A new poll from Gallup shows a spike in the percentage of respondents who will tell pollsters that they believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years." This demonstrates a shocking lack of understanding of evolution, basic science and the origin of humanity. A heartbreaking 46% of respondents now associate themselves with this "know nothing" viewpoint, with a mere 32% saying that "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided the process" while only 15% responded correctly that "Human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process." I'm guess is that people really see this question as a proxy for their belief in God or the Bible and this shows that they want to be perceived as more religious not less, thus explaining the move away from the moderate (but non-sensical) position where they get to believe in Creation and evolution simultaneously. I'd love to see Mitt Romney and President Obama's response to this question.
I would love Gallup to do a poll of what Americans think the age of the Earth is (less than 10 thousand years, more than 10 thousand years, less than 10 million years or more than 10 million years), as well what they think the age of the Universe is (around 10,000 years, around, 10, 000, 000 years or around 10,000,000,000 years).
I guess the National Science Foundation (where I am currently working) has a lot more work to do to ensure basic science literacy among the American populace!