Fifty-one percent of the people living in Texas and responding to a survey about their beliefs about and understanding of life say that they disagree with the statement, “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals,” and 31% agree with the statement, “The earliest humans
lived at the same time as the dinosaurs.” One in five said that humans had always existed in their present-day form. I am using a winch to raise my jaw off the floor.
Equally amazing to me is the result shown in the accompanying box; please do the arithmetic. I’ll come back to it. And there’re lots more in these data.
I drew these data from a survey conducted the first week in February 2010. The researchers interviewed 800 registered voters and the results of the survey have a margin of error of ± 3.5%. The survey was conducted by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. The interviews also asked about people’s religious and political affiliations as well as the political candidates they endorse, their church attendance, and other factors. The cross-tabs on these are fascinating.
So, when I walk along the street in TX, I should expect that three of every four people whom I pass, on average, believe that a mystical being or force was, at least, guiding human development. It might be as high as four of every five or as low as a little better than seven of every ten people.