“The vast majority of scientists believe that humans have evolved over time (98%; Pew Research Center, 2015). However, recent public opinion polls indicate much more variability in the views of the general public; only 65% of Americans (Pew Research Center, 2015), 61% of Canadians (Angus Reid Public Opinion Polls, 2012), and similar amounts of British and Australians share this view.”
A new study from Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada, has, for the first time, attempted to find out what effect ‘celebrity opinions’ might have on such viewpoints, So, when, for example, Justin Bieber [pictured] says something along the lines of :
“Science makes a lot of sense. Then I start thinking—wait, the ‘big bang.’ For a ‘big bang’ to create all this is more wild to think about than thinking about there being a God. Imagine putting a bunch of gold into a box, shaking up the box, and out comes a Rolex. It’s so preposterous once people start saying it.”
– what effect, if any, might it have on public acceptance of evolutionary theory? In other words :
“Are publicized celebrity opinions about human evolution merely inconsequential forms of entertainment, or do they have the potential to influence individuals’ acceptance of evolution?”
The answer, according to the research, is :
“Taken together, the results of the present set of studies provide novel evidence that exposure to a celebrity’s opinion about evolution can indeed influence individuals’ acceptance of evolution.”
See: Celebrity Opinion Influences Public Acceptance of Human Evolution published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, September, 2018.