The Gallup Organization has polled Americans on their view of human origins since 1982   .  The three choices Americans were given were:

1. Human beings developed over millions of years, but God guided this process.

2. Human beings developed over millions of years, but God had no part in this process.

3. God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

The first view can be described as theistic evolution, the second as atheistic of deistic evolution and the third as young earth creationism.

For the first time since the polling began, view # 1 was found to be equal to the third option. Since 2014 belief in theistic evolution rose from 31% to 38%, while the young earth view fell from 46% to 38% in the last five years.  The atheist or deist position was preferred by 19%.  Among those with a college education, the theistic evolution perspective was chosen by 45%.  Of course, this poll only involves Americans, who are only 5% of the world’s population, and besides, opinion does not equal truth, but it does indicate a trend.  More than 3/4 of Americans believe that God had an active role in the creation of humans.  This percentage has held nearly steady in the past few years.  In other words, those who no longer accept the young earth view are moving toward theistic evolution rather than deism of atheism.

The rise in the idea of God-guided evolution is fascinating because the other two choices receive the most support in public discourse.  In most universities, the atheistic view of origins is certainly the most commonly and loudly heard choice, while in evangelical circles the young earth view may not hold the majority, but it certainly is the most loudly-proclaimed explanation.  ARS sponsored a debate on this topic a few years ago.  One of the speakers supported the deistic position–that God initiated evolution but did not interfere.  We also had a speaker supporting the young earth view.  My good friend John Clayton defended the Intelligent Design argument and I defended theistic evolution.  Here is an article explaining the different Christian views of evolution:  Four Christian Views of Evolution  The debate is available in video form at  We also have a power point on Evolution at the web site.  Evolution Four Christian Views PPT

John Oakes




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