NHE wrote:And more than half don't know that humans evolved from animals.
But is it a case of "they don't know" or is it that "they don't believe" (ie creationists)
I've hypothesized that a large part of the problem is that the significance of vast periods of time are so foreign to our every day experiences that they are incomprehensible. As such, it's simply easier to believe that the Earth, and the universe, is only about 10,000 to 15,000 years old than to try to grasp an incomprehensible 4.5 billion years or so for the age of the Earth. One analogy states that "If the age of the Earth was represented by the length of your arm, then all of human history could be wiped out with the dust from a single pass of a fingernail file."