- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Just about a third of Americans say the notion of human evolution — that people formed over a period of time from apes, or fish, or the like — is ridiculous, a survey from the Pew Research Center found.

Specifically, 33 percent say that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” Pew reported.

But fully 60 percent say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” the research revealed, surveyors said.

The numbers haven’t changed much since 2009, when Pew Research first posed the question.

And of those who believe in the concept of evolution, about half attribute it to “natural processes, such as natural selection,” Pew reported. Others, however, say God actually played a role in bringing about evolution. By the numbers, 24 percent said to Pew researchers that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.”

Predictably perhaps, the survey answers range with religion. Pew found that white evangelical Protestants — 64 percent — were most likely to disdain the notion of human evolution, believing instead that the race has existed in its present form since the dawn of time. Half of black Protestants believe the same, Pew found.

And by political party, the beliefs range, also. Forty-three percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats believe humans have evolved. But that 24-point gap is quite different from 2009, when 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats — a 12-point gap — thought the same, Pew found.

The survey was conducted by telephone between March 21 and April 8, with a sampling of 1,983 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.