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mailonline-12-02-19

MAIL ONLINE, FEBRUARY 12, 2019
COVERAGE FOR PUFFIN BOOKS

Almost a third of Brits STILL don’t believe Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, survey finds (and some have confused him with Charles DICKENS)

  • A third of Brits didn’t know Charles Darwin was famous for evolution
  • Nearly one in ten people surveyed have no idea who Charles Darwin is
  • Seven per cent thought he was the author of The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
  • Young people are more likely to believe in Creationism than older people

It may be Darwin Day today, but half of the British population isn’t even ‘certain’ that his theory of evolution is correct, a survey has found.

The poll revealed that nearly a third of Brits did not believe in Darwin’s theory, as laid out in his most famous body of work, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.

Young people were also more likely to believe in Creationism, which claims everything in the universe was made by God through direct divine acts.

Adding insult to injury, the questionnaire found that nearly a third (29 per cent) of Brits didn’t know Charles Darwin was famous for evolution.

Nor could they tell the difference between Darwin and Charles Dickens, as 14% of those surveyed misidentified the famous biologist for the famous author.

A significant number thought instead that he was the author of the best selling book and Hollywood film franchise starring Tom Hanks, The Da Vinci Code.

The survey was carried out by Puffin Books for a new, illustrated children’s adaptation of On the Origin of Species.

Only half of all surveyed were actually ‘certain’ that evolution was real.

Nine per cent of those surveyed hadn’t even heard of the great British biologist and 44 per cent did not know it was Darwin who said we shared ancestors with apes.

Nine per cent also thought he was behind physicist Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, published decades after Darwin’s death in 1882.

A third of those under 29-year-old were not aware of evolutionary theory compared to only 16 per cent of those over 60.

The survey found that 12 per cent of respondents believe in Creationism, rising to 17 per cent for those aged under-29.

The Natural History Museum said: ‘Evolution theory is accepted as fact by the scientific community, on a level with the theory of gravitation or the round-Earth theory.’

Perhaps even more shocking is that seven per cent thought Darwin had penned the book The Da Vinci Code, whose author is the American writer Dan Brown.

Two thirds couldn’t recognise the famous, long bearded picture of him widely used to depict the evolutionist.

The new picture book of On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva is the first ever illustrated version of the book and is 48 pages compared to the over 500 pages in the original text.

Ms Radeva added: ‘Darwin’s radical ¬≠theories caused a stir from the time the book was first published.

‘I wanted to create a retelling of this hugely important book that I would have loved to read as a child but that I would still appreciate today as an adult.’