Virgin birth > Darwin > ghosts

God’s the big winner in the popularity contest. Darwin finished behind the devil. At least Darwin was ahead of creationism (but not by enough to be sure that the difference is real). Sigh.

Harris Interactive, the folks who conduct Harris Poll® surveys of public opinion, reported about its survey of 2455 US adults about their beliefs. There are lots of interesting results in poll #119 (29 November 2007) entitled “The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans: More People Believe in the Devil, Hell, and Angels Than Believe in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.”

  • 82 percent of adult Americans believe in God – unchanged since the question was last asked in 2005;
  • Large majorities of the public believe in miracles (79%), heaven (75%), angels (74%), that Jesus is God or the son of God (72%), the resurrection of Jesus (70%), the survival of the soul after death (69%), hell (62%), the devil (62%), and the virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary) (60%);
  • Roughly equal numbers – both minorities – believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution (42%) and creationism (39%);
  • Sizeable minorities believe in ghosts (41%), UFOs (35%), witches (31%), astrology (29%) and reincarnation (21%);

Here are some of the detailed results.

TABLE 1

WHAT PEOPLE DO AND DO NOT BELIEVE IN

"Please indicate for each one if you believe in it, or
not"

Base: All Adults

Concept Believe Do not believe Not sure

God

82

8

10

Miracles

79

10

12

Heaven

75

12

14

Angels

74

12

14

Jesus is God or the Son of God

72

15

13

The resurrection of Jesus Christ

70

16

15

Survival of the soul after death

69

12

19

Hell

62

22

16

The Devil

62

23

15

The Virgin birth (Jesus born of Mary)

60

22

18

Darwin’s theory of evolution

42

31

26

Ghosts

41

35

24

Creationism

39

27

34

UFOs

35

36

29

Witches

31

51

19

Astrology

29

46

25

Reincarnation – that you were once another person

21

50

29

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% because of rounding

Note: N/A indicates this was not asked in 2005

Link to the Harris Poll results on “The Religious and Other Beliefs of Americans.” See the Reuters news story about the poll as Richard Dawkins reprinted it and the subsequent discussion of it.

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Filed under Atheism, News, Notes and comments, Science, Skepticism, Thanks for reading

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