Public Acceptance of Evolution in India

Bast, Felix ; Tahilramani, Heena

Abstract

The public acceptance of evolution has been in debate since the initial publication of Darwin’s theory about origin of species. According to public polls carried out in a range of countries, the public acceptance of evolution is low in many countries with high degree of religiosity. Although religiosity is high in India, public acceptance of evolution has never been objectively evaluated in India yet. The rejection or denial of evolution could possibly offer the risk of shifting science education to common or popular beliefs and ideas, for example, creationism and intelligent design. Aim of the present study was to find out the public acceptance of evolution in India by carrying out a primary survey in 14 Indian states. Based upon the answers by the participants, the study explored the variables related to public acceptance of evolution namely, gender, religion, politics and occupation. The results showed that the 69.4% participants accepted evolution, which is very high compared with other countries of the world. Plausible reasons for high acceptance of evolution in India is being discussed in this paper.


Keyword(s)

evolution, india, public, politics, religion, sociology of science

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