What percentage of Americans think humans and dinosaurs once coexisted? According to a recent poll, many people believe that dinosaurs and humans once coexisted on the planet at the same time. Almost of those interviewed are confident in their decision. With movies like Jurassic World breaking records for the best opening weekend ever, it’s no wonder that Americans feel this way.
According to YouGov, 41% of Americans believe that dinosaurs and humans either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ once shared the planet with humans. 16% responded that they were not sure. Of course, in reality, the earliest ancestors of humans have only been on the planet for 6 million years—59 million years after the last dinosaurs on record.
The online poll (PDF) of 1,000 adults was conducted between June 15 and 17 and has a 4.4 percent plus-or-minus margin of error.
When asked about the science behind the blockbuster “Jurassic Park” movies, the majority (54%) of Americans agree that it is not currently possible to create dinosaur clones from the DNA found in their fossils. But more than a quarter of participants think it’s already in the works—and 50% say that if there were a theme park like Jurassic Park, they would stay far away.
It’s hard to deny the connection between the misconceptions and the popular films. 71% of Americans say they have watched the original, and more than a third of respondents have seen the two sequels. Apparently, Jurassic World may have been a documentary to millions of Americans.
There could also be a religious tie to this belief. There are entire museums dedicated to convincing the public that dinosaurs fit smoothly into the biblical timeline of history—ignoring scientific evidence to support the creationist theory.