Friday, December 12, 2008

Woo Scores

On the whole, Americans aren't really so down with today's robots, rocket cars, and new-fangled ideas:

80 percent say they believe in God ... Three-quarters believe in miracles, 73 percent believe in heaven, 71 percent say Jesus is the Son of God and 71 percent believe in angels, the survey found. Seven out of 10 say Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that the Bible is, all or in part, the "Word of God." ... More than two-thirds - 68 percent - believe in the "survival of the soul after death" ... About 62 percent think that hell exists, 61 percent believe in the Virgin Birth and 59 percent say the devil exists ... [F]ewer than half - 47 percent - said they believe in Darwin's theory of evolution; a third said they did not believe in it while 22 percent were not sure what they thought ... 44 percent of the respondents said they believe in ghosts, 36 percent say UFOs are real while 31 percent believe in both witches and astrology. About a quarter believe in reincarnation, or "that you were once another person ...
It's enough to make me wish I were another person -- say, one who cannot be associated with the dolts who furnished these poll results. Bradlaugh reads the same poll results and poses a good question:
What do people actually mean by any of this? Do they actually conduct their lives on the working assumption that the next stranger they meet may be an angel, a ghost, Satan, or a UFO crewman? (Ans: Obviously not.)
"Obviously" not? I think the poll results under discussion force that which is obvious off the short list of working assumptions about the belief patterns of Americans. We're well outside the rational box.

At least Darwinian natural selection out-polls ghosts and UFOs -- actual science doesn't fall to bullshit and woo in every possible instance.

1 comment:

larryniven said...

How - how - can more people believe in miracles than heaven? I can understand more belief in God than in heaven, because the poll probably didn't specify which god (or, if it did, people probably answered however they wanted to anyway), but miracles? It's not like there are too many systems of belief that offer miracles but not heaven - unless we're using "miracle" here to mean "seemingly unlikely but really awesome thing that happened"? Which I guess would explain the "I want to thank Jesus for this win" meme, but c'mon. Grumble stupid people mumble...