The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is reporting the results of a new poll: Evolution and Its Discontents: A Role for Scientists in Science Education. This is their summary (we’ve added bold for emphasis):
A coalition of scientific societies and science teachers has conducted a national survey of likely U.S. voters to examine acceptance of evolution, attitudes toward science and scientists, and opportunities for promoting science education. Most of these folk who responded to the survey accepted that life evolved, many accepted that it evolved through natural processes, and more favored teaching evolution than creationism or intelligent design in science classes. The majority ranked “developing medicines” and “curing diseases” as the most important contributions of science to society. They also found that “promoting understanding of evolutionary science’s contribution to medicine” was a convincing reason to teach evolution. The respondents viewed scientists, teachers, and medical professionals favorably, and most were interested in hearing from these groups about science, including evolution. These data suggest that the scientific community has an important role to play in encouraging public support for science education.
Then there’s this, specifically regarding human evolution:
We anticipated that acceptance of evolutionary science would also be influenced by the distinction between human and non-human species. We asked half of the respondents about their views on the evolution of “all living things” and found that 61% accepted that “all living things have evolved over time.” Of those, 36% thought all living things “evolved due to natural processes such as natural selection,” and 25% thought “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating life in the form it exists today.” We asked the remaining respondents to consider human evolution and found that 53% accepted that “humans and other living things” evolved. This majority included 32% who accepted that humans and other living things evolved through natural processes and 21% who thought they had evolved with guidance. Compared with other surveys , we found weaker overall support for creationism: 28% and 31% agreed with statements that “all living things” or “humans and other living things,” respectively, were created in their present form.
There’s much more at the site we’ve linked. Take a look; we still have a lot of work to do, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.