A new study compares “acceptance of evolution” by highly educated adult academics with college students in various categories, with all those sampled being in New England, which has the highest overall acceptance of evolution in the US (a mere 59 percent). The results are interesting.
The study is rather complicated. The original paper provides a great deal of detail about the characteristics of the population. Several different questions were ask. At the end of the day, however, the following results are the most important:
The percentage of respondents who feel that evolution alone should be taught in science class is:
Public college students: 76.6%
Private secular college students: 68%
Private religious college: 71.1%
This is essentially a bimodal distribution, with faculty in one category and students in the other. The variation among the students is probably a function of complex factors; The schools sampled are distributed across New England and New England is actually quite a bit more diverse politically than many may assume.
I would like to know 3.7 percent of faculty who think creationism should be taught in science class along with evolution (the alternative answer in this poll). You know, to persecute them and stuff.
The study asks a number of other interesting questions of the students and faculty, and is worth browsing through for the detail. Here’s a copy of it: PDF
Paz-y-MiÃ±o C., G., & Espinosa, A. (2010). New England Faculty and College Students Differ in Their Views About Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Religiosity Evolution: Education and Outreach DOI: 10.1007/s12052-010-0298-x