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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2005
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Claim CA001.1:

Since evolution began to be taught in public schools, crime rates and other social ills have increased.


Living Word Bible Church, n.d. The result of believing evolution.


  1. Crime rates go up and down and are associated mostly with the age of the population. There does not appear to be any correlation between crime rates and teaching evolution. The United States was generally more violent in the years 1870-1910 before evolution was taught. In recent years, crime rates have been dropping since 1989.

    Regional trends show a negative correlation between crime and teaching evolution. Other developed democracies accept evolution to a far greater extent than the United States and have lower homicide rates, juvenile and early adult mortality, sexually transmitted disease infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion rates (Paul 2005). In the United States, southern states tend to emphasize creationism more, but they also have generally higher crime rates.

  2. Correlation does not imply causation. Since the teaching of evolution, death rates from most cancers have decreased, air travel has increased, and the earth's temperature has risen, but we do not attribute any of those to teaching evolution.

  3. In the United States, at least, most people do not believe evolution. If social ills follow from belief about origins, creationists deserve more of the responsibility.

  4. "Do not ask why the old days were better than the present; for that is a foolish question" (Ecclesiastes 7:10).


  1. Paul, Gregory S. 2005. Cross-national correlation of quantifiable societal health with popular religiosity and secularism in the prosperous democracies. Journal of Religion and Society 7: 1-17.

Further Reading:

Disaster Center. n.d. United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2000.

Social Statistics Briefing Room: Crime,
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created 2003-5-2, modified 2005-10-7