A recent survey conducted by the British Council and marketing research company Ipsos MORI looked at the reactions of 10,000 individuals from ten different countries to Darwin and his theory of evolution. Among the questions the team asked were whether individuals had heard of Charles Darwin, whether they believed there was scientific evidence for evolution, whether a person can believe in both evolution and God, and how the universe was created.
The graph above shows the results to the question of whether one can believe in God and evolution simultaneously. As it shows, in most countries far more agreed a person can believe in both than disagreed. India showed the most overwhelming agreement to the statement, while Egypt showed the strongest disagreement. It is helpful to remember, however, that the question did not imply belief in the Christian interpretation of God.
The same survey also found that 43% of the Americans, South Africans, and Indians surveyed believed life on Earth was created in its current form by a divine creator. Conversely, a majority of those surveyed in China, Great Britain, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, and Russia believed that life evolved over time through natural selection without God playing a part. China showed the most overwhelming support for this view, with 67% of those surveyed in agreement. Only India showed a majority support (50%) for creation through evolution that involved God.
While surveys are not always accurate representations of a larger population, the results of this study offer some interesting ideas about the international debate over religion, evolution, and origins. The full data is currently available via Google Documents, and a more general press release can be found on the British Council's Darwin Now Web site.