Thursday, February 05, 2009

Evolution and Religion in US

It is exactly one week before Darwin's bicentennial. You will see a lot more posts on Darwin and evolution here at least for the next few weeks. In the mean time, the Pew Forum has released a very useful study of evolution-religion interaction in the US (hat tip to Tom Heneghan at Faithworld). Here are the major sections of the report:
Overview: The Conflict Between Religion and Evolution
Religious Groups' Views on Evolution
Graphic: Religious Differences on Evolution
Darwin and His Theory of Evolution
Evolution: A Timeline
Fighting Over Darwin, State by State

Here is the histogram of acceptance of evolution with religious beliefs in the US:

I am actually surprised that unaffiliated is only in the low 70s. But kudos to Buddhists, Hindus and Jews in the US. But why are these percentages still only in the 80s? I would have expected some of these groups in the upper 90s - after all that is the number amongst scientists. And mixed results for Muslims. These numbers are far higher than those in other Muslim countries (pdf) (though the question was asked differently in the Muslim world ... and may be a significant factor responsible for lower numbers). At the same time, on average, these US Muslims are expected to be more educated (I don't know the statistics on that) than their counterparts in the Muslim heartlands. It would be great to dig more into those numbers and find factors that correlate with education and economic factors.

Find the full report here.