I thought of that today when I saw this. Over at EvolutionBlog (check out the new digs!), Jason tells us about a new Harris poll about evolution, creation, and all that. Check the Harris link for all the numbers, but here are three results that Jason cites.
We find that 65% of conservatives vs. 37% of liberals reject the idea that humans developed from earlier species. 56% of conservatives vs. 31% of liberals reject the idea that man and apes share common ancestry. And 58% of conservatives vs. 35% of liberals reject the idea that the fossil record confirms evolution.Okay, we've seen these numbers before. But check this out (and it seems they did ask all these questions of the same people): at least 9% of conservatives and 6% of liberals (that's about 70 people, 7% of the sample) rejected the idea that humans developed from earlier species, but did not reject the idea that man and apes share common ancestry. So humans were created in their present form, but (maybe) they share an ancestor with apes. If so, that ancestor can only be human. So humans didn't descend from an ape-like ancestor (that'd be crazy!): apes descended from humans. (Maybe.) So do people really believe this, or was this poll conducted in the morning hours, before people have had their coffee?
UPDATE [mere hours later]: This morning's Times tells us that humans and chimps may have interbred, and that contemporary humans may be descended from that hybrid. Interesting – but that still doesn't mean apes descended from humans.