Evolution trumps creationism for Canadians, poll finds – Writer’s Bloc

Religion, and the way we interpret its precepts and teachings, has rarely figured prominently in Canadian politics.

In the United States, however, the situation is completely different. The fate of incumbents, candidates, and even nominees for public office can be derailed if they provide the wrong answers on questions of faith.

In December 2020, Research Co. and Glacier Media found that while 32% of Canadians describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or no religion, the proportion drops to just 19% among Americans.

The United States will hold midterm elections in November, and the Democratic Party’s wobbly majority in the US Senate is in jeopardy. In Georgia, former football player Herschel Walker is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination for a Senate seat. The presence of a former athlete in politics is not unique to the United States.

We just had a provincial by-election in Manitoba where the top two voters played in the Canadian Football League. What’s odd about Walker is that his insistence on discussing matters of faith led him to question evolution entirely, bringing unwanted national attention to his campaign. Walker’s assumptions may play well in an audience of Southern evangelicals, but only resonate with a tiny proportion of Canadians.

When Research Co. and Glacier Media asked about it last month, only 18% of Canadians (down eight points since 2021) believe that God “definitely” or “probably” created human beings in their form. current over the past 10,000 years. Almost two-thirds of Canadians (65%, up eight points) say humans have “definitely” or “probably” evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years.

Canadians aged 18-34 are the most skeptical of God putting man on the planet (13%) than their counterparts aged 35-54 (17%) and 55+ (23%). %).

Last year, we found that 44% of Canadians wanted creationism – the belief that the universe and life originated from specific acts of divine creation – as part of the school curriculum in their province.

In 2022, the results returned to the levels seen in previous years. In Canada, 38% of respondents (down six points) believe creationism has a place in the classroom. A slightly higher proportion of Canadians (42%, up six points) think this should not happen.

There is virtually no gender gap in the desire to teach creationism in schools, but there is a fascinating fluctuation by age. Canadians aged 18 to 34, who do not necessarily take creationism seriously, are the most likely to think it should be part of the curriculum (44%). Their older counterparts are less enthusiastic: 35% among those aged 35 to 54 and 34% among those aged 55 and over.

British Columbia, which was at the higher end of the spectrum for belief in creationism, ranks last for bringing the concept into the classroom (28%). Our findings on evolution and creationism in 2021 could have signaled the start of a trend, similar to those we have seen on issues like the monarchy and foreign affairs. In 2022, the numbers have returned to their usual home: Canadians choose evolution by more than a three-to-one margin and express a reduced willingness to teach creationism in school.•

Mario Canseco is president of Research Co.

The findings are based on an online survey conducted March 25-27, 2022 of 1,000 adults in Canada. The margin of error, which measures sample variability, is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.