Pastors overwhelmingly believe God did not use evolution to create humans and think Adam and Eve were literal people, according to a recent survey of 1,000 American pastors by LifeWay Research.
When asked to respond to the statement, “I believe God used evolution to create people,” 73 percent of pastors disagree, with 64 percent strongly disagreeing and 8 percent somewhat disagreeing. Twelve percent each somewhat agree and strongly agree. Four percent are not sure.
In response to the statement, “I believe Adam and Eve were literal people,” 74 percent strongly agree and 8 percent somewhat agree. Six percent somewhat disagree, 11 percent strongly disagree and 1 percent are not sure.
Based on a Gallup poll from December 2010, pastors are more Creationist (referring to the belief that all things were created substantially as they now exist as recounted in the first chapter of Genesis and not gradually evolved) than the American public at large.
Forty percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, 38 percent say God used evolution to develop humans and 16 percent think man evolved with God playing no part in the process, according to Gallup.
In the LifeWay Research survey, about one in five pastors agree that most of their congregation believes in evolution. That includes 10 percent who strongly agree and 9 percent who somewhat agree. A majority (62 percent) strongly disagree and 13 percent somewhat disagree.
Only a third of pastors (36 percent) teach on creation and evolution more than once a year. That includes 28 percent who teach on the subject several times per year, 4 percent who teach on it about once a month and 3 percent who do so several times a month. Twenty-six percent teach on it about once a year, and 29 percent do so rarely. Eight percent never teach on creation and evolution.
The phone survey, conducted in May 2011, sampled randomly selected Protestant churches.