New Poll: Far Fewer Republicans Believe in Evolution Since 2009, Level of Education Plays Big Part

4349e754a62fa8bde3cd4d40a8b60d1aWell, I guess since President Obama backs evolution (and science in general) we should have known this was bound to happen.  In a headline even the best writers of satire would struggle to come up with, a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows a significantly lower number of Republicans believe in evolution in 2013 than did in 2009.

And by significant, I meant significant.  

In 2009, Pew found that 54 percent of Republicans said they believed in evolution.  That’s still a stupidly low number.  To know that almost half of Republicans deny evolution — that’s simply stunning.

Sadly, in 2013 it got much worse.  Now according to Pew, only 43 percent of Republicans believe in evolution — an 11 percent drop in four years.

By contrast, the number of Democrats who believe in evolution ticked up a bit from 64 percent in 2009 to 67 percent in 2013.

The overall number of Americans who believe in evolution sits at 60 percent.

It’s stuff like this which puts me on a platform with Republicans where I can’t help but sound arrogant and smug.  How can these people expect me to take them seriously when a poll shows that nearly 6 in 10 Republicans don’t believe in evolution?

And it’s not like their numbers are increasing, showing that they’re becoming more intelligent toward widely accepted science.  These numbers actually indicate that Republicans are getting dumber.

Granted, liberals from a partisan stance have been saying this all along.  But this poll actually proves some of those claims.

But it’s not just the fact that the number of Republicans accepting evolution dropped, it’s how far that number fell.  In polling numbers on something such as this (as in a theory supported by the vast majority of respectable scientists), to see a drop of 11 percent in just four years is astounding.

But my favorite part is where they broke down demographics based on education.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed with a college degree believed humans evolved over time.  Heck, even 62 percent of those with “some college” believed that humans evolved over time.

But when you get to those with a high school education or less — only 51 percent of those asked believed humans evolved over time.  A number much closer to Republican numbers than Democrat.

Which is even more proof that the less educated you are, the more likely you are to be a Republican or believe in Republican ideologies.

Though it’s a simple poll, these numbers paint a much bigger picture.  Like I said, the fact that the more educated people surveyed believed in evolution (which were numbers much closer to how Democrats were polled) while less educated believed in evolution far less (much closer to Republican numbers), it’s actually a good bit of proof that how educated someone is can have an impact on their political beliefs.

And the fact that the number of Republicans who believe in evolution is actually dropping shows that not only are you more likely to be a Republican if you’re uneducated, but many conservatives are actually finding ways to get dumber at a more rapid rate.  Now that is scary.

Image via Anthony Thomas

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Phil the observer

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore……

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      neither do the apes,,,,,,, they see what we are doing

  • Mrs_oatmeal

    Maybe we will just start to de-evolutionize (?) and go back to living like cavemen…

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      Raquel welch 1960’s cave(wo)men????

      • thehummelr

        You’re either as old as I am or you really like old movies. lol.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        both,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, here is one for you: the ORIGINAL “1 million BC” with Victor Mature,,,,,,, watch the fight in that movie between the alligator ( with a sail glued to its back) and a TEGU lizard,,,U can GOOGLE the fight scene———- I have owned TEGU lizards since 1979,,,killer pets!!

  • sneadly

    Was talking to a woman the other day, who, admittedly, doesn’t hold a full deck of cards, who latched on to that monkey-to-man art work done in the mid-60s (I think it’s called the March of Progress) as being inaccurate (duh) and therefore disproving the whole evolution thing. I couldn’t convince her that that illustration was done by an artist, probably wasn’t considered complete at the time, and we understand how it works much better now. Nope. The picture isn’t right, so the whole thing is an evil plot. Maybe that’s not how they all think, but it’s close.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      “flintstones,,,,,,meet the flintstones,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,”

      • Taylor Holder

        Now that IS FUNNY!

  • Dave H.

    This is the movie Idiocracy in real life

  • Dexter

    Wow. Horrible correlation/causation fallacy going on here. Just because the percentage of those with a high school education or lower poll “closer to Republican numbers” does not mean you can make the sweeping generalization that Republicans are uneducated. Please avoid known logical inconsistencies when criticizing others of their own logical pitfalls. That’s just sloppy.

  • Adam of Portland

    Think positively– some of the more moderate republicans have probably left the party, so the percentage increase could mean that the republicans remaining represent a smaller part of the American population.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      im digging that answer!!!

      • thehummelr

        If only hoping made it so…

    • Joseph Smith

      And probably pandering to the folks that thinks science books are only good for burnin’ as their newest replacement recruits would have an effect.

  • FD Brian

    The irony here is that the majority of things that did not evolve are extinct. Kind of like the republican party will be soon if they don’t change the way they think.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      I am savoring it,,,and I want them 2 die slowly; loudly and forgetfully

      • thehummelr

        As much as I, too, would like that, I just don’t think our system is at its best when there is not a sensible minority to work with the majority to make this country better. Not all worthwhile thought originates with the majority. I guess what I’m saying is that we may fall with them if left strictly to our own devices.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        or simply replace them with a logical thinking “party” who is worried about stuff like graft/corruption/ waste/ environmental hazards ETC

  • Steve

    It is beyond time to quit using the term “believe in evolution”. Evolution, unlike creationism is not a belief system. It is far better, and more accurate, to state that “54 percent of Republicans do not accept the theory of Evolution”.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      my fave is that NOAH collected 2 of EVERYTHING and cruised around for a long time ,,,,,how did he feed them? how did he keep gators from eating ducks? ducks from eating lizards? humans from eating all the yummie meals on board? HOW THE HELL DID HE GET THE “2” animals overseas to the Americas and Australia?????
      ,,,,,,,,,,,and what did NOAH do with all the FISH??????

      • Hagbard Celine

        And the idiot forgot the Unicorns!

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        and why WHY why did he “remember” the f*cking mosquitoes and FIRE ANTS????

      • Brien

        There is a very simple answer to your question. Noah was 500 years old. See, doesn’t it make sense now? Now you have to believe it.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        that would explain the tortoises living,,,,,,,

  • rj74210

    Please get your terminology right. From 54 to 43 per cent is not an 11 per cent drop, but an 11 point drop. The correct way to state this (11 of 54) is a drop of more than 20 per cent.

  • labman57

    What creationists don’t understand is that science is not merely a body of knowledge accumulated over the centuries, it is also the process through which this knowledge is attained. And so simply declaring that something is true because it says so in the Bible (or any other literary source) cannot be construed as science if that “fact” or “idea” was not the result of a valid, structured, self-critical scientific process.

    Evolution is a verifiable fact. It is the mechanism through which it occurs — natural selection — that comprises the theory.

    Scientifically-illiterate people seem to think that a “theory” is somehow lacking in power and validity. Scientific theories are our best explanation for an event or phenomenon based on the available evidence, i.e., a theory tells us HOW it happens. Theories have generally been subjected to rigorous empirical and/or mathematical testing and represent the consensus of the scientific community, whereas a hypothesis is a possible explanation for a specific observation and has not necessarily been tested yet.

    Calling something a theory does not cheapen or weaken it. On the contrary, the term “theory” gives it legitimacy as something that is scientifically testable and that has been rigorously examined either mathematically or empirically to the point that the available evidence overwhelming supports it.

    Quantum mechanics, special and general relativity, molecular kinetics — all THEORIES!

    Theories are based on the best empirical EVIDENCE available, not PROOF. There is an incredible wealth of evidence — both geological and biochemical — to support evolution by natural selection.

    Creationism and ID are faith-based concepts. Their “evidence” consists of the allegories provided in the Bible, nothing more.

    • thehummelr

      Thank you. Very well said.

    • Scaramongus

      Yes thank you,

  • Jo Clark

    I think a lot of that drop has to do with the adoption of religion as a major party platform by the GOP beginning in 2008. I would even venture to guess a LOT of those polled said they didn’t believe in evolution to simply toe the party line, when they actually do believe in it. This group of religious freaks will say anything the party asks them to, no matter how dumb or how false.

  • MLR

    No wonder i always find myself needing to use words like stupid, lunatics, crazy, idiots or ignorant when I’m referring to republicans or the republican party.

  • sheesh

    The whole evolution vs creation debate is like comparing apples to oranges. One side is arguing about who, and the other, how.