Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.Oy vey. This data really isn't all that surprising--many polls in the past have reported similar numbers--but I still find it highly discouraging that, even now, almost three out of four evangelicals could hold a view so inconsonant with all the available evidence.
It should be noted that not all of that 73% necessarily hold to a "Young-Earth" view, (some may, in fact, accept that the earth is around 4.56 billion years old, but still believe that humans are a recent creation), but even so, a person has to throw most of the basic principles of geology and paleontology straight out the window in order to reach the conclusion that humans have existed on earth for only 10,000 years.
I look forward to the day when, like geocentrism and flat-earthism, antievolutionism will be held by only the kookiest kooks of the extreme religious fringe. I can't wait for a time when reasonable people of all faiths can hardly even fathom why evolutionary biology was once considered a threat to their religions (and I guess this is an admission on my part that--contra many people with similar metaphysical opinions--I don't view religion itself as the main culprit behind the rejection of scientific reality). It will happen, someday. Unfortunately, poll results like these lead me to believe that this day is a depressingly long way off. And yet, with deeply religious scientists like Ken Miller, Wesley Elsberry, Simon Conway-Morris, and thousands of clergy all resolutely standing up for the integrity of evolutionary biology, hope springs eternal.