Heredity: One-third US

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Heredity: One-third US
Heredity: One-third US

One-third of Americans don't believe in evolution

Less than half of all Americans accept the Darwinian view of the evolution of life. In Europe and Japan, around eighty percent of people believe this theory. This was the result of several surveys in a total of 37 countries in the period from 1985 to 2005.

According to the study by John Miller from Northwestern University and his colleagues Eugenie Scott from the National Center for Science Education and Shinji Okamoto from Kobe University in Japan, acceptance of the theory of evolution in the American population has increased by almost ten percent since 1985 removed. In addition, more than half of US citizens who do not directly oppose Darwin are unsure about the validity of the scientific theory. In Europe, only Turkish citizens are more skeptical: more than half deny the truth of the development theory.

The scientists see the reason for the clear rejection of the theory of evolution on the part of the Americans in the fundamentalist attitude of many believers in the USA, who, unlike most Protestants in Europe or the Catholic Church, do not see the biblical story of creation as a metaphor, but take it for a true story. American believers denied the theory of evolution about twice as often as Europeans. The politicization of the dispute between Darwin's teachings and the theistic idea of evolution, according to which God created the world according to an "intelligent blueprint", also contributes to the different weighting.

But according to the study, knowledge of genetic relationships also plays an important role: those who have a basic understanding of heredity are more willing to accept the genetically based variant of evolution. Nevertheless, researchers in the US discovered a tendency to exclude humans from these contexts: Although 78 percent of US citizens accepted an evolutionary development of animals and plants, 62 percent held that humans were created by God.

Miller and his colleagues therefore advocate integrating genetics more intensively into the school curriculum in order to prevent misinformation. Adults would also have to deal more with the theory of heredity: they have so far had the greatest knowledge gaps.

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