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Home > Trend Watch > 2014 > January 10 > Public Views on Origins and the Virgin Birth Aren't What You Might Expect

Trend Watch

Perspective on the buzz

Public opinions about "liberal" and "conservative" views about benchmark Christian doctrines don't follow stereotypical party lines like they used to.

Recent Pew data shows that a declining 33% of Americans believe that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time." 60% believe in some form of evolution, while the remaining 7% "don't know."

Of the growing number of Americans who believe that some form of evolutionary process contributed to modern biology, a relatively large number (24%, or nearly a quarter of American adults) hold that "a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today."

Be sure to read the report for further information on the trend dynamics here, including what people think based on party affiliation, denomination, and age group. Key takeaways?

"Men are somewhat more inclined than women to say that humans and animals have evolved over time. Younger adults are more likely than older generations to believe that living things have evolved over time. And those with more years of formal schooling are more likely than those with less education to say that humans and animals have evolved over time."

The bottom line is that a significant number of Americans still hold to a Supreme Being's involvement in creating our world—regardless of the process.

These numbers are interesting when compared to public views of the Virgin Birth. According to Pew,

For most Americans, the Christmas story of Jesus' birth still has real meaning. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of adults say they believe Jesus was born of a virgin, according to a new Pew Research survey on how Americans celebrate Christmas.

That number is surprisingly high—even among the religiously unaffiliated—though it is declining a bit by generation.

It's an interesting trend to note—even in a secularizing society, shared beliefs in two meaningful points of the miraculous is high.

Related Topics:ResearchTrends
Posted: January 10, 2014; All posts for week of January 10, 2014

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