More than 40 per cent of Americans believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth by 2050, according to a poll.
Americans are largely optimistic about the future, according to the poll from the Pew Research Center For The People and The Press/Smithsonian Magazine, reports The Daily Telegraph, London.
By mid century, 71 per cent believe cancer will be cured, 66 per cent say artificial limbs will work better than real ones and 81 per cent believe computers will be able to converse like humans.
But Americans are also braced for a major energy crisis and a warming planet, according to the survey. More than half, or 58 per cent, fear another world war in the next 40 years and 53 per cent expect a terrorist attack against the United States using a nuclear weapon.
The poll also shows a sharp dip in overall optimism from 1999, when 81 per cent said they were optimistic about life for themselves and their families. The current poll found just 64 per cent were.
Sixty-one percent said they were optimistic about the future of the United States, compared to 70 percent in 1999. And 56 percent predicted the US economy would be stronger in 40 years, compared to 64 percent of those polled in 1999.
The results were compiled from telephone and online interviews with 1,546 adults in April. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points, according to Pew.
Here are some other findings of the poll:
• 71 per cent believe cancer will be cured by 2050.
• 81 per cent believe computers will be able to converse like humans.
• 68 per cent of those under 30 predict a world war by 2050.
• 53 per cent say ordinary people will travel in space
• Nearly three-quarters, or 74 per cent, of those polled believe it likely that "most of our energy will come from sources other than coal, oil, and gas".
• Yet 72 per cent believe the world is likely to experience a major worldwide energy crisis by 2050.
• 66 per cent say the Earth will definitely or probably get warmer but it breaks down strongly along political lines, with just 48 per cent of Republicans saying so and 83 per cent of Democrats.
• 42 per cent say it is likely that scientists will be able to tell what people are thinking by scanning their brains but 55 say this will definitely or probably not happen.
• 89 per cent believe a woman will be elected US president by 2050.
• 86 per cent say it is at least probable that most Americans will have to work into their 70s before retiring.
• 41 per cent say Jesus Christ will return within the next 40 years while 46 per cent say this will definitely or probably not happen.
• 63 per cent anticipate the demise of paper money
• 61 per cent say almost no one will send letters by 2050.
• 31 per cent expect the planet will be struck by an asteroid.