People Who Believe in Evolution Are Less Likely to Believe in God, According to New Survey

Bonobo apes, primates unique to Congo and humankind's closest relative, groom one another at a sanctuary just outside the capital Kinshasa.Reuters

Individuals who subscribe to the theory that human beings evolved from apes are less likely to believe in God, a new study conducted by a non-partisan group revealed.

According to a report on PR News Wire, the Discovery Institute conducted a study on nearly 3,700 American adults, including self-identified agnostics and atheists, to assess if belief on evolutionary theory really has an effect on religious belief.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time a nationwide survey has tried to quantify the impact of evolutionary theory on faith and ethics," said Dr. John West, associate director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, which sponsored the survey.

The respondents were specifically given a list of ideas related to science and nature, and were asked to identify which of these ideas "have made the existence of God less likely, more likely, or have had no impact on your belief in the existence of God."

Some 45 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement that "evolution shows that human beings are not fundamentally different from other animals." Another 43 percent also believed that evolution "shows that no living thing is more important than any other."

Nearly seven in 10 atheists and more than four in 10 agnostics in America also reported that their belief in God was diminished because they found evolutionary theory to be plausible.

Both atheists and agnostics think that "evolution shows that moral beliefs evolve over time based on their survival value in various times and places."

Nevertheless, the study also showed how nearly six in 10 atheists and even two in 10 agnostics marvel at the exquisite design and complexity seen throughout nature, and admitted that this intelligent design makes them think that the existence of God is indeed possible.