[ASC-media] We're a Nation of Creationists
Guy Nolch, Australasian Science
science at control.com.au
Thu Mar 31 00:51:23 CEST 2011
For Immediate Release
We're a Nation of Creationists
Most Australians reject Darwinian evolution, believing instead in divine creation or evolution directed by God, according to a survey completed at the University of Newcastle by Dr David Wilson and published today in the April 2011 edition of Australasian Science.
Dr Wilson, who is now Head of the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health at the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of NSW, surveyed 4300 subjects and cross-referenced his results with the most recent Australian Census.
Of almost 20 million Australians at the time of the 2006 Census, Wilson calculated that 5.3 million adults in Australia believe in the Biblical account of creation while 4.7 million Australian adults believe in “theistic evolution”, evolution directed by God.
Overall, 31% of Australian adults are creationists, 27% believe in theistic evolution while most of the remaining 42% of Australian adults believe in natural evolution without any divine involvement.
“Australian society is traditionally Christian but has become increasingly secular,” Dr Wilson writes. “Furthermore, teaching of the Big Bang and evolutionary science has become widely accepted in our school systems.
“It could therefore be considered surprising that almost 60% of Australian adults believe that God or a supernatural being was behind the universe and all life, and the majority of these people do not accept the well-established theory of evolution but believe that God brought about this universe and life, fully developed and similar to how we see it today, out of nothing.”
Dr Wilson believes that while belief in creationism will eventually decline over time, it will remain significant in Australia. “Older people are more likely to believe in creationism, with 85% of Christians aged over 60 years believing in creationism compared with 60–65% of Christians in Australia aged less than 40 years,” Dr Wilson writes.
“However, with this high prevalence of creationist belief among young adults, even in a society tending more towards secularism, widespread belief in creationism will remain in Australia for a considerable time.”
PLEASE QUOTE AUSTRALASIAN SCIENCE AS THE SOURCE OF THIS STORY.
Dr David Wilson on 0428 231 002
Guy Nolch (Editor) on 9500 0015
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