Theory of evolution gains ground worldwide

  • July 03, 2009

A recent survey conducted by the British Council’s “Darwin Now” project suggests that there is increased global acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Darwin Now “celebrates the lasting impact of Darwin’s ideas about evolution” 150 years after the publication of his book Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Survey results were revealed on June 30 in London at the World Conference of Science Journalists. While the results do not show universal acceptance of Darwin’s theory, Darwinists are celebrating the global acknowledgment of the British naturalist and his work.

More than 10 000 people in 10 countries, including the USA, the UK, India, China and South Africa, were asked what they knew about Darwin. On average, 70% of those surveyed were somewhat familiar with his work.

According to the press release announcing the survey results, many agreed that it was “possible to believe in a God and still hold the view that life on Earth, including human life, evolved over time as a result of natural selection” and that “enough scientific evidence exists to support Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution”.

However, in countries like South Africa, Russia and the USA, the majority of people surveyed believed that there was not enough scientific evidence to back up the theory of evolution. The survey also revealed that the majority of those surveyed in countries like China and Mexico “believe that life on Earth, including human life, evolved over time as a result of natural selection, in which no God played a part”.

While the survey results show that there are still many who do not support the theory of evolution, Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker, head of Darwin Now, remains positive.“The most encouraging aspect of the survey,” she says, “shows that whilst there are diverse views on Darwin’s theory of evolution, there appears to be a broad acceptance that science and faith do not have to be in conflict.”

Darwin Now insists that evolution does not necessarily create “a divide between scientific and religious communities”.

The survey results reveal a widening knowledge of Darwin and increased support of his theory. Visitors to Maropeng can explore his ideas for themselves in an educational and interactive environment.

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