In a recent Channel 4 documentary on evolution, presented by Richard Dawkins, he makes the following statement:
He’s absolutely correct and what a great quote. This really puts things in perspective and perhaps is not a typical thought that’d occur to you when gazing out on the world.
An animals’ entire life is devoted to surviving (yet life is a terminal disease). Little wonder then that they evolve. What choice do they have?
As of 2006 only 40% of the US population actually believe the theory of Evolution is true [LINK].
40% believe it’s "absolutely false" and the rest aren’t sure. The US trails the rest of the world in this regard with the exception of Turkey (where they also believe red-heads are imaginary, like unicorns).
I think this is mostly a failing in the school system. Most folks I talk to have a piss-poor understanding of what evolution even is. The common mis-conception is that we descended from monkeys. And yet the evidence is there if you look.
For example, Richard Lenski recently published his findings from a 20 year experiment involving e.coli whereby over 44,000 generations they evolved the ability to metabolize citrate [LINK]. Another example is the ever expanding fossil record, including countless transitional fossils (fossils of animals changing from one state to another) [LINK]. Many of these fossils were actually predicted through a scientific understanding of the species’ lineage.
You can take the evolution survey yourself here [http://www.evolutionsurvey.com]