Most U.S. Evangelicals Don’t Believe in Evolution, But Do Believe in Climate Change

A recent survey shows evangelicals are less likely to believe in evolution than in climate change.

A survey has found evangelicals are more doubtful of evolution than of climate change. The study was carried out by sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund, who was trying to find the religious undercurrents of the links between belief in evolution and climate change. According to the research, 70 percent evangelicals simply don’t believe in the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin, although they are more accepting of climate change.

Most U.S. Evangelicals Don’t Believe in Evolution, But Do Believe in Climate Change[/tweetthis]

Two-thirds of evangelical Americans said that evolution was completely false. However, less than one-third felt the same about climate change. This research challenges the popular notion that those who do not believe in evolution also do not believe in climate change. Evangelicals made up 40 percent of the 9,636 Americans who were taken into the sample for study.

The researcher, Ecklund and co-author of the study, Christopher Scheitle, say that belief in evolution was lesser in the general American population when compared to the evangelicals. Americans in general are less suspicious about climate change than conservative evangelicals. The research also establishes a strong link between conservative evangelism and anti-scientific sentiments.

Earlier, another research found that evangelicals and other ultra-modern churches took the Bible literally and were more traditional in their Christian beliefs as opposed to otherwise traditional churches, like the Catholic Church. The habit of reading Bibles and daily prayer is more common among these Churches than in traditional churches. It is also found that Church membership in these denominations that take the Bible in the literal sense is higher than older churches.

Evangelicals, who believe the story of the Genesis, the first book in the Bible, in its literal sense, not surprisingly believe that evolution is a hoax. Organizations, such as Answers in Genesis, which try to actively promote a literal interpretation of the Genesis, are run by evangelical figures.

45 percent Americans in general are found to believe that the evolution is absolutely false. As for climate change, only 20 percent Americans are skeptical about it happening or that humans are the main cause for climate change to occur.

Older churches like the Catholic Church are increasingly offering their support for belief in scientific theories such as the Big Bang Theory and evolution, affirming the idea that the Biblical theory of creation is nothing but a symbolic story.

The researchers hope that the study will help in finding out how scientific issues are taken by religious people and how these beliefs can interact with political and social policies.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter