Saturday, February 16, 2008

Florida Creation/Evolution Poll

The St. Petersburg times released a poll yesterday that I should comment on, given my posting the same day on the same topic. Their article ( reports the following results in a survey of Florida residents:

- 43% said human beings evolved over millions of years, while 45% said humans were created directly by God.

- 54% of men said humans evolved over millions of years compared with 35% of women.

- 52% of college graduates said humans evolved compared with 33% of those with four years of high school or less.

- 31% of white respondents said only evolution should be taught in schools compared with 7% of nonwhites.


1. This is a Florida poll only, not for the nation as a whole.

2. The undecided/no response level on the first point is 13%, higher than other polls.

3. Thus, the 45% of belief in a direct creation is not far out of line with the 51-55% I mentioned yesterday. The 43% figure is more consistent with the 40-45% combined total for evolutionists from the CBS data. Still, the Florida results show a slightly low tally for direct creation of man, compared to the evolutionary beliefs.

4. The article points out that belief in evolution is higher among college grads. I don't have the figures, but it appears the difference is declining over time. That is, college grads are still more likely than non-grads to believe in evolution, but the difference is not nearly so severe as it once was.

5. We can infer from the last point that creation is favored by minorities, more than by whites. This suggests growth in the creationist perspectives as minorities become a greater proportion of the population and the white population declines.

6. Florida has a large retiree community. This might explain why the poll shows results comparable to 10-15 years ago for the nation as a whole. That is, if older people tend to be settled in their beliefs, and since belief in evolution was more prevalent a generation ago, we would expect Florida to be disproportionately evolutionist.

If I get a chance I'll look up the minority/white proportion of the Florida population, as that would also shed light on the overall findings compared to national polls. Overall it appears this polls is a reasonably good fit with what I outlined yesterday, assuming I'm on the right track with #6.

And as for poor Dr. Ruse in the article, the poll data just doesn't support his optimism. Creation is not going away - it appears, rather, that his Darwinian fundamentalism is on the ropes instead.

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