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A recent poll released by Suffolk University/ USA Today reveals that more than half of Americans credit God with the current state of humanity in some way. The study was conducted amongst 1,000 registered voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and asked, “What comes closest to your belief about humans and evolution?” While two percent refused to answer, the poll found that 29 percent preferred the answer “Humans evolved into their present form without divine intervention,” while 37 percent preferred “Humans did not evolve. They were created in their present form by God.” Another 24 percent preferred “Humans evolved into their present form, but God directed the process,” meaning that 61 percent of respondents believed God had some part in the current state of humanity. 

Parsing the data more thoroughly, women were more likely to prefer a creationist perspective (God created man) than men (40 percent vs 34 percent), and Republicans were more likely than Democrats to take a creationist view (53 percent vs 23 percent). The poll appeared to show that education played a major role in who was more likely to take a creationist standpoint, with those who most had a high school degree taking a creationist standpoint at double those with advanced degrees (46 percent vs 23 percent). Thirty-six percent of those with some college or who had completed college took a creationist perspective. 

Writing for The Washington Post, Philip Bump noted how the election of Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House and his support of the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, KY, has brought creationist beliefs to the forefront. The Ark Encounter is a life-sized model of Noah’s ark, based on measurements from the Bible, with exhibits inside that imagine how Noah might have stored animals and food. The Ark Encounter is part of the Answers in Genesis ministries, which takes a literal interpretation of the Bible, meaning God created the world in six literal days and estimates the earth is somewhere around 6,000 years old. Bump also noticed education seemed to make in a person’s views on evolution, noticing that even when church attendance remained the same amongst individuals, those with higher education held to more predominately evolutionary views than creationists. “Perhaps the most striking comparison is education. Creationism is embraced by twice as many people with no more than a high school degree than those with a master’s or other advanced degree — but they report going to church weekly at relatively equal rates. There isn’t even a big gulf in the percentage of each group that says they never attend a religious service,” wrote Bump. 

The implication by Bump and others is that more education is necessary in order for Americans to leave behind what Jon D. Miller of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan describes as the “religious fundamentalism” of creationism. Miller was the lead researcher of a study by the University of Michigan on public attitudes toward evolution. The study found that American acceptance of evolution became the majority opinion in 2016, a change Miller credited to education. “Almost twice as many Americans held a college degree in 2018 as in 1988,” said Miller’s co-author, Mark Ackerman. “It’s hard to earn a college degree without acquiring at least a little respect for the success of science.” Answers in Genesis (AIG) states that such statistics are a result of indoctrination in schools. “The point that should concern Christian parents and teachers is that only one worldview—a secular evolutionary worldview—is taught as if it were established fact, contrary to the actual requirements of the National Curriculum,” wrote Paul F. Taylor for AIG regarding changes made in UK curriculum. 

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