The percentage of U.S. adults affirming that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so” declined 8 points in 2017 to an all-time low of 38 percent.
“This is the first time since 1982 – when Gallup began asking this question using this wording – that belief in God’s direct creation of man has not been the outright most-common response,” the report stated.
The creationist view was equaled at 38 percent by those affirming that “human beings developed over millions of years, but God guided this process.”
This represents a 7-point increase from 2014, and is slightly above the average percent of respondents holding this view since polling began (35.8 percent).
Reaching a new high (19 percent) was the number of U.S. adults affirming that “human beings developed over millions of years, but God had no part in this process” – a 10 percent increase since polling began.
Education, religious tradition and frequency of worship attendance all impacted responses.
Those with a high school diploma or less were most likely to affirm the creationist position (48 percent) and least likely to affirm an evolutionary process without any kind of divine influence (12 percent).
By contrast, respondents who completed postgraduate studies were least likely to hold creationist views (21 percent) and most likely to affirm evolution without God (31 percent).
Protestants / other Christians were most likely to hold a creationist perspective (50 percent), Catholics most likely to affirm evolution with divine guidance (45 percent) and “nones” most likely to believe in evolution without divine influence (57 percent).
As worship attendance increased, so did the number of adults affirming creationist views – moving from 21 percent of infrequent attendees to 65 percent of weekly attendees.
The full report is available here.