Most Canadians Believe Human Beings on Earth Evolved

There is a deep divide on whether creationism should be part of the school curriculum across the provinces.

Vancouver, BC [December 3, 2019] – A majority of Canadians continue to point to evolution as the reason for the development of human beings on earth, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, three-in-five Canadians (61%) believe human beings “definitely” or “probably” evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years, down five points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in 2018.

Conversely, almost one-in-four Canadians (23%, +2 since 2018) believe God created human beings in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Fewer than one-in-five Canadians (17%, +5) are undecided on this question.

British Columbia is home to the largest proportion of residents who side with evolution to explain the origin and development of human beings on the planet (67%), followed by Quebec (64%), Ontario (60%), Alberta (59%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (57%) and Atlantic Canada (54%).

When asked whether creationism—the belief that the universe and life originated from specific acts of divine creation—should be part of the school curriculum in their province, Canadians are deeply divided.

While 38% of Canadians think creationism should be taught in their province’s classrooms (unchanged since 2018), 39% think that it should not (-7) and 23% (=7) are undecided.

Fewer than two-in-five residents of Ontario (37%), Atlantic Canada (36%), Quebec (36%) and British Columbia (35%) are in favour of teaching creationism in schools. The proportion is slightly higher in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (43%) and Alberta (45%).

“Religious affiliation plays a role in how Canadians feel about discussing creationism in the classroom,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Canadians who identify themselves as Catholics or Protestants are significantly more likely to endorse the teaching of creationism in schools (48% each) than those who have no religion (22%) or identify as Atheists (20%).”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 4 to November 6, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca