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Evolution deniers are finally a minority in the US

A skull on display at the Neanderthal exhibition at the Musee de l'Homme in Paris on March 26, 2018.

A skull on display at the Neanderthal exhibition at the Musee de l’Homme in Paris on March 26, 2018.
Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP (Getty Images)

Americans still have a complicated relationship with science, modern medicine, and sometimes reality, but a survey of annual polls from 1985 to 2019 does provide good news: More than half of the survey participants believed in the science of evolution. I think this is a victory.

About a century ago Test scopes 1925 contrasted the science teacher and his curriculum (which included the theory of evolution) with Tennessee, which had just banned the subject from schools because, they said, it contradicted the biblical story of creation. Evolutionary theory The idea is that living organisms change over time, adapting to their environment through a process called natural selection. Naturalist Charles Darwin noticed and recorded such devices in the beaks of finches in the Galapagos Islands. Like any other living thing, humans have evolved over time, and it is this fact that seems to cause the most problems for some people.

Over the decades, more and more Americans have embraced evolution through natural selection as the driving force behind life on Earth. For a long time, however, the split was largely in half, but a new study from the University of Michigan found that deniers were finally in the minority. Paper-published This Week in Public Understanding of Science – Analyzed views of evolution in opinion polls conducted since 1985. The recent upsurge was found to have forced Americans to overstep the line of faith in the theory advanced by Darwin in his 1859 book. About the origin of species

Men buy books.

Anti-Evolution books are sold in Dayton, Tennessee, where Scopes was tried.
Photo: Actual Press Agency (Getty Images)

“From 1985 to 2010, there was a statistical tie between accepting and denying evolution,” said John D. Miller, a researcher specializing in the social understanding of science at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and lead author of the book. university newspaper Press release… “But then recognition skyrocketed, becoming the majority in 2016.”

The polls analyzed by the team were conducted by the National Science Council, NASA, and National Science Foundation affiliates, which presented American adults with the following statement, which they must agree or disagree with: “Human beings as we know them today are descended from earlier species. animals “. During the first 20 years of the study, the yes and no results were fairly similar. Not so: in 2019, 54% of survey participants agreed with the statement.

In a time filled with misinformation, distrust of knowledge and sheer stupidity, some people who were not previously carried away with the idea of ​​evolution decided that this was not so bad. Maybe it’s because deniers moved on on hotter topics like COVID-19 and climate change. Evolution is probably just … old hat.

Although the number of participants who identified themselves as religious fundamentalists has declined over the past decade, the research team found that even these people were beginning to come to their senses. In 1988, only 8% of self-proclaimed fundamentalists embraced evolution; in 2019 – 32%.

Co-author Mark Ackerman noted that more than twice as many Americans had a college degree in 2018 than in 1988; While this may play a role, the clearer link is political. In 2019, the most recent year included in the work, only 34% of people who identified as Conservative Republicans said they agreed with evolution, while 83% of people who identified as Liberal Democrats said the same. …

Read more: Pope opposes intelligent design, saying that God is “not a magician”


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