There has been a fall in the belief that God created humans in an Australian study over 32 years. The landmark research shows Australian university students who believe in divine guidance has declined since the annual surveys of student opinions began. Now the majority hold that evolution is a scientific thing. Creationists are in the very low single digit percentage.
Journal conference Evolution: Education Outreach. University New South Wales. Australian university students far credit previous generation science human evolution far less creationism divine guidance, according landmark study. University New South Wales. overview last 32 years annually-assessed student opinions, clear belief students god ultimate contributing cause human origins steeply declined majority view 986 minority view 2017. Conversely, conviction humans evolved divine involvement kind rose steeply same period become dominant view students.
University New South Wales
Every year 986, researchers polled first-year biology students UNSW Sydney views evolution creationism. 986, 60% students believed god something origin humans, 29% held view 2017. contrast, percentage students convinced god nothing origin humans increased 25% 986 62% 2017. findings – published today Evolution: Education Outreach – longest continuous annual survey opinions creationism evolution first-year university students world-wide. Professor Michael Archer, lead study author Professor UNSW Science’s School Biological, Earth Environmental Sciences, original intent poll assess level commitment incoming students supernatural explanations origins.
Given creationist view (that humans created God last 0,000 years, evolved naturally millions years involvement God) common American students, challenge introducing evidence evolution first-year students would Australia Archer. Australian student views key issue changing time. From 986 2017, student attending first-year biology course invited complete one-item poll strictly anonymous basis. An average 530 students year participated survey. results relevant year’s survey – previous years – always openly presented class lecture. Each student handed slip paper circle four options, agreed:
God created people (Homo sapiens) pretty present form sometime last 0,000 years. People developed millions years less advanced forms life, God guided whole process, including development. People developed millions years less advanced forms life. God process. honestly opinion matter. Analysing survey results 32 years (Fig. a), researchers identified main findings. First, percentage Australian students endorsing creationist option (the four) consistently small, averaging 0.4%, slowly declining less 5%, Professor Archer says. Second, striking cross-over opinions successive cohorts students. 986, 60% students endorsed creationist option theistic, god-guided evolution option (the second four above). 2017, proportion students endorsing theistic options fallen 28.8%.
Conversely, endorsement non-theistic option rose 25.1% 62.2%. This rise appears mirror endorsement theistic options. Reports long-term trends views origins humans rare and, cases, limited surveys adult populations US and, rarely, areas world. extent pace decline Australian students' commitment religious views divine creation, especially creationism, distinct contrast corresponding beliefs American students American public. USA, belief creationism, slowly declining, appears remained 40% range, four times Australian survey Professor Archer. fact commitment Australian students view, involves refusal accept evidence humans evolved animals, always low—and declining, suggested Archer’s team extra effort needed communicate year students scientific evidence human evolution.
team proposed additional strategies better understand long-term changes student viewpoints. “ value running similar annual survey schools contribute majority incoming students university,” Archer says. Slight changes national census questionnaire enable detailed assessment long-term changes public opinions issues would valuable, too, already clear (Fig. b) steep decline religious commitment occurring general public well. authors suggest assess potential impact university education opinions expressed students, useful same survey possible same cohort students three years undergraduate education. facebook icontwitter iconemail icon
top figure shows percentage students who, 986 2017, choose four options relation human evolution: (1) humans created God last 0,000 years (green); (2) humans evolved millions years whole process guided God (blue); (3) humans evolved millions years God process (red); (4) uncertain (yellow). Figures include lines fit linear quadratic regressions 95% confidence intervals. bottom figure shows percentage wider Australian public declared national censuses years 986 2016 religion.
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