Jun 09

Catching Up

I’ve been travelling lately, so I’m sorry if I haven’t kept up with the site over the past week or two. I did have some interesting site-related things happen, though.

– I received a review copy of Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith. I wanted to complete my review prior to the book’s release, but that didn’t happen; expect a review soon.

– A Hindu man tried to convert me.

– I found out that the Denver International Airport is the subject of many crazy conspiracy theories.

– And, I got to meet Michael Shermer. He gave an hour lecture, took questions from the audience, signed copies of his new book The Believing Brain, and then went out for drinks. Sadly, I did not attend the last part since I was in town for work.

Michael Shermer signing The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths


I’ll get back to regular posting soon, but for now I’ll share an interesting study discussed by Shermer. Check out this Harris Poll on belief. Would you expect more people to believe evolution was true compared to ghosts? How about the Virgin Birth? Here are the highlights of what percentage of people believe in the following (more detail provided at the link):

  • God – 82%
  • Miracles – 76%
  • Heaven – 75%
  • Jesus is God or Son of God – 73%
  • Angels – 72%
  • Survival of soul after death – 71%
  • Resurrection of Jesus – 70%
  • Hell – 61%
  • Virgin Birth – 61%
  • The Devil – 60%
  • Evolution – 45%
  • Ghosts – 42%
  • Creationism (I assume this means literal biblical) – 40%
  • UFOs – 32%
  • Astrology – 26%
  • Witches – 23%
  • Reincarnation – 20%

Try not to get too depressed by these results; it just means there’s room to improve!

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  1. Jeremy Raines

    Perhaps it says something that “belief” in evolution is there, but nothing on the Civil War or algebra. Huh?

    By the way, linked here via Atheist Nexus

  2. Mike

    I don’t like it thrown in among “belief” things either, but it’s become so common in society that it’s hard to avoid. Considering evolution is sandwiched by the devil and ghosts, I guess I understand why people phrase it that way. It’s not sensible, but an accurate description of how most people think.

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