Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020

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Abstract

The public acceptance of evolution in the United States is a long-standing problem. Using data from a series of national surveys collected over the last 35 years, we find that the level of public acceptance of evolution has increased in the last decade after at least two decades in which the public was nearly evenly divided on the issue. A structural equation model indicates that increasing enrollment in baccalaureate-level programs, exposure to college-level science courses, a declining level of religious fundamentalism, and a rising level of civic scientific literacy are responsible for the increased level of public acceptance.

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Miller, J. D., Scott, E. C., Ackerman, M. S., Laspra, B., Branch, G., Polino, C., & Huffaker, J. S. (2021). Public acceptance of evolution in the United States, 1985–2020. Public Understanding of Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/09636625211035919

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