Poll: Most Republicans Doubt Evolution

( [email protected] ) Jun 12, 2007 07:50 AM EDT
68 percent of Republicans do not believe in evolution, while only 30 percent believe in the theory that humans originated from simple organisms.
Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee answers a question during the Republican presidential primary debate hosted by Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, June 5, 2007. AP / Elise Amendola

A majority of Republicans do not believe in evolution, according to a Gallup Poll released Monday.

From the poll taken between May 21-24, results showed that 68 percent of Republicans tended to favor the idea that humans were created in their present form about 10,000 years ago, while only 30 percent believe in the theory that humans originated from simple organisms. Independents and Democrats, on the other hand, were more likely to believe in evolution - 61 and 57 percent, respectively.

The results come after recent presidential primary debates touched on the subject of evolution and whether Republican candidates believed in the theory.

On May 3, at a GOP debate in California, three candidates – Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Tancredo – raised their hand to show they do not believe in evolution when asked. And last Tuesday, two of the three expounded on their stance on evolution and how that fits into their belief in a higher being.

"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. A person either believes that God created the process or believes that it was an accident and that it just happened all on its own,” explained Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and an ordained Baptist minister, at the Republican debate last Tuesday. "If anybody wants to believe that they are the descendants of a primate, they are certainly welcome to do it."

"I believe we are created in the image of God for a particular purpose, and I believe that with all my heart," explained Brownback, the senator from Kansas. "I am fully convinced there's a God of the universe that loves us very much and was involved in the process. How He did it, I don't know.”

Based on the results of past surveys, the latest findings were expected. In a poll taken from May 21-24, responses suggested that those that attend church are more likely to not believe in evolution; About 74 percent of individuals who attend service weekly had said they do not believe the theory while 71 percent of people who seldom or never attend church said they trust Darwinian thought.

Past polls have also shown that a higher proportion of Republicans attend church than Democrats, leading to the described conclusions.

Beyond Republicans, other recent Gallup Polls have reported that most Americans in general tend to believe that God created the world.

In a June 1-3 poll, 66 percent of U.S. citizens said they believe in creationism (39 percent “definitely true” and 27 percent “probably true”) while only 53 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution (18 percent “definitely true” and 35 percent “probably true.”).

Among those who believe in evolution, however, most people still believe that God was behind the process.

A poll taken from May 10-13 revealed that 43 percent of the population believes in strict creationism, 38 percent believes in evolution but that God guided it, and only 14 percent believes that man developed without a higher being as part of the process.

Overall, 81 percent of Americans surveyed think that there was a creator to everything.