More Than 50 Percent of Americans and British Still Don't Believe in Evolution


Illustration Credit: Latvian

This coming February 12th, 2009, will be the 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, and subsequently the 150th Anniversary of his theory of evolution. While many people still see the Darwin Evolutionary Theory as something that shouldn't be taught to school children, as it undermines many religious teachings and it is "theory" rather than "fact", most scientists agree that it caries the most overwhelming scientific evidence for the origin and evolution of our species.
In addition, many Treehuggers use Darwin's Theory to aid in the ability to theorize on how the environment can have such a tremendous impact over the world and its many species. Environmentalists' use his theoretical thinking quite often in the attempt to explain theories, such as global warming or extinction. With this said, I found it quite odd that after all these years, there is still quite a hefty chunk of individuals who still do not agree with his teachings, even though they are by far the most understandable and scientifically logical theories to date.

A Look at the Past and Present of Darwin's Theory
In 1800, over 99 percent of all people believed in some sort of creationism theory to explain life on this planet. In 1930, the scientific basis for Darwin's Theory began to take hold and show some support in favor of it. In 2005, the Pew Research Center looked at American beliefs and found that 50 percent of Americans still favored Creationism as the most acceptable explanation for life, while the other roughly 50 percent, preferred some form of the evolutionary theory instead.

Fast forward another couple years to a recent British poll featuring the viewpoints of some 2,060 folks of multiple ages who were asked to express their beliefs on the subject of the evolution of the world. Once again the results were quite shocking. Only 25 percent of all participants believed Darwin's Evolutionary Theory was without a doubt the most logical explanation to life on this earth, while the other 75 percent either said they were either unsure if the theory was acceptable, outright rejected it in favor of creation or intelligent design, or had beliefs which consisted of a combination of popular/unpopular theories.

The Question How Evolution Should be Taught in Schools
Later in the month, scientists and educators from across Europe will meet in Dortmund, Germany, to discuss the attitudes of evolution and creationism, and how they should be taught in schools. While I certainly do not want to get in a religious debate here, there is a lot of helpful insight to be had in the understanding of the evolutionary theory when it comes to teaching young people about the many environmental issues we are facing today.

With that in mind, how many of our Treehugger's believe that they owe their faithful dedication to protecting the environment to a well rounded education, including Darwin's Theory of Evolution? And how many believe that it should not matter which theories you are taught in school/church when it comes to understanding and acting upon today's most important environmental concerns?

More on evolution
650-Million-Year-Old Reef May Offer Evolution Clues
Single-Celled Giant Upends Early Evolution
On Earth, Evolution Booms in Bursts

Tags: Animals | Environmental Footprint | United Kingdom | United States

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