What Do You Think?
The PEW Trust Says That Americans Are Divided Over the Origins of Life
Poll: Public Divided on Origins of Life; Religion A Strength And Weakness For Both Parties
August 30, 2005
More than four-in-ten say that liberals who are not religious have too much control over the Democratic Party, while an almost identical percentage says that religious conservatives have too much influence over the Republican Party, according to the findings in a new study released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Other survey highlights include:
By a wide margin - 51 percent to 28 percent - the Republican Party is seen as most concerned with protecting religious values. By a nearly identical margin (52 percent -30 percent), the Democratic Party is perceived as most concerned with protecting the freedom of citizens to make personal choices.
Democrats' strength in this area is overshadowed by a sharp erosion in the number of Americans who believe the party is friendly toward religion. Only about three-in-ten (29 percent) see the Democrats as friendly toward religion, down from 40 percentlast August. Meanwhile, a solid majority (55 percent) continues to view the Republicans as friendly toward religion. Most independents (54 percent) think religious conservatives have too much influence over the Republican Party, while fewer, 43 percent, think secular liberals have too much sway on the Democratic Party.
Overall, about half the public (48 percent) says that humans and other living things have evolved over time, while 42 percentsay that living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Fully 70 percentof white evangelical Protestants say that life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time; fewer than half as many white mainline Protestants (32 percent) and white Catholics (31 percent) agree.
Despite these fundamental differences, most Americans (64 percent) say they are open to the idea of teaching creationism along with evolution in the public schools, and a substantial minority (38 percent) favors replacing evolution with creationism in public school curricula.
View full report of survey findings -- Public Divided on Origins of Life; Religion A Strength And Weakness For Both Parties.
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