Rising Acceptance of Evolution

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center of public opinion about science related questions found that the median score for the acceptance of evolution was 74% across 20 countries. Six countries scored below the median — Malaysia (43%), Brazil (54%), India (56%), Singapore and Poland (59%), USA (64%), while fourteen recorded scores close to or above the median — South Korea (70%), Russia (71%), Australia (72%), UK (73%), Taiwan (74%), Italy (75%), Canada (77%), Netherlands (77%), France and Germany (81%), Czech Republic (82%), Sweden (85%), Spain (87%), Japan (88%).

Key factors in accepting or rejecting evolution were religious affiliation and levels of education. Muslims were generally more inclined to reject evolution along with Christians for whom religion was important. Buddhists, Hindus, and Taoist, and religiously unaffiliated publics were more inclined to accept it; a similar dynamic was observed regarding educational attainment. Those with lower education tended to believe that humans and other living things have existed as they are today since the beginning of time, while those with higher education believed that they evolved over long periods.

Not wishing to analyze possible implications of the data, I simply note their significance for both science as well as for religious education.

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