The following three articles claim (or suggest) that the level of support for evolution (among the big public) (see wiki > level of support for evolution for definition) is decreasing in Europe.

From: Council of Europe - The dangers of creationism in education (Resolution 1580, 2007)

Investigation of the creationists’ growing influence [..]

From: Scientific American - Creationsim invades Europe

[..] although creationists were growing in number in European countries and gradually developing an influence in schools and local communities [..]

Despite the fact that European nations are generally among those with the highest public acceptance rates of evolutionary theory—with the notable exception of Turkey—too many news stories and too many polls were showing a change in public opinion

From: The guardian - Academics fight rise of creationism at universities

More students believe Darwin got it wrong

Evangelical Christian students are also increasingly vocal in challenging the notion of evolution.

Is the level of support for evolution (among the public) decreasing in Europe?

  • 2
    The book "Creationism in Europe" (ISBN:9781421415628) looks like a good place to start. However it was written by the authors of the Scientific American piece, so isn't an independent view of the claims.
    – richardb
    Feb 6, 2017 at 8:17
  • 17
    Could it simply be that the influx of people from less secularized countries has this effect on the statistics? Just because the number of people who don't accept evolution rises doesn't mean people already here are changing their minds, which is the impression I got from the wording of the question. Feb 6, 2017 at 11:29
  • 5
    This question seems to conflate increased influence by people holding a view with wider belief in that view. Could it be simply that creationist groups are getting better at influencing public policy through, for example, improved lobbying efforts? It's not clear to me, based on the quotes provided, that these articles are actually making the claim that the level of belief for evolution is decreasing, just that the influence of people who believe in creationism is increasing. Feb 6, 2017 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


There was a very detailed evolution/creation survey done in September 2010 across numerous counties. This is only one time point, but by comparing the views of younger people to older people in certain countries a shift away from evolution is seen.

The format of the survey was that people age 16-64 were asked:

There has been some debate recently about the origins of human beings. Please tell me which of the following is closer to your own point of view:

  • Some people are referred to as 'creationist's' [sic] and believe that human beings were in fact created by a spiritual force such as the God they believe in and do not believe that the origin of man came from evolving from other species such as apes.
  • Some people are referred to as 'evolutionist's' [sic] and believe that human beings were in fact created over a long period of time of evolution growing into fully formed human beings they are today from lower species such as apes.
  • Some people simply don't know what to believe and sometimes agree or disagree with theories and ideas put forward by both creationist's [sic] and evolutionist's [sic].

The percent evolutionist by country and age was as follows (I only include countries that are at least partially in Europe):

Country under 35 35-49 50-64
Spain 54% 55% 47%
Great Britain 49% 56% 60%
France 50% 57% 57%
Germany 66% 63% 67%
Russia 25% 24% 37%
Sweden 66% 75% 62%
Turkey 13% 26% 21%
Hungary 46% 50% 68%
Poland 37% 40% 39%
Italy 42% 36% 42%
Belgium 62% 58% 62%

The countries indicated in bold show signs of shifting away from being evolutionist.

  • 7
    Hmmm... It's worth to note that belief is something flexible. A lot of people change them later in life, so believing in creationism at 15 doesn't mean bollocks when someone can become older and wiser, and thus change it's own views regarding religion. Also, this is only one point on time, so we have no idea if those percentages are growing or not.
    – T. Sar
    Feb 6, 2017 at 14:33
  • 3
    @TSar nobody 15 was in the survey, but I agree it would be much better if the same survey was repeated over time. Hopefully someone will find such information and give a better answer.
    – DavePhD
    Feb 6, 2017 at 14:39
  • 4
    This might say more about the indoctrination of youth than changes over time.
    – komodosp
    Feb 7, 2017 at 16:02
  • 2
    @colmde I don't think it's about any one thing. Maybe less atheist indoctrination of the youth in Russia and Hungary now, more fundamentalism in Turkey and more Muslim youth in the U.K.
    – DavePhD
    Feb 7, 2017 at 16:07
  • 11
    I don't really like the term "evolutionist"... makes it sound like a religion or something. But I'm not sure how to phrase it differently without biasing people's answers.
    – Kevin
    Feb 8, 2017 at 6:40

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