A new study published by the University of Michigan in the journal Public Understanding of Science reported that after many years of public opinion being evenly divided, the majority of Americans now claim to support the theory of evolution.
Religious fundamentalism and evolutionary theory
“From 1985 to 2010, there was a statistical dead heat between acceptance and rejection of evolution,” said lead researcher Jon D. Miller of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. “But acceptance then surged, becoming the majority position in 2016.”
The study identified levels of education as the strongest factors in determining the opinion of the theory of evolution.
“Almost twice as many Americans held a college degree in 2018 as in 1988,” said co-author Mark Ackerman, a researcher at Michigan Engineering, the U-M School of Information and Michigan Medicine. “It’s hard to earn a college degree without acquiring at least a little respect for the success of science.”
A survey was carried out by the National Science Board, several national surveys funded by units of the National Science Foundations, and a series focused on adult civic literacy funded by NASA beginning in 1985 and carried out every two years. Participants were asked to agree or disagree with this statement: “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”
The series of surveys showed that Americans were evenly divided on this question pertaining to evolution from 1985 to 2007. But over the last decade, until 2019, the percentage of American adults who agreed with this statement increased from 40% to 54%.
The current study consistently identified religious fundamentalism as the strongest factor leading to the rejection of evolution. With only a slight decline in the last decade, the study identified approximately 30% of Americans as “religious fundamentalists”. The percentage of “religious fundamentalists” who accepted evolution rose from 8% in 1988 to 32% in 2019.
Miller predicted that religious fundamentalism would continue to impede the public acceptance of evolution.
“Such beliefs are not only tenacious but also, increasingly, politicized,” he said, citing a widening gap between Republican and Democratic acceptance of evolution.
Political affiliation was also found to be a factor. As of 2019, 34% of Republicans accepted evolution compared to 83% of liberal Democrats.
Evolutionary theory: science or fanaticism?
It is important to note that the definition of evolution as presented in the survey does not encompass the entire theory of evolution which includes several other aspects including the concept of natural selection following random genetic mutation. Darwin’s evolutionary theory has remained unchallenged and unrevised for more than 150 years.
Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggested that the century and a half unquestioning acceptance of the evolutionary theory is, in its essence, anti-science.
“It’s time to review the knee-jerk conclusion that evolution is driven by chance,” Dr. Schroeder told Israel365 News. “The unquestioning insistence on random mutation is a conspiracy by the scientific community against the possibility that there might be a creating God.
“Darwin himself never said it was by chance,” Dr. Schroeder noted, citing the final paragraph in Darwin’s seminal work, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.
“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
“It has been proven that life developed from the simple to the complex,” Dr. Schroeder said. “But this perfectly reflects the process of creation as presented in the Bible. The fossil record follows precisely what Genesis outlined in the first chapter.”
The theory of evolution as presented by Darwin describes a random process, an assertion Dr. Schroeder believes exposes a “prejudice” in the scientific community.
“The word ‘evolution’ does not intrinsically demand that the process be random,” Dr. Schroeder said. “There are no data that shows that mutations are random. The likelihood of evolution being random is totally about zero.”
He noted that there are facts that seem to disprove the theory that has yet to be dealt with. One such inconvenient challenge to random natural selection is the Cambrian Explosion that took place an estimated 541 million years ago when all major animal phyla simultaneously appeared in the fossil record. Previous to the Cambrian explosion, all fossils were microscopic. Darwin himself noted that the lack of fossil evidence for a gradual and random process of evolution posed a difficulty for his theory.
“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer,” Darwin wrote. As per his theory, Darwin insisted several times in his book Natura non facit Salturum (Nature Does not Make Jumps). The fossil evidence of the Cambrian Explosion directly contradicts this non-jumping aspect of his theory.
This anti-evolutionary gap in the fossil record has not been resolved in the more-than 150 years since Darwin wrote those words yet most modern scientists refuse to cope with the contradictory evidence.
“This is evil,” Dr. Schroeder said unequivocally. “This is all part of an overriding anti-religious agenda by the scientific community to establish that the world is the result of random forces. There are so many possible wrong answers, wrong mutations and vastly few that are good that the possibility of life evolving randomly is statistically very unlikely.”
Dr. Schroeder emphasized that learning science in general and evolution in particular in an intellectually honest manner can lead to a deeper belief in the Creator. It is interesting to note that Dr. Schroeder’s video, “Believe in God in 5 Minutes (Scientific Proof)” has garnered over three million views.