Friday, February 13, 2009

Belief in evolution cross-nationally

Here's an interesting graph found in last week's issue of the Economist. It plots out how many people belief in evolution in the US & European countries (plus has a spiffy picture of monkeys). I'm surprised at how many people don't believe in evolution. If I were to guess, I would have put the US at 1/3 people not believing in it and very few in any of the major European countries. Instead, it's more than half for the U.S. and more than 1/4 in most European countries. Go figure...

4 comments:

Michael Kruse said...

What is amazing to me is that evolution, which is about as certain as anything in science can be, is disbelieved, yet you have more people convinced that the primary cause of global warming is human caused which is on far more shaky ground.

Goes to show it isn't just about science. It is about good PR.

Brad Wright said...

Good point... It would be interesting to see similar data about global warming.

Jeff L said...

According to a 2006 Time magazine poll, 85% of people believe the Earth is warming, but only about a third believe it is solely caused by humans. Around half believe it is a combination of humans and natural variability. My next post will include a discussion of this.

Drek said...

Be careful about interpreting this graph from the Economist. Acceptance of evolution varies a lot depending on how you define it. For example, do you define "acceptance" as "Man evolved over millions of years through purely natural means" or would you also accept, "Man evolved over millions of years, but was guided by God"? The former are strict naturalists, the latter are theistic evolutionists, and the former are vastly outnumbered (at least in the U.S.) by the latter. Generally speaking, I find it much more informative to study evolution rejection, in that it comprises a much more defined subgroup.