Evolution: Education and Outreach

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 629-632

First online:

Do Americans Believe Modern Earth Science?

  • Allan MazurAffiliated withThe Maxwell School, Syracuse University Email author 


Half of US respondents to the 2006 General Social Surveys did not believe in the “Big Bang” origin of the universe; they were closely correlated with those who did not believe in human evolution. Religious fundamentalism is the major predictor of both disbeliefs. Low education and political conservatism have lesser but independent effects. The notion of continental drift (plate tectonics) faces relatively little opposition from religious fundamentalists, and according to survey responses, its validity is widely accepted, more so than the fact of a heliocentric solar system.


Big Bang Evolution Continental drift Religion Creationism