This is according to a survey of 1,000 American Protestant pastors released on January 9 by LifeWay Research.
Via Baptist Press:
When asked to respond to the statement, "I believe God used evolution to create people," 73 percent of pastors disagree, with 64 percent strongly disagreeing and 8 percent somewhat disagreeing. Twelve percent each somewhat agree and strongly agree. Four percent are not sure.Of course, Lifeway is in the business of selling bibles, so I'm not so sure how seriously we should take this survey. Regardless, those numbers are not terribly encouraging.
In response to the statement, "I believe Adam and Eve were literal people," 74 percent strongly agree and 8 percent somewhat agree. Six percent somewhat disagree, 11 percent strongly disagree and 1 percent are not sure.
However, there are several telling (and fairly obvious) findings from the survey:
- Evolution denial is significantly less-prominent in the Northeast, where we also find lower overall rates of religiosity.
- Mainline Protestant pastors were more likely to accept evolution (25%) than their Evangelical peers (8%).
- Evangelicals were more likely than Mainline Protestants to strongly agree that Adam and Eve were literal people (82% vs. 50%).
- Pastors with graduate degrees were more likely to disagree that Adam & Eve were literal people, compared to those with a bachelor's degree (16% vs. 2%).
- Younger pastors were the least likely to strongly disagree that the earth is only 6,000 years old.
- Pastors with a graduate degree were more likely to strongly disagree that the earth is 6,000 years old than pastors with a bachelor's degree(42% vs. 18%).