Journalist Virginia Heffernan invited scrutiny, debate and a whole slew of ideological enemies when she proclaimed earlier this summer that she's a creationist. In an op-ed for Yahoo! (the piece was actually titled, "Why I'm a Creationist") she made her compelling case. What followed was a major response -- a mixture of support and decries over her admission, leading her to subsequently defend and double down on her stance.
Considering Heffernan's prominence as a writer who has enjoyed a career at mainstream outlets like The New York Times and Slate, her article was particularly stunning. Following the incident, we turned to readers and asked you to let us know what you thought about Heffernan's admission and, more generally, the creationism versus evolution debate. We received tens of thousands of responses to our questions, providing an intriguing lens into how readers see the issue.
To begin, we asked, "Did mankind evolve -- but with the help of a higher power?" Of 3,984 individuals who responded to this curiosity, 42 percent said "yes" and 58 percent said "no." Considering that it's a relatively loaded question, the results weren't particularly surprising (after all, some people may reject macro evolution, but embrace the notion of micro changes unfolding over time). The word "evolve" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing to everyone, leaving the question open to some interpretation.
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A much more specific and pointed question asked respondents if man evolved "with no involvement from a higher power." There was a clear consensus among the 4,008 Blaze readers who responded. While six percent answered affirmatively, an overwhelming 94 percent of the readers who took the poll rejected this notion.
This is particularly interesting due to the fact that the Pew Research Center estimates that about six percent of the nation considers itself secular and unaffiliated with a faith -- a prime group that would embrace the idea that mankind evolved without God's hand guiding the process. Of course, the Blaze poll on this subject was not a scientific one, but the proportional similarities are still worth noting.
Moving on, TheBlaze asked another potentially loaded question: "Did God create mankind in its current form?" This, too, yielded very strong results. While 90 percent answered that the Lord did, indeed, create mankind in its current form, 10 percent rejected this notion (overall, 3,970 people answered the question). The wording doesn't get to the heart of some of the deeper questions concerning the micro changes, but it does hint at the wide-spread embrace of a purposeful creation of human beings.
These results are intriguing when compared to previous scientific research on the matter. A study conducted by YouGov and released earlier this summer found that nearly four-in-10 Americans (37 percent) believe that God created mankind in its present state. But that’s not all, as these individuals also contend that men and women were created within the last ten thousand years — a claim that many scientists would scoff at.
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Additionally, in this poll, 25 percent of Americans said that human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, but that God guided this process. This means that, combined, 62 percent of Americans believe that God played a role in human creation and development.
Another 21 percent of the population said that humans evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years — and that a higher power didn’t directly play a role in the process.
In TheBlaze poll, among 3,988 respondents, an overwhelming 96 percent believe that God created the world, with only 4 percent claiming that they do not embrace such a notion.
The debate continues and shows no signs of tempering, with evangelist Ray Comfort and atheists clashing most recently over his film, "Evolution vs. God" -- a project intended to call Darwinian theory into question. Let us know more about where you stand in the comments section.
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