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Survey Tracks Public Opinion About Teaching Creationism, Intelligent Design

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More than one of every five American adults surveyed believe creationism should be the only theory of life’s origins taught in public schools, and almost half said they would support having a mix of different views presented, according to a nationwide poll.

The survey of 1,002 adults—commissioned by Virginia Commonwealth University—also found that just 5 percent of respondents want only “intelligent design” taught. Intelligent design is the belief that an unidentified force may have guided life’s development. Creationism is the biblically based view that God created all living things. Most scientists say both of those views are not scientific, and should therefore not be taught as science, unlike the theory of evolution, which they say is supported by a wide range of evidence from geology, molecular biology, and other areas.

Only 15 percent of those surveyed, however, said evolution should be the only view of life’s development presented in school.

The survey, conducted Sept. 14-29, has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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