Evolution and Creationism in Public Education

Public Rejects Kansas Decision

Main Finding: A majority of Americans (60%) reject the 1999 Kansas State Board of Education decision to delete Evolution from its state science standards.

The catalyst for the current public debate in America on the issue of whether or not Evolution and/or Creationism should be taught in the public schools has been the recent developments in Kansas. Specifically, the Kansas State Board of Education voted in 1999 to delete Evolution from its new state science standards, thereby also deleting it from the state science assessment tests and, in effect, discouraging schools from teaching Evolution.

The American public clearly does not agree with this decision. A majority (6 in 10) oppose it, while less than 3 in 10 support the move. There is no statistical difference on this point between Americans in general and parents of children in public schools.

Question: “The Kansas State Board Of Education has recently voted to delete Evolution from their new state science standards. Do you support or oppose this decision?”

There are significant differences by subgroup on this issue. However, no group that we analyzed shows a majority supporting the decision. The groups most supportive, namely self described “very religious” individuals and Evangelical Christians, are essentially split (roughly half and half) on the issue.

Groups most
OPPOSED to the ruling
Groups most SUPPORTIVE to the ruling
  • Better educated

  • Younger

  • Residents of the Northeast
  • Less educated

  • Older

  • Self described very religious/Evangelical

  • Residents of the South, Central and “Bible Belt” states
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