Americans' Creationist Views on Human Origins (Infographic)

About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but under God's guidance.
About a third of Americans believe that humans evolved, but under God's guidance. (Image credit: Ross Toro, LiveScience Contributor)

Despite new discoveries in biological and social science, there has been virtually no change in Americans' views of the origin of the human species.

According to a recent Gallup study, most Americans believe in God and about 85 percent describe themselves as having a religious identity, so it is not surprising as a result to find that 78 percent of Americans today hold a view of human origins that involves actions by God — a belief that he either created humans as depicted in the book of Genesis or guided a process of evolution.

The finding is slightly less than the percentage who felt this way in 1982 and there is no evidence in this trend of a significant movement toward a more scientific viewpoint on human origins. The study also found that 46 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. This is little changed from the 44 percent of Americans who believed this 30 years ago, when Gallup first asked the question.   Most scientists who study humans agree that the species evolved over millions of years and did not begin in their current form only 10,000 years ago without the benefit of evolution. This makes almost half of Americans who continue to hold to an antievolutionary belief about the origin of humans at odds with the preponderance of the scientific research and information.

Ross Toro
Infographics Artist
Ross Toro is a contributing infographic artist for Live Science. He specializes in explanatory graphics that deal with science topics. Ross is a former art director of the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and United Press International. He teaches Filipino martial arts when not dabbling in cartoons and animation.