Four in 10 Americans believe God created the Earth and anatomically modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago, according to a new Gallup poll.
About half of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years, with most of those people saying that God guided the process. Religious, less educated, and older respondents were likelier to espouse a young Earth creationist view — that life was created some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago — according to the poll.
Though the percentage of people who believe in creationism has changed little over the decades, the percentage of people who believe humans evolved without God has more than doubled, and the percentage who believe in God-guided evolution has decreased.
Americans consistently report high levels of belief in the supernatural. About 80 percent of Americans believe in miracles and three-quarters believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, according to a 2013 Pew survey.
At the same time, while most Americans have a healthy respect for science, many could use a refresher course in the basics. For instance, a 2014 National Science Foundation study found that only three out of four Americans know that the Earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa, and a large percentage didn’t know the Earth’s core was hot. Large percentages didn’t know that the father’s sperm determines a baby’s sex.