Belief in evolution among Republicans has dropped more than 10 percentage points since 2009, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
Pew found that 43 percent of Republicans said they believed humans and other living beings had evolved over time, down from 54 percent in 2009. More (48 percent) said they believed all living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.
The percentages for Democrats and independents were considerably more stable: Democratic belief in evolution went from 64 percent in 2009 to 67 percent in 2013; independent belief dipped from 67 percent in 2009 to 65 percent in 2013.
Among all American adults, 60 percent said they believe in evolution, according to Pew, and 33 percent do not.
The poll surveyed 1,983 Americans ages 18 and older from March 21 to April 8.
There is only one scientific explanation for how species originate. It's called the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. It's not a theory in the everyday and conversational sense of the word theory--i.e. a guess--but a theory in the formal scientific meaning of the term: a concept larger than the sum of its parts, one that incorporates various scientific laws, observations, and facts into a more unified whole and that has been verified by subsequent findings and research, like with the germ theory of disease, the theories of special and general relativity, the theory of plate tectonics, and the theory of a heliocentric solar system.
To not "believe" in evolution--as is the case with a shockingly large number of conservative religious adherents in the U.S.A. and majority-Muslim countries--is like not believing that the Earth orbits the sun or not believing in oxygen or x-ray radiation. Especially since the modern evolutionary synthesis of the 1930's that integrated genetics into evolution, thereby revealing the means of heredity--which is something evolution's main discoverer, Charles Darwin, did not know--evolution has become an increasingly important and dynamic topic of research and tool for understanding how species evolve. To not believe in it is to walk away from a rich and amazing reality about we scientists are discovering more and making interesting refinements and corrections to those discoveries on an daily basis.
Image: click to enlarge - (via Wikipedia) "A highly resolved Tree Of Life, based on completely sequenced genomes."