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One chart that shows Americans' backward views on evolution

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

In most wealthy countries, people tend to believe in evolution. The US is an exceptional lonely dot far, far below the others, as this chart from the now-defunct webcomic Calamities of Nature shows:

Calamities of Nature global warming chart

How many Americans believe in evolution depends slightly upon how you frame the question. Tony Piro, who created this chart, used a question that refers to human beings developing "from earlier species of animals." Other polls that simply ask whether humans have evolved over time (without referring to animals) find a slightly higher percentage of Americans believing in evolution, around 60 percent. That would still make the US an outlier among rich countries, though.