Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Christian Downtrodden

I see that DaveScot has post at Uncommon Descent indicating that 48% of Americans feel that those with strong religious beliefs are discriminated against. I would simply point out the following:

31% of Americans believe in the accuracy of astrology;

48% of Americans believe that UFOs are aliens who have visited earth over the years;

52% of Americans believe that bigfoot exists;

And of course,

53% of Americans believe humans came about exactly as the Bible describes;

I'll just let these hang in the air...


Joshua Trupin said...

"53% of Americans believe humans came about exactly as the Bible describes."

So as of now, one in five Americans is a Genesis literalist who does not approve of Bush. Wow.

pughd said...

Your point is a good one - just because most people believe things about the natural world doesn't make it so. But this type of data does have some important implications for the social world. Not that I think Christians are discriminated against in the US, but the narrative of persecution pushed by O'Reilly et al has definitely gained traction. Just check out this bit of ridiculousness.

Just like the "teach the controversey" meme, these folks excel at shifting frames so that majorities believe the absurd.

Anyway - See you in San Juan?

Christopher O'Brien said...

pughd...yes, I agree completely that all of these polls hold implications for the social world. It's really sad that I could easily find data that large numbers of Americans buy into really stupid things very easily. Wish I were going to San Juan, but I'm afraid I'll miss the SAA meetings this year. I will be going to the zooarchaeology conference at Eagle Lake this year (yes, it's a new thing - I'll post some information about it soon). Thanks!

pughd said...

A zooarch-specific meeting? How cool. I'm not good with bones myself, but I'll pass along the info to the wife. She's doing a fauna diss.

JP said...

I am pretty sure that after they take away all the creation "scientists", abortion protesters, IDists, and strongly religious people that there will be at least some people left.

Jean said...

"I could easily find data that large numbers of Americans buy into really stupid things very easily."

No shit. Not just stupid, but demonstrably false. Like all those who believed (many of whom probably still do) that Iraq had WMD, ties to Al-Qaeda, and a role in the 9-11 attacks:

Or the many who believe that 20-30% of the US budget goes to foreign aid (it's actually 0.1 percent, and much of that goes to Israel, in the form of military aid):

Mike Fox said...

I find it amazing how many times I see people in science blogs (bloggers and commenters) who think that just because THEY believe in science as their religion that OTHERS see their religion as their science. You all have taken a math course! If then statments only work one way. A person is able to believe on faith one fact and on intellectual understanding a very contrary fact. It's alot like when you treat your other minority coworkers nice even though your a racist prick at home. You aren't a prick at work because you're AT WORK. Get off your high horse and realize science and religion are oil and water. BTW, some folks have no science in their life. Get over THAT, too. Not everyone cares. To be a secratary or assembly line worker, it doesn't matter how we got here any more than it matters to you how the pallets of food got to the grocer.