October 30, 2007

Superstition Reigns Supreme in America

How about a short horror story in time for Halloween? The true ones are always the most terrifying, so this one will be true. In August of 2007, The Barna Group completed a nationwide telephone survey of 1,000 American adults, selected at random and weighted to reflect demographic trends. The results are quite chilling.

A report of the results can be found here. Among the findings, which serve as this brief horror tale, are the following:
  • Americans are confident in the truth of many biblical stories. In fact, two of three adults accept the literal truth of six well-known biblical stories.
  • The story most likely to be accepted as being "literally true" (i.e., as occurring exactly as described in scripture) was "the story of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, after being crucified and buried." A full 75% of respondents said that they interpreted this story literally, including 68% of college graduates.
  • The tale of Daniel in the lion's den was accepted as literal truth by 65% of American adults.
  • 64% of American adults are convinced that Moses literally parted the Red Sea.
  • The creation story from Genesis where the Christian god is believed to have created the universe in six days was taken as literal truth by 60% of American adults.
Pretty horrifying, huh? Remember this survey when moderate Christians try to tell you that atheists are attacking a straw man. Also remember this survey when you are struggling to explain how America could end up trailing the rest of the world in many important areas.

As for me, I'm tempted to go back to bed and spend the week there, hiding under the covers and wishing that the insanity would end. But no, I'll continue on, more determined than ever to defend reason and call for evidence in the face of absurdity.

H/T to Outchurched

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