Eileen and Roy run activity sessions for schools at the Discovery and Great North museum. One of these workshops, entitled 99% Ape, is about Darwin’s theory of evolution, and what better way to get kids interested than to give them skulls from humans and their ancestors?
Roy mentioned that one school was offended that they were providing evidence to support evolution. This surprised me as I always thought of evolution as more of a fact than a theory.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have been such a surprise seeing as in the USA, the PEW Research Religion & Life Project found that only 32% of the public believed in evolution that was a result of natural processes. Even including the 22% that support God-guided evolution, this still leaves almost half of the population that do not believe evolution is how life developed on Earth.
Scientists on the other hand had a much higher acceptance of evolution: 87% believe that no God or higher power was involved; 8% believe in evolution but with the help of a god.
A poll for Theos showed that 32% of people in the UK believe that God created the Earth in the last 10,000 years, while scientific evidence suggests the big bang occurred 15 bya.
However the official stance of many religions supports evolution. As the former Archbishop of Canterbury said, “I have no difficulties in believing that evolution is the best scientific account we have for the diversity of life on our planet.”