U.S. Buddhists, Hindus Back Evolution, Says Study

March 13, 2009

Author: Ashfaque Swapan

Source: New America Media/India West


Despite virtually unanimous support in the scientific community, there is considerable public skepticism in the U.S. about Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, with 39 percent believing in the theory, according to a Gallup poll.

Hindus in the U.S., however, overwhelmingly accept the scientific consensus, with four out of five Hindus agreeing that evolution best explains the origin of human beings, according to a recent study by the Pew Center.

Buddhists, edging Hindus by a slight margin, were the greatest supporters among different religious groups, the survey found.

As the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin Feb. 12, his legacy is a study in contrasts: While there is virtual unanimity among biologists regarding the validity of his theory of natural selection, public opinion continues to show surprising pockets of resistance in some nations.

The resistance has come almost entirely from religious groups, led by Christian groups, who support an alternative theory called intelligent design, which accepts the existence or agency of a supreme being.