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More Koreans believe in evolution

Survey reveals more Catholics support the scientific theory than Protestants

A life-sized model of an archaeopteryx, thought to be the first bird A life-sized model of an archaeopteryx, thought to be the first bird
  • ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
  • Korea
  • July 25, 2012
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A recent survey has revealed that almost half of South Koreans believe in evolutionary theory and that Catholics believe in it more than Protestants do.

Results of the Gallup Korea survey on the origin of humans were released yesterday.

Gallup surveyed 613 South Koreans over 19 years old from across the country and found that 45 percent of respondents believe that “humans evolved from other species”  while 32 percent said “Man was created by God.”

The number of people who believe in evolution has increased in the last decade, Gallup said.

In a similar survey in 2001, 36 percent of respondents had supported the evolution theory while 29 percent believed in divine creation.

More interestingly, according to Gallup, the recent survey also revealed that Catholics believe in evolutionary theory more than Protestants do.

Some 75 percent of 133 Protestant respondents believed in creationism but only 14 percent supported evolutionism. Meanwhile, 42 percent of the 65 Catholic respondents surveyed went for creationism but 31 percent believed in evolutionism.

Christian priests responded to the survey results by saying that nowadays the distinction between creation and evolution is “meaningless.”

Father Francis Oh Kyeng-hwan who runs a Science and Religion website (www.ohkh.net) told said yesterday that “the Vatican does not distinguish creation from evolution.”

Father Oh said “the Catholic Church supports theistic evolutionism,” which is the theory that “God was involved in and has led the evolution of living things and humans from the beginning.”

Reverend Lee Hun-sam, director of the Justice and Peace Committee of the National Council of Churches in Korea, said “there are no two ways about how life came from God and went through the evolution process.”

The evolution versus creation debate took a controversial turn recently, when the Society for Textbook Revision petitioned the Ministry of Education to amend or remove examples of evolutionary theory from school textbooks. This included evolutionary theory on the archaeopteryx, which many scientists consider to be the first true bird.

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