A new Gallop poll (a Values and Beliefs Survey) indicates that 4 out of 10 Americans believe 'God' created the Earth and modern humans (independently from evolution) from 6 to 10 thousand years ago. Per the article:


Four in 10 Americans believe God created the Earth and anatomically modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago, according to a new Gallup poll....About half of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years, with most of those people saying that God guided the process....three-quarters believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, according to a 2013 Pew survey.....a 2014 National Science Foundation study found that only three out of four Americans know that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa, and a large percentage didn't know the Earth's core was hot....

There is a silver lining - The percentage of Americans who believe in natural selection has increased significantly. Per the article:


Though the percentage of people who believe in creationism has changed little over the decades, the percentage of people who believe humans evolved without God has more than doubled, and the percentage who believe in God-guided evolution has decreased. (Bold added.)


Views: 650

Replies to This Discussion

It's worse, 46%, that is up 16% in just 3 years by the same pollsters.

The information age has spawned a backlash, and we are in another dark age. Sadly, it is a fight we are losing. You do not have to be correct, as long as you are loud and repetitive. =(

...oh how I miss the 'Fairness Doctrine'.

I doubt the fairness doctrine would lead to clearing the air in this ideological war to determine the direction this country is going to go. It only applied to candidates, not issues. If a candidate was given five minutes to explain their position, you had to invite on the opposition and give them "equal time," i.e. 5 mins. Not even the fairness doctrine would prevent Chris Wallace for having Karl Rove on a panel or even Dick Cheney opining Obama. In neither case would the doctrine be evoked. But I miss it at times, too.

You are right, that they would still have the crazy people on, but they would not be able to just let them ramble without breaks, without counterpoint, and it did lead to the decline in what passes for news, at one time, to be 'news' you have to be factual, or at least 'balanced' (not just claim to be). It's repeal was a direct cause, with the effect being the rise of FAUX news, and those like it, and allowing it to be a more profit driven, and less fact based. They no longer had to show both sides, (even when there are clearly more than 2 sides ...or less), they can now literally say whatever they want, and call it news.

It needed to be strengthened back then, not repealed.

Earlier this week on The Thinking Atheist, Donald Prothero pointed out that this poll is misleading. Here's a blog post he wrote on the subject.


Thank you Timothy. This blog post and subsequent comments are worth reading. Here's an example involving knowledge and/or belief about continental drift [which is happening at about the speed at which fingernails grow] (from which I quote: "Asking people what they believe is different from asking people what they know. All that has been achieved is to show that people are strong on belief but weak on knowledge.") 

  1. Tim Hoffnagle says:

    Interesting article, however, I found an error. The article stated, “Most people don’t regard continental drift as controversial (YECs must deny its existence)…” You would think that this would be true but I recently went to a presentation given by Russ Miller (Creation, Evolution and Science ministries) who tried to show how science proves the young Earth Creationist view. He explicitly stated that continental drift happened – it just happened faster than science says it did. In fact, he said that the source of the water for the Noachian Flood is the edges of the tectonic plates. I had so many other questions (it was a very target rich environment) to ask him that I didn’t get around to asking why there have been no historical reports of near constant and huge earthquakes that would have accompanied such rapid continental movement (~1 mile per year in the 4,000 years since Noah’s flood?).

  2. Alan(UK) says:

    Do these polls have any meaning? Is there any point in asking a question about continental drift without establishing that the respondent has some knowledge of the subject. Those that have been through the education system in modern times know that you should never leave a question unanswered, when it is a multiple-choice question – doubly so. Asking people what they believe is different from asking people what they know. All that has been achieved is to show that people are strong on belief but weak on knowledge.

There's more appropriate relevant discussion here


I like to take these poll results with a grain of salt. I've met a number of people who identify as Christian & yet have never read the Bible. They have only the most nebulous idea of what it's all about. The same goes for science. I suspect they get most of their "science" information from TV news & religious information by way of religious football & baseball players. Christians always point to the sky when they score a touchdown, or hit a home run, so, ergo, that must be Christanity.

I'm pretty sure that if being a Christian meant having to give up your cell phone America would go through a massive de-conversion overnight. However I'm almost as sure that The Church of the Holy Flip Phone would spring up the next day & start accepting converts. Probably no change on the science front.

I dunno, sounds like a fairly accurate estimate, from what I see around me.  In more urban areas, the numbers are better, but there's a lot of scientific ignorance, even here.  Several of my coworkers, in a freaking I.T. department, have indirectly identified themselves as young-earth creationists.  The department as a whole is majority atheist, but there are plenty of fundamentalist religious nuts.

I'm sure that the rest of the hospital has much worse numbers than my department, on average.  And this is in the largest urban cluster in the state.  I can just imagine what it's like, out in the more rural parts of the state.  Western NC has a big snake-handling-Pentecostal problem.

Well of course they don't really know what is in there, if they knew what their religion was really about they would not buy into it, it is full of horror and atrocities after all. The problem is that the same people who want to keep them ignorant of the bible (or whatever other holy book they use), are the same people keeping the same people from learning science or other facts. It us just a tool used to control the masses and keep them ignorant, and they are guilty by complacence.

You point about cellphones isn't correct, as they would just ignore it, like they do anything else they did not like or find inconvenient. This is most obvious when you look at the Neo-con and Libertarian wing of the group, as Christianity is very anti-'wealth accumulation'. Being Christian DOES mean that you are supposed to give up your wealth, but you see how often that happens...

The Libertarians are more likely to follow the teachings of the atheist Ayn Rand, than their fictional figurehead Jesus.

P.S. If they are not 'snake handlers', then they are not very good Christians, another example of picking and choosing what to follow.

My maternal grandmother was born in the 19th century and read her Bible daily all her adult life. I kept expecting her to finish it, put it down, take off her reading glasses, and say, "You know something? Thank book is a crock of crap." But she never did.

True enough, some never do, especially the further back in time you go, to when magical thinking was more accepted. But many only ever read the parts that make them feel good, and ignore those they don't like, like the preachers who pick and choose what to teach. No matter how much many of them claim to read the thing (many are lying, one guy I talked to claimed to have read it so many times that to reach that number it worked out to several hundred times a year), I am consistently amazed by how little most of them know about what it says.

Unfortunately for some, it has been ingrained so deeply that nothing can pry it loose, ghost stories, fortune tellers, and so on, people love the supernatural, and thinking that they are the one who has been chosen by these super powers is a powerful drug, feeling 'special', especially when the rest of your life sucks. You want to believe that everything will work out, there will be a happy ending, and that there was a point to all of the suffering you had to go through, because if not, then you have wasted your life, and been really horrible to people for no reason. To me, the idea is just creepy.

And one of the things about it is that many people can't read at the level to comprehend the way it was written (not saying that was your grandmother's reason), the King James version is written at a 12.8th grade level, and most Americans these days read at about 8-9th, though there are many other, easier to read versions out there, some dumbed down to a 3rd grade level (not counting the kids versions). Honestly, I think the 'children's version' of the bible is about the limit on what many of even the most devout know.

I didn't even have to know how to read before I could tell it was fiction ('magic isn't real' I told my maternal grandmother at age 3, lol), and the more I read once I did learn, just horrified me that people DID believe it. Not just because it is so unbelievable, and what that said about our critical thinking skills as a species, but because of all of the evil that is in that book. But when you grow up being taught that jealousy is love, and having a murderer tell you not to murder, except when I say so, or in all of these dozens of examples, like if your child mouths off, or your daughter is raped in town, or for a woman who is not a virgin when she is married, or working on the sabbath, or... you know, unbreakable commandments, that they were commanded to break literally immediately after they got them for things they did before they did get them...

whooops, but I could go one about this until the day I die, and probably will... sorry about rambling...


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: The Nexus Group.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service