Published September 07, 2011
Nearly half of American voters believe in the Biblical account of creation, and even more think prayer can literally help people recover from medical problems.
A Fox News poll released Wednesday found 77 percent of voters believe prayers can help someone heal from an injury or illness, while 20 percent don’t believe that. The remaining 3 percent are unsure.
Those groups most likely to believe prayer literally heals include those who regularly attend religious services (93 percent), white evangelical Christians (91 percent), blacks (89 percent), conservatives (85 percent), and those who are part of the Tea Party movement (84 percent).
Women (82 percent) are more likely than men (71 percent) to believe in the healing power of prayer.
Some 45 percent of voters accept the Biblical account of creation as the explanation for the origin of human life on Earth, while 21 percent say the theory of evolution as outlined by Darwin and other scientists is correct. Another 27 percent say both explanations are true.
Belief in creationism, however, fails to explain Republican presidential primary preferences. Frontrunner Rick Perry is the top choice for GOP primary voters who believe in creationism as well as those who believe in evolution.
Among white evangelical Christians, 67 percent believe in creationism, 4 percent evolution, and 24 percent accept both.
By a 20-percentage point margin, conservatives (53 percent) are more likely than liberals (33 percent) to accept creationism as true. And, conversely, liberals (37 percent) are more than three times as likely as conservatives (11 percent) to believe in evolution.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 29 to August 31. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.