Tomorrow, February 12, is Darwin Day, and David Masci of the Pew Research Center has very conveniently come out with 6 facts about the evolution debate. You could quibble with his failure to use scare quotes over the term debate, but his facts are to some extent comforting. A sampling of these facts:
Fact 1. Approximately 80 % of US adults say that “humans have evolved over time.” About half of US adults think that God or someone else guided the process, which is frankly not an inherently anti-scientific position. About 20 % of US adults think that humans have always existed their present form; that is, of course, true, because before they evolved to their present form they were not humans.
Fact 3. Approximately 75 % of US adults recognize that biologists think that “humans have evolved over time due to processes such as natural selection.” Those who reject evolution, by contrast, are split roughly 50-50 on whether most biologists actually think that humans have evolved. In fact, 98 % of AAAS biologists agree that humans have evolved over time.
Fact 5. Those who are religiously observant are less likely to find that science and religion are in conflict. Two-thirds think that their own “religious beliefs do not clash with accepted scientific doctrine.”