Evolution and Creationism in Public Education

Segmenting The Public: Teaching About The Origins of Mankind

66% Support Evolution-oriented Positions
(Breakdown)

  • 20% say teach only Evolution without any mention of Creationism at all.
  • 17% say teach only Evolution in science class, however, religious explanations can be discussed in another class (outside of science class).
  • 29% say Creationism can be discussed in science class, but discussed as a “belief”, not a scientific theory (while Evolution should be taught as a “scientific theory” in science class).
13% Support Treating Evolution and Creationism Equally
  • 13% say both Evolution and Creationism should be taught as “scientific theories” in science class.
16% Support Creationism-oriented Positions
  • 16% say teach only Creationism (with no mention of Evolution).
5% Are Not Sure
(Breakdown)
  • 4% say teach both Evolution and Creationism, but are not sure exactly how to do it.
  • 1% have no opinion at all on the topic.

Subgroup Differences

As one might expect, there are some significant subgroup differences on this issue. To sum up:

Age
Age is a key differentiator for this issue.

  • Young Americans, those aged 18 to 24, are much more Evolution oriented than are seniors (aged 70+). Generation Xers (25 to 34), Boomers (35 to 54) and Silents (55 to 69) fall in between.
Education
Education is also a differentiator for this issue.
  • Americans with greater educational attainment show more of an Evolution orientation than do those with less education (though the difference is less extreme than it is with age).
Region
There are differences by region, though they are generally small.
  • The Northeast is the most “pro-Evolution” while the South is the least, though the difference is only ten percentage points.
Party ID
While Republicans are slightly less Evolution oriented than are Democrats, the differences are relatively small.

Tables

Age Groups
All
%
Young
Adults
(18-24)
%
Gen X
(25-34)
%
Boomer
(35-54)
%
Silents
(55-69)
%
Seniors
(70+)
%
Evolution-Oriented667760695947
(Breakdown)
Teach Evolution only202617201821
Teach only Evolution in science class, religious explanation for human development in another class17221917158
Teach Evolution as “scientific theory”. Creationism can be discussed, but must be discussed as a “belief”292924322618

Educational Attainment
All
%
High School or Less
%
Some College
%
College Grad
%
Post Grad%
Evolution-Oriented6660646771
(Breakdown)
Teach Evolution only2017172424
Teach only Evolution in science class, religious explanation for human development in another class1715171918
Teach Evolution as “scientific theory”. Creationism can be discussed, but must be discussed as a “belief”2928302429


Regions
All
%
North East
%
Central
%
West
%
South
%
Bible Belt
%
Evolution-Oriented667165626162
(Breakdown)
Teach Evolution only202519201716
Teach only Evolution in science class, religious explanation for human development in another class172017151616
Teach Evolution as “scientific theory”. Creationism can be discussed, but must be discussed as a “belief”292629272830
Note: See appendix for the states that comprise each region.


Party ID
All
%
Rep.
%
Ind.
%
Dem.
%
Evolution-Oriented66626667
(Breakdown)
Teach Evolution only20162024
Teach only Evolution in science class, religious explanation for human development in another class17171817
Teach Evolution as “scientific theory”. Creationism can be discussed, but must be discussed as a “belief”29292826
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