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America Evolving?

Whether or not an Americans think that humans and other living things are products of evolutionary processes or some other means is influenced by their religious and political affiliations, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

The survey finds that 60 percent of Americans believe in evolution, while 33 percent dispute evolution, roughly the same numbers as Pew found four years ago, when it last asked this question.

About half of those who say that organisms evolved say it is a natural process, but about a quarter of all Americans say that evolution was guided by "a supreme being."

Not surprisingly, beliefs about evolution break down sharply along religious lines, as around 64 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 50 percent of black protestants say that "humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time," according to Pew.

The survey of nearly 2,000 Americans also finds "sizable differences" in views on evolution by party affiliation, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown recently.

In 2009, 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats said humans evolved over time, but the new poll finds that 43 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats hold those views. The 10-point difference in 2009 grew to a 24-point gap in 2013.

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