Econintersect: The Harris Poll has announced new results which indicate that the number of Americans who believe in God has declined by 8% since 2009, from 85% believers then to 74% today. Polls in 2005 and 2007 had produced an results identical to 2009. Absolute certainty in God has declined even more, from 66% in 2003 to 54% today. Almost half of all Americans are not absolutely certain there is a God! What about the difference between 74% who say they believe in God and 54% who are absolutely certain he exists? Are 20% of Americans simply hedging their bets?
From the point of view of religion, knowledge (as represented by level of education) is a dangerous thing. Absolute certainty in God falls with increased education from 60% for those with high school education or less all the way to 37% for those with post graduate education. The story of Adam and Eve and expulsion from the Garden of Eden once the fruit of knowledge is tasted appears to one of the principles of religion clearly supported by empirical measurement.
Some extracted highlight from the poll results:
- Republicans are far more blessed (65% absolute belief in God) than are Independents (51%) or Democrats (50%).
- People in the South and Midwest (61% and 58%, respectively) have a greater absolute belief than those on either coast (East 48% and West 46%).
- Absolute belief increases with age from 47% for ages 18-36 up to 62% for those 68 and older.
- Belief that Darwin's Theory of Evolution is valid has risen from 42% in 2005 to 47% today.
- Followers of Creationism have fallen from 39% in 2005 to 36% today.
- Perhaps surpisingly, 6% of those who believe in God (74%) don't believe there is a Heaven (68%)
- Americans' Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines (Harris Interactive, 16 December 2013)