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A Flintstones Worldview

February 18th, 2010

MindSet

Nearly a third of Texans believe humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time, and more than half disagree with the theory that humans developed from earlier species of animals, according to the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The differences in beliefs about evolution and the length of time that living things have existed on earth are reflected in the political and religious preference of our respondents, who were asked four questions about biological history and God:

• 38 percent said human beings developed over millions of years with God guiding the process and another 12 percent said that development happened without God having any part of the process.  Another 38 percent agreed with the statement “God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago.”

• Asked about the origin and development of life on earth without injecting humans into the discussion, and 53 percent said it evolved over time, “with a guiding hand from God.”  They were joined by 15 percent who agreed on the evolution part, but “with no guidance from God.”  About a fifth—22 percent—said life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time.

• Most of the Texans in the survey—51 percent—disagree with the statement, “human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.”  Thirty-five percent agreed with that statement, and 15 percent said they don’t know.

• Did humans live at the same time as the dinosaurs?  Three in ten Texas voters agree with that statement; 41 percent disagree, and 30 percent don’t know.

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