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About origins of life forms

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Results of public opinion polls on naturalistic
evolution, theistic evolution & creation science

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Picutre of a gorilla Beliefs about origin of the species:

Actually, the picture of a gorilla is a pathetic attempt at humor by the webmaster. Over two centuries ago, a reviewer of Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of the Species" -- one who perhaps did not actually read the book -- wrote that Darwin taught that humans evolved from apes. Darwin actually said that apes and humans have a common ancestor. The mistake has been propagated by many believers in creationism ever since, even as believers in evolution have been trying to inform people of what Darwin actually said.

Since most religions have a unique creation story, the total number of belief systems about origins is quite large. However, the vast majority of Americans believe one of the following three belief systems:

  • Naturalistic evolution: The universe began with a "big bang" some 13.82 billion years ago. The Earth coalesced about 4.5 billion years ago, literally out of stardust -- the waste products of exploding supernovae. Within about 1 billion years, the first forms of elementary life came into existence. These single-celled animals subsequently evolved over billions of years producing an enormous variety of species, the vast majority of which are currently extinct. Either no God exists, or the God who exists took no part in this evolution.

  • Theistic evolution: As for naturalistic evolution, except that God controlled and directed evolution and used it as a tool to produce the diversity of species currently present on Earth or now extinct.

  • Creation science: God created the Earth, sun, moon, planets and other stars from 6 to 10 thousand years ago. He then created all of the plant and animal life. Finally, he fashioned Adam out of mud, and Eve from of a rib of Adam.

This section contains polling data about the percentages of Americans who believe in each of these three belief systems.

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Topics covered in this section:

Other related essays dealing with evolution & creation science:

bullet Overview of evolution and creation science
bullet 3 conflicting world views, and many individual belief systems
bullet Beliefs held by various faith groups

We appreciate the gorilla image which was provided at no cost by StockFreeImages.com. That image fits into our budget really well.

Copyright © 1995 to 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (Yes, this web site went online during the infancy of the Internet when there were only about 6,000 web sites in existence.)
Originally published on 1995-NOV. 
Last update: 2014-MAR12
Author: B.A. Robinson
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