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33 percent of Americans reject evolution

A Pew survey suggests that evolutionary skeptics continue to be out there. They are many.

Is Charles Darwin changing sleeping positions in his grave?
Emil Zafirov/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Honestly, have we always been like this?

Have we always been bellicose and prone to vanity? Did our species just appear one day with a poof and a bang and voila?

It seems that one-third of Americans believe that is so.

The Pew Research Center decided to delve into its vault of numbers to discover the deeper feelings that we have about life, the universe, and everything to do with the great us.

Those of a scientific bent will contort to hold their aggression when I say that, truly, 33 percent of Americans are convinced that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time."

Well, I'll be a monkey.

It seems that this proportion of evolutionary skeptics has been roughly the same since 2009. Even many of those who believe in evolution aren't convinced that it didn't happen without God's guiding hand.

A committed 24 percent agreed with the notion that "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today."

I am fairly sure they're not thinking of Charles Darwin as a supreme being at all.

Pew insists that this was a representative sample of Americans aged 18 and older and the company delved into their evolutionary beliefs along racial, religious, and political lines.

Sixty-four percent of white evangelical Protestants and 50 percent of black Protestants are apparently in the "Evolution Is Bunkum" camp; 67 percent of Democrats have faith in evolution. Of Republicans, only 43 percent gave the idea a nod.

Moreover, Pew declares that over time more Republicans have declared their reluctance to accept evolution.

I hesitate to draw conclusions from the utterances of these 1,983 supposed adults. Being sure of anything in this life is hard enough. Being sure of what happened millions and billions of years ago is beyond the mortal soul.

But if the pro-evolutionists would like a touch of hope, it lies in the fact that younger generations -- especially those with more education -- are more likely to believe that we've changed for the better and more interesting.

Of course, this could conceivably be a plot by all those who teach science to make their own metier seem more important.

I merely look forward to Google explaining it all to me one day, so that I can trace my lineage back to some tadpole, dinosaur, or flea in one of the more rugged parts of our sphere.

Mind you, there's no proof that I'm not an alien, is there? And there's no proof that you're not either.

The evolution of opinion. Or, rather, the other way around.