MIRROR ONLINE, FEBRUARY 12, 2019
COVERAGE FOR PUFFIN BOOKS
Almost a third of Brits STILL don’t believe Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution
- In 2019 there are far more Darwin deniers than you might expect — and many Brits don’t even know who the scientist was
If Charles Darwin were still around, it really would make him go ape.
Almost 160 years after he defied the ignorance of his time by publishing the theory of evolution, explaining where humanity comes from, around 31% of us still do not believe it.
A poll to mark Darwin Day today found only 50% are “certain” his theory of natural selection, set out in 1859’s On the Origin of Species, is correct.
Four in 10 did not realise Darwin said we share ancestors with apes and just 66% of 16 to 29-year-olds said they were aware of his work, compared with 84% of over-60s.
Some 29% had no idea the naturalist and biologist was famous for the theory of evolution and 9% thought he was behind the theory of relativity – published by physicist Albert Einstein decades after Darwin’s 1882 death.
An astonishing 7% thought Darwin wrote Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code while 13% confused him with Oliver Twist author Charles Dickens.
Worringly, 9% admitted they had never even heard of him.
The study, commissioned by Puffin Books for the launch of a kids’ adaptation of On the Origin of Species, also found 12% of us believe in divine creationism, rising to 17% for under-29s.
Sabina Radeva, the author and illustrator of the Darwin picture book, said: “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.”
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.”