Monday, December 20, 2010

Support for young earth creationism declining in the USA

According to these poll results from gallup, support for young earth creationism in the USA is on the wane. Most interestingly, and what's not being picked up by most commentators, is that those losses are mainly being picked up by "theistic evolution", a belief that evolution is true, but God had a hand in it.

This may be troubling for groups like Answers in Genesis who insist that its a straight choice between creationism or atheism. What might also bother them is that since they started campaigning in the early 1990's support for a young earth position has actually declined. How much of that is due to the declining fiortunes of churches which support this type of theology remains to be seen.

Sadly, the situation in the UK is advancing in the opposite direction with the number of churches supporting a creationist position increasing. I notice that there is now one church in Scotland which requires belief in young earth creationism in order to be a member.  I had predicted the likelihood of this happening in a previous posting to this blog.

Two of the over-riding factors in the expansion of creationism in UK evangelical churches is the increase in support from the USA (both financially and through visiting influential preachers) and the distillation of the declining church to a narrower group of people with an increasingly complex system of belief.

I believe this is a temporary blip in the development of the church in the UK and that it will reach a peak and then decline as it has done in the USA.

Here are the gallup figures (click on the image for a larger view):