Tell me your religious affiliation, and there are good odds that I can describe your views about evolution versus a literal reading of the Bible’s creation story. Overall, 60% of Americans believe in evolution, but there is considerable variation by religion. Who’s most likely to believe in evolution?
Are the religiously unaffiliated the biggest believers in evolution?
Surprisingly, they aren’t. Seventy-six percent of the unaffiliated believe that humans evolved over time, according to recent Pew poll. But that’s two points less than the percentage of white mainline Protestants who also believe in evolution: 78% of white mainline Protestants say that humans have evolved over time. Only 15% pick the biblical creation story.
Other Protestant groups are at the opposite end of the spectrum on these issues. Only about one in four (27%) of white evangelical Protestants believe in evolution, with the larger majority (64%) opting for the creationist stance. Black Protestants are next, with 44% saying that humans have evolved over time and 50% believing that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning.
Catholics are in the middle. Majorities of white Catholics (68%) and Hispanic Catholics (53%) believe in human evolution. About a quarter of white Catholics and three of ten of Hispanic Catholics are creationists.
Are you surprised to learn that white mainline Protestants are the least likely to be creationists?
If you believe in evolution, do you attribute it to natural processes or is there room for supreme guidance?