Can Pew data on Christian acceptance of evolution be trusted?

Your assertion is false. The sequence data compiled for thousands of organisms strengthens the argument for common ancestry.

A link from the Pew Research Center (here) shows my statement is true even in the United States. These trends are even stronger in the rest of the world.


See the circled part? I can tell you pretty confidently that people do not know what the pollster is asking when they answer and are placed in this middle category. For instance, they are not being told that “Evolved: Guided by God” specifically means they are agreeing with a concept like common descent and that modern humans descended from great apes.

Those middle percentages beggar belief. I am going to say that people do not know what they are being asked, what the implications are of their answers, and what evolution really involves and how it impacts their Christian beliefs.


I supported my point with data, as you asked. You can ignore it or dismiss it if you want, but I think it would be clear to most readers that my statement (a majority of the worldwide church is “on board” with evolution) was accurate. I do not doubt that some people surveyed did not fully understand the questions, but you will need to provide more than innuendo to show that the data is unreliable.


I will take it one step further. I will bet the Pew Research Center does not even know how to properly phrase the questions about evolution!

We get it - you don’t approve of what the survey data says, so you believe that either the surveyors or survey responses must be faulty, even if you don’t have anything to support your opinion.

However, this is straying away from the OP. What are your opinions on that?


I just emailed the Pew Research Center.

Looking forward to seeing their response and the questions


Just got a reply. And I think any reasonable person here would agree that I am correct about people not knowing what they are answering Yes to . Open the attachments. The last picture I included below sealed it for me. Questions are nowhere close to being specific enough .

So my answer to the OP question is “No, this data cannot be trusted”.

Good afternoon,

Thank you for reaching out. The post you shared includes data from several reports, typically linked throughout the text. The chart you shared comes from this report specifically: You can view the exact question wording in the report topline, here:

Additionally, you can read more on the process of asking about origins and development of life on earth here:

Vicky Semaski
Pew Research Center

Do you know of more reliable pollsters / polls that you would suggest looking at?

But you haven’t shown that at all. It is certainly a well-known fact that the proportion of answers to such questions strongly depend on how the questions are both articulated, and how they’re framed.

But that doesn’t mean the “data cannot be trusted”. It just means there is significant uncertainty in how to interpret that data.


Listen to what you are saying. If the questions are not properly articulated (that is, to include paramount issues like common descent from apes, which is nowhere to be found on the questionnaire), it would then follow that the data cannot be trusted.

Not only are you wrong, you are precisely wrong, because you, in fact, are pointing out your own error!

Gotta say, I think I am with you on this one. Without enough granularity and specificity in the questions it is kinda hard to draw conclusions from.

The actual questions seem to reduce my uncertainty. This is certainly interpretable results.

There is just enough wiggle room in there that I am not fully comfortable with it; I can’t quite explain why.
I seem to recall a study somewhere that did questions similar to these and then did get more specific and people changed their minds. That said, it could have been a bad dream induced by too much cheese close to bed time

I’m sorry but I seem to be taking your statement in another way than you may have intended to convey.

When you say the data cannot be trusted, you seem (to me) to be saying the data has been faked, or perhaps cherry picked. That the data does not reflect what people actually answer on the questionnaire.

But you seem to be saying instead, not so much that the data is somehow wrong (presumably you are agreeing that, given that question, those are the proportions of answers we get), but because that question can be understood in multiple different ways, we can not have much confidence in the face value of what it shows. I would agree with that.


This doesn’t make sense.

What’s a paramount issue to you might not be a paramount issue to me.

Yes, I trust the Pew data. I trust them as the result of a public opinion research poll. I don’t look at them for more than that.

The poll was looking for the broad question of public acceptance of evolution. It was not attempting to assess detailed knowledge of evolution.


Then you are totally out of touch with the gravity of the situation here. Evolution and Christianity are some of the biggest cultural and ideological issues on the planet. It is beyond essential, it is incumbent upon, Pew Research to go above and beyond to get it done right. Every potential misunderstanding on the part of the “surveyee” should be removed.


A public survey organization measures what it can measure. It does not attempt to measure what it cannot reliably measure.

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I am not going to continue to argue with someone who cannot see the gravity of the situation. How do I say it nicely? You are so steeped in your own paradigm and so blinded by it, that you can’t imagine how it would bother someone not of your worldview.

All I can say is that in my worldview it is unconscionable behavior to take the subject of Evolution before the Church and mishandle it and deal with it as if it is some light thing.

Free from bias, I assume. Pew Research is funded by the Templeton foundation so I suspect any inadvertent bias would be towards Christianity, not away from it.