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ECF > Meet the Grantees > Support for the National Longitudinal Study of Religion and Human Origins

Meet the Grantees

This project is supported by The BioLogos Foundation’s Evolution & Christian Faith program. BioLogos does not necessarily endorse the views expressed by the Project Leader(s) or their institution, nor do the Project Leader(s) or their institution necessarily endorse the views expressed by BioLogos.

Support for the National Longitudinal Study of Religion and Human Origins

Calvin College
Dr. Jonathan Hill

This project will field a national survey of U.S. adults (N=3,000) designed to profile how faith commitments and social context influence beliefs about human origins.  No detailed, nationally representative account of religion and human origins presently exists. The existing survey data on this topic are typically limited to a single question included in general population surveys.  These snapshots are often unsophisticated in their mapping of beliefs about human origins, conflating complex views into simplistic categories.  This survey will carefully probe beliefs about human evolution, divine involvement in the creation of humans, the historical existence of Adam and Eve, geological timeframes, and original sin, making sure to carefully catalog the entire spectrum of possible positions.  Moreover, this survey will pay careful attention to the social context of these beliefs by exploring what friends and family believe, if church leaders take a stance on these issues, what the perceived social consequences of changing beliefs would be, and the influence of science education.  The immediate outcomes of this project will include both popular and scholarly articles that disseminate the main findings from the survey.  In the long term, this project ultimately aims to provide a solid empirical base for informed dialogue among Christians committed to taking seriously both scripture and science. By accurately assessing what people believe about human origins, and taking concrete steps toward understanding why people hold these beliefs, this project can help forge a better way forward that is grounded in both knowledge and Christian charity.

Project Activity

Since May 2013, Jonathan Hill, professor of sociology at Calvin College, has been working on a BioLogos-funded study of the beliefs of Americans on issues of human origins. We are proud to publicly release the results of this important project. We encourage our readers to browse the full report:

National Study of Religion and Human Origins report thumbnail
Download the National Study of Religion and Human Origins report [10MB PDF]

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