Seven of 10 Republicans skeptical on evolution: Four in 10 Democrats too

July 10, 2007

Republicans are far more likely to doubt the theory of evolution than Democrats, according to a new Gallup Poll.

Sixty-eight percent of Republicans say they doubt that humans evolved from lower life forms over millions of years, while only 40 percent of Democrats hold that view. The poll was conducted by telephone June 1-3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Evolution proved to be a hot-button issue among GOP presidential candidates during a May debate. Three of the 10 candidates in the debate—Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas—raised their hands to indicate they don’t believe in evolution.

Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.), an Episcopalian, said he believes in evolution but qualified his statement, saying, “I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.”

McCain’s belief reflects the view of a large number of Americans. In a separate Gallup Poll this May, respondents were asked to choose between three hypotheses about human origins and development. Just 14 percent believed that God had no part in the process, while 43 percent said that God created human beings in their present form. A full 38 percent took a centrist view, affirming that humans evolved but God guided the process. –Religion News Service