01 July, 2009

Public Acceptance of Evolution

A poll on public knowledge and acceptance of evolution across several countries can be found on the Guardian website.

The British Council has asked, with the help of Ipsos MORI, over ten thousand adults across ten countries from China to the USA, just what they think of evolution.

The results show that the majority of adults surveyed have heard of Charles Darwin and know at least a little about his theory of evolution. But they also show that there are significant minorities of people who either want nothing to do with evolution - and think it should either not be taught in schools or alongside creationism.

Here are the results:


All figures in %.

Heard of Darwin
Agree the scientific evidence for evolution exists
Think evolution should NOT be taught, only other theories
Argentina 86 44 6
China 90 55 19
Egypt 38 8 8
Great Britain 91 51 6
India 62 38 13
Mexico 91 52 9
Russia 93 39 13
South Africa 27 8 12
Spain 72 39 7
USA 84 33 9

Nothing new here really. There are a few interesting results though. The Chinese population has the highest acceptance of evidence for the theory of evolution (55%) and one of the highest scores for public knowledge of Darwin (90%), yet 19% of Chinese people think evolution should not be taught, as opposed to say Egypt or South Africa where only 8% and 12% are against teaching evolution respectively, even though 92% of Eygptians and South Africans do not agree that the evidence supports it.

Assuming there are no mistakes in how the data was presented, that seems a bit strange. What's going on in China...?


Ryk said...

I wonder who they are polling. I find it doubtful that 77% of Americans are actually that stupid. I know that sounds optimistic, this country hasn't actually been displaying real brilliance over the last couple decades, but 77% not believing there is evidence for evolution?

I mean according to this survey we are statistically stupider than Mexico, Argentina, India, Spain, Russia and Great Britain. Even China has more educated people than us although they also apparently have a lot more people who oppose science which seems odd.

In fact only Egypt and South Africa scored stupider than we did. I am glad I have my kids in a good school, I wonder what the rest of our educational system is up to. Not their jobs apparently.

rhiggs said...

Yeah I think the results are a bit dubious.

BTW I think you mean 67%... ;)

Ryk said...


JD Curtis said...

I'm still waiting for that sample of Piltdown Man dung that I requested so long ago....