

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:27PM (#40183939)

    Which means either old people or folks without jobs, but I repeat myself. Any poll like this is not much better than a slashdot poll, about the same level of self selection.

    If they are calling landlines, it is pretty much just the elderly.

  • Re:~79%? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki&gmail,com> on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:34PM (#40184071) Homepage

    There is no separation of church and state in the constitution. Rather that the government shall not impose religion or establish a state religion and all people are entitled to practice whatever religion they so choose. Those are two fundamentally different things.

    Incase it's hard to understand let's take it right from the page itself.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:36PM (#40184109) Homepage
    For a while I thought this, but then I was pointed out that Muslims have very low acceptance rates of evolution even though Islam doesn't need the details of a creation story in any deep theological way. http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2009/02/21/acceptance-of-evolution-by-var/ [scienceblogs.com]. This may be due in part to the general more reactionary and hyper-religious aspects of Islam currently having more sway than in much of Christianity, but at least on its surface this suggests that whatever causes high rates of creationism in Christianity may be more subtle.
  • by HuguesT (84078) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:44PM (#40184265)

    The book of Genesis is definitely considered allegorical by most Christians, including the Pope. However most Christians also believe that left to themselves, humans quickly descent into sin, and from there war, pestilence, famine and whatnot. Jesus saves us not because he died on the cross, that is just a spectacular example of incomprehensible self-sacrifice. He saves us because if you believe in him, then you will not descend into sin, simply because by loving your neighbor, war, famine, whatnot becomes quickly impossible.

    Anyway, even if the garden of Eden never happened, Christianity does not collapse. Christianity is a faith, it can explain away anything.

    As Gandhi said, I love your Christ but I don't love your Christians.

  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:47PM (#40184343)

    Any poll conducted by telephone is inherently biased. Assuming they're calling (predominantly? only?) land-line phones

    "Predominantly" to the extent that "Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region." [gallup.com] (see the "Survey Methods" section at the end).

  • by ChetOS.net (936869) on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:51PM (#40184425) Homepage

    The agnostic point of view means that it's OK to say you don't know.

    The atheistic point of view means you know there isn't a God.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday June 01, 2012 @02:53PM (#40184479) Homepage Journal

    No, I don't think so. More likely the question in the survey was poorly worded, and TFA (which I haven't read) was probably as crappy as most non-scientist/statistician summaries of most research.

    If the question was "do you believe God created man 10,000 years ago" 46% would be about right. Most people are pretty ignorant about paleontology, jusging from slashdot comments most people don't read enough to know the difference between their there and they're. Personally, I do believe God created it all, but 10k years is far too low; humans have been human for over 50K years and evolved form other apes.

    You underestimate the abysmal state of public education in the US, and overestimate the ignorance of article writers. I'd like to see the actual research.

  • by yndrd1984 (730475) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:17PM (#40184975)

    So, who's working on a faith vaccine?

    We have one, it's called 'critical thinking'.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:20PM (#40185031)
    That is why the bible says 'without beginning and without end' because where there is no time there is no beginning or end.
  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:32PM (#40185305) Homepage Journal
    I grew up in a church that was pretty fundamentalist...I mean, Hell, we thought the Baptists were too liberal...seriously.

    But in all those years, I'd never heard anyone preach that the earth was only 10K years old?!? They never put a time on it...just that God created the world. No one disputed how old the earth was...I'd actually never heard that christains supposedly thought this till I read it so readily displayed on slashdot to be honest.

    To me, I supposed God created things....I mean, science hasn't come up yet with an explanation how things started. The big bang...well, what was there before that? So, until they can explain how things really all started, I supposed God is as good of an explanation as any. If God was here in the beginning, I have no problems in him designing things to evolve either....it seems apparent that thing do evolve....so, what's the big argument?

  • by yndrd1984 (730475) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:36PM (#40185409)

    The atheistic point of view means you know there isn't a God.

    I'm sorry, but that isn't true. Atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Dennett, Sam Harris, A. C. Greyling - all have quite clearly said that they can't rule out the possibility that some kind of god exists.

    Can you name any well-known, modern atheist (other than P. Z. Myers) who is completely certain that all gods are impossible?

  • Re:Why (Score:5, Informative)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:40PM (#40185491) Journal

    Evolutionists reject what is essentially the Prime Directive of Biology: Life cannot come from nonlife.

    Science is finding it increasingly difficult to draw the line between life and non-life. Viruses have just DNA replication ability without anything else needed for life. They borrow these from others. People were arguing whether viruses are alive or not. Now prions are basically chemicals (mis folded amino acids) with replication ability without DNA, not even the single stranded version of DNA called RNA. In fact there is a such a gradual chain of things linking life with non-life, it is not impossible to construct a sequence of events where life could emerge from non-life.

  • by SolitaryMan (538416) on Friday June 01, 2012 @03:45PM (#40185595) Homepage Journal

    Saint Paul is an interesting Bible figure, BTW. Even based on Bible, he never ever saw Jesus, except for the case where his "spirit appeared before him", which is only mentioned in the part *St. Paul* himself wrote! It is not clear whether he new any other disciples, the modern view is that he was way younger than any of them to personally know them.

    Yet, this guy gets to write more then a half of New Testament!

    Talk about fraud.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveAtFraud (460127) on Friday June 01, 2012 @04:22PM (#40186395) Homepage Journal

    I'll insert myself here by saying "YES."

    It's bad enough that these businesses in the US exist to collect donations which go to pay for their land, buildings and the ridiculously high salaries of priests, preachers, pastors or whatever they want to me called and do it all tax-free because it's "religion." But they go on to insult the whole educational process in every way possible by asserting things without evidence or experiment or verification of any kind. Some people even get real PhD's in this crap.

    "The profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it is a lovely work if you can stomach it." [Lazarus Long, _Time enough for Love_, by Robert Heinlein]

    A PhD in ancient Greek or Roman or other mythologies is "okay" but to declare a difference between that and "religious studies" is simply ridiculous and I demand an explanation of the fundamental difference between "mythology" and "religion." You have to realize that today's "religion" will be tomorrow's mythology right? Just as today's mythology was yesterday's religion?

    Simple. Religion is what you believe; myths are what others believe or with another Heinlein quote:

    One man's religion is another man's belly laugh. [Robert Heinlein]
     

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by wasabii (693236) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:37PM (#40187789)

    Most of us are agnostic atheists. Including Dawkins, Hitchens, and the rest. You may have missed that.

    a-theist means without God. One who does not accept that God exists is an atheist. One does not need to also hold the positive belief that God does not exist.

  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr2cents (323101) on Friday June 01, 2012 @05:54PM (#40187973)

    The whole idea of atheist - agnostic - theist is quite simplistic. We are dealing with two orthogonal concepts: on one hand there is agnostic versus gnostic, and on the other hand there is atheist versus theist. Gnotics know, agnostics don't. Theists believe, where atheists do not. I don't believe in a god because there is no reason to. I'm agnostic because I don't have knowledge about its existence. In theory, you can be an agnostic theist or an agnostic atheist. Or you can be a gnostic theist or a gnostic atheist.
    In respect of a general concept of a god, I'm agnostic, although the general concept of a god is so vague that it doesn't really matter much. If you believe in a god but admit you don't know anything about god, that's a rather moot point to make.
    If on the other hand you arrive with a bible, I can be rather certain that it's all made up. Just take a look at all the mythologies, and that christian one doesn't really stand out. There are simpler explanations to why it came to be, and it has to do with unevolved people living in a world they don't understand, making up stories as they go.

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