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A sample of over 1,000 adults from coast-to-coast were quizzed on their thoughts regarding human origin, and 46 percent responded that they believe God created human beings pretty much in their present form during a single instance that occurred during the last 10,000 years.
Regardless of if you agree or disagree with the findings, the results of the poll reveal that, even slightly, Americans have grown more, not less religious during the last 30 years. Since Gallup first asking Americans for their input on the origins of humanity in 1982, the proportion of those who believe in creationism has actually grown. The latest findings show a slight increase in faith-based explanation when compared with the results that researchers came upon back in 1982 when the question was first asked; at the time, 44 percent of Americans polled said that believed that Gods created humans in their present form, showing a 2 percentage point change in 30 years’ time.
Naturally, scientists have a different opinion, and I’ll take science over religious claptrap any day. Evolution can be influenced however, and it appears climate change played a distinct role in the process.
Early humans evolved in fits and starts due to rapid environmental changes—not gradually as scientists used to think, according to a new study. Analyzing lake sediments in northern Tanzania, scientists from Penn State and Rutgers University concluded that climate change altered the landscape back and forth from grassland to woodland five or six times over 200,000 years, the Telegraph reports. That would have changed food availability, diet, and means of acquiring good—which “can trigger evolutionary mechanisms,” says Penn State professor Katherine Freeman.
“The result can be increased brain size and cognition, changes in locomotion and even social changes—how you interact with others in a group.” Several factors may have triggered the climate changes about 2 million years ago, including changes in sea temperature and the Earth’s movement around the sun. Any change in the amount of sunshine, for example, would have altered rain patterns that in turn affected plant patterns. “The research points to the importance of water in an arid landscape like Africa,” says a graduate student on the project. The findings conflict with the “Great Drying,” the view that Africa gradually dried out over 3 million years.
Many thanks to Newser and USA News for their contributions to this story.