It is strange that here in the 21st century with all our scientific knowledge as to how this planet and life on it began, our ventures into outer space and our phenomenal technological advances that 46 percent of Americans (58 percent of Republicans) still believe in ancient perceptions of how and when the earth and humans came to be; while 32 percent believe in evolution, only about 15 percent believe no deity controlled the process, up slightly.
The number of Republicans believing in evolution is down, a la Paul Broun, who unbelievably served on the House Science Committee.
I have no problem with people believing whatever they think is correct but some fundamentalist Christians think the earth and humans are no more than 10,000 years old and were created at the same time. At that period, man had already been in the Americas for about 10,000 years, having left Africa, where our species had evolved 200,000 years ago, and gradually migrated up into Europe and Asia, then finally populating this continent, particularly Central and South America where the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs created highly developed civilizations.
Although earth is over 4 billion years old, the beginning of life from which all life evolved and resulted in humans began over 3 billion years ago. The lower primates branched off from the “evolutionary tree” of life more than 50 million years ago and evolved into the apes and other primate species existing today while our human ancestors continued to evolve into our species, Homosapiens.
Fossil remains of the oldest of our ancestors, Australopithecus ramidus, dates back as far as 4.4 million years. The phrase “missing link” is invalid today since enough of these have been discovered to support the evolution of life by mutations and survival of the fittest.
Millions of fossil organisms found in rocks have been accurately dated by the carbon-14 method for specimens up to about 70,000 years and by radiometric measurements up to billions of years ago. Such measurements have proven beyond a doubt that dinosaurs lived from about 230 to 65 million years ago, for instance. Some people accept the findings of science except that of paleoanthropologists and other scientists whose discoveries (factual) contradict their beliefs.