|Main Finding: The overwhelming majority of Americans (83%) want Evolution taught in public schools. While many also support the in-school discussion of religious explanations of human origins, they do not want these religious explanations presented as “science”. They would like Creationist ideas to be taught about in classes other than science (such as Philosophy) or discussed as a “belief”. Only a minority (fewer than 3 in 10) want Creationism taught as science in public schools.|
Since this is not a simple issue, we asked a series of questions in the survey to understand fully where Americans stand. The main questions were:
The vast majority of Americans, 83%, want the Theory of Evolution to be taught in the nation’s public schools. On this point there is no difference at all between all Americans and those with a child currently enrolled in a public school. Clearly, Americans in general, and parents in particular, believe Evolution should be part of the public school curriculum.
|Those with a child in public schools|
|Believe Evolution should be taught in public schools||83||83|
While most Americans want to keep Evolution in the public school curriculum, they are less clear about how they would prefer schools to deal with religious explanations for human origins. On this point, supporters of Evolution in the schools fall into many different subgroups, each with its own approach to the two questions.
- Teach only Evolution (20% support).
- Teach Evolution in science class with religious explanations taught in another class (such as Philosophy class) (17% support).
- Teach Evolution as “scientific theory” in science class, but allow Creationism to be mentioned as a “belief” (29% support).
See the next page for a detailed breakdown.