Attitudes to evolution among Christians, Muslims and the Non-Religious in Britain: differential effects of religious and educational factors
According to poll results and media reports, Britain has a significant and growing number of creationists. However, little scholarly research has been carried out to explore this phenomenon. We present results from a national survey of 6020 individuals to give a comprehensive picture of contemporary public attitudes to evolution in Britain. Furthermore, we explore the effects of religion and education on attitudes to evolution. Unique to this study, we analyse the effects of attending a religiously affiliated school (‘faith school’) on acceptance of evolutionary theory. We examine these effects in the general population, and additionally, across different Christian, Muslim and Non-Religious subpopulations. Results give strong evidence that the number of creationists has been overstated previously. We find the effect of education is complex and varies between different religious groups, but that faith school attendance is associated with more acceptance of evolution for people belonging to groups that tend to reject it.
Public Understanding of Science
Volume and page numbers
27 , 76 -93