Acknowledgments: Wave II of the Baylor Religion Survey was funded by a grant from the Templeton Foundation. The data are publicly available through the Association of Religion Data Archives. Thanks to Chris Bader, Paul Froese, Carson Mencken, and Bill N. Duncan for helpful comments on previous drafts. An earlier version of this study was presented at the 2008 meeting of SSSR in Louisville, KY.
Acceptance of Evolution and Support for Teaching Creationism in Public Schools: The Conditional Impact of Educational Attainment
Article first published online: 1 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume 52, Issue 1, pages 216–228, March 2013
How to Cite
Baker, J. O. (2013), Acceptance of Evolution and Support for Teaching Creationism in Public Schools: The Conditional Impact of Educational Attainment. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 52: 216–228. doi: 10.1111/jssr.12007
- Issue published online: 1 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 1 MAR 2013
- religious identity;
- science and religion;
- public policy
Public acceptance of evolution remains low in the United States relative to other Western countries. Although advocates for the scientific community often highlight the need for improved education to change public opinion, analyses of data from a national sample of American adults indicate that the effects of educational attainment on attitudes toward evolution and creationism are uneven and contingent upon religious identity. Consequently, higher education will only shift public attitudes toward evolution and away from support for teaching creationism in public schools for those who take non-“literalist” interpretive stances on the Bible, or to the extent that it leads to fewer people with literalist religious identities.