Next week will see the 151st anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species. The debate between evolutionists and creationists in explaining the beginnings of the human race has been raging ever since, especially as regards what should be taught in schools.
A new YouGov poll, released today and commissioned by Prospect magazine, affords insight into the current state of public opinion on the subject. It was conducted online on 25-26 October 2010 among a representative sample of 2,651 Britons aged 18 and over.
65% of adults now consider that Darwin’s theory of evolution is the most likely explanation for the origin of humans. The proportion is higher among men than women and the ABC1 than the C2DE social group. It is especially large among Liberal Democrat voters (74%).
This majority of two-thirds in favour of evolution was also reported in other recent studies, by Angus Reid Public Opinion in July 2010 (68%) and Populus in August 2010 (67%).
By contrast, only 9% of YouGov respondents hold to the account of creation as given in the Bible, ranging from 7% to 13% according to demographic sub-groups. A further 12% consider there has been some process of intelligent design, while 13% are unsure what to think.
These results represent a doubling in the number of believers in evolution since January 1973, when they amounted to 32% in a Gallup Poll. Creationists seem to have been expressly measured for the first time in August 1995, again by Gallup, when they stood at 29%. Later surveys can be traced through the BRIN database, but watch out for variants in question-wording.
The data table for the YouGov/Prospect question is available at: