Republicans Evolving — Away from Evolution

Photograph by E. R. Degginger/Getty Images

Skulls of human evolution

Many Republicans have evolved, it appears.

Away from evolution.

Just four years ago, most Republicans surveyed — 54 percent — said they believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time.

In the latest survey on this question by the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of Republicans say they believe in evolution.

The reasons behind this are easily found in the results of the Pew survey: White mainline Protestants (78 percent) and Catholics (68 percent) are far more likely to accept the theory of human evolution than are white evangelical Protestants (27 percent.) More than two thirds of the evangelicals say humans have looked this we all do since the start of time, and evangelicals account for a sizable share of the Republican Party. The share of people identifying themselves as Republican also has shrunk as people from both parties have gone independent.

Democrats and independents have held fairly steady on the question, with more than two thirds saying all creatures have evolved over time and fewer than one third saying they have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.

Men (65 percent) are more likely to believe in human evolution than women (55 percent).

The college educated (72 percent) are far more likely to believe in it than those with high school or less education (51 percent).

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