This study explored pre-service science teachers' understanding and acceptance of evolution and their perceived necessity of introducing evolution into elementary science classes in relation to some socio-demographic variables. A total of 415 pre-service science teachers completed the background characteristics survey, evolution content knowledge test and measure of acceptance of the theory of evolution. Canonical correlation analysis demonstrated that pre-service science teachers with well-educated parents, females, and those with high levels of interest in evolution tended to have higher levels of understanding and acceptance of evolution compared to others. (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Prof. Huseyin Uzunboylu.