According to a recent Gallup poll, the number of Americans who believe God treated humanity as is, with no evolution involved, has remained fairly stable over the years. But this year, that number has decreased slightly, as did the proportion of people who state a belief in ‘intelligent design.’ (There was a corresponding spike in the number of respondents who said they believed in unguided evolution, but that number is still below 20% overall.)
The Atlantic views this shift as an indication that the great struggle between science and religion is reaching a truce, given that there’s been no drop in the number of people who believe in God, or who disagree with evolution on a religious basis.
This is particularly interesting in the context of the poll’s final question, which focused on the truthfulness of the Bible. Since 1976, Gallup has been asking people to say whether they think “the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word; the Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally; or the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.” In 2014, a new choice was added: “The Bible is the actual word of God, but multiple interpretations are possible.”
When half the sample was asked to pick from among the three original answers, 28 percent said the Bible is the literal word of God, 47 percent said it was inspired by God, and 21 percent said it’s just a bunch of stories. But when the new answer was introduced, the results changed significantly: 22 percent said it’s the actual word of God, 28 said it was inspired by God, 18 percent said it’s made up—and 28 percent said that while it may be literal, it can be interpreted in multiple ways.
Read the whole article here.
What do you think? Dare we hope that room for ambiguity is creeping back into this discussion?