WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — A majority of Americans (60 percent) say they believe in human evolution, while one-third say that human and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.
The analysis from the Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project finds that while six-in-ten of the polled adults agree that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” about 33 percent reject evolution, and instead say that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”
These views of evolution vary greatly between religious, political and ethnic sects of the population, and in some cases, the difference of opinion has widened greatly since the 2009 Pew poll on the same topic.
The gap between self-identifying Republican and Democrat voters has increased dramatically.
Nearly two-thirds (67 percent) of Democrats expressed their belief in evolution, in comparison to only 43 percent of Republicans – a 24-point gap. By comparison, the 2009 survey showed that 64 percent of Democrats said they believe in evolution, versus 54 percent of polled Republicans – a 10-point gap.
Sixty-five percent of independents expressed their belief in human evolution.
About one-third (32 percent) of overall Americans said they believe evolution is “due to natural processes such as natural selection.”
Sixty-four percent of white evangelical Protestants and half of black Protestants say that humans did not evolve into their present form over the course of time.
Nearly a quarter of Americans (24 percent) say that evolution is set in motion by God, saying that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.”
The 2013 Pew Research poll by the Pew Research Center was conducted by phone with nearly 2,000 U.S. adults across the country.