04 April 2007

The End Is NERE!!!

The Newsweek Poll, 31 March 2007, included, after the perfunctory political quiz, questions on religion. The answers to these questions (and, indeed, the questions themselves) provide more evidence that America is becoming a third world theocracy and dumber than a fencepost (no offense to all you fenceposts reading this) to boot.

Let's start with the first God-themed query:

12. Which one of the following statements come closest to your views about the origin and development of human beings? Humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process [A] (or) Humans developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process [B] (or) God created humans pretty much in the present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so [C]?

Of course, there's always "the question is bs because there ain't no God", but that answer had to settle for the "other/don't know" [D] column. And by the way, why is other/don't know lumped together? Which is it? there's a big difference between "other" and "don't know".

Current Total 30% 13% 48% 9%
Evan. Prot. 18% 4% 73% 5%
Non-Evan. Prot. 42% 9% 39% 10%
Catholics 42% 11% 41% 6%
Agn./Ath. 27% 45% 13% 15%

A "point of order" here. Under which of the above four categories does Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, etc, fall? it’s not like the poll didn’t ask “What is your present religion?”(question #20). But I, like the populace of Uhmurrrrica, digress.

The percentages, while sad, are not that surprising - except for the responses of the Agnostic/Atheist. I would assume that the Atheist portion of those respondents picked [D], but 40% of this category chose one of the answers that had God at least partially involved in the process. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, agnostic means:

1[noun] : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god
2[adjective] : a person unwilling to commit to an opinion about something

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this sort of preclude attributing anything to the actions, or indeed, inactions, of God? Of course, the literal translation of ‘agnostic’ is ‘without knowledge’, so maybe those respondents were just that.

Okay. Next question:

13. Do you think the scientific theory of evolution is well-supported by evidence and widely accepted within the scientific community?

This time, the choices are “Well Supported” [A], “Not Well Supported” [B], or Agnostic - I mean, “Don’t Know” [C]. Apparently no one came up with any ‘other’ on this one.

Current Total 48% 39% 13%
Evan. Prot. 25% 63% 12%
Non-Evan. Prot. 57% 24% 19%
Catholics 58% 33% 9%
Agn./Ath. 73% 18% 9%

The fact that any non Evangelical would answer anything but [A] is sad. Evangelicals are just plain sad. Next question!

14. Do you believe in God?
Yes No Don't know
91% 6% 3%

This one I’ll accept (even though it’s scary). This tells us that 6% of respondents are atheist and 3% are agnostic - but wait! Question 16 (I’ll get to 15 in a minute) is:

16. Would you describe yourself as an atheist?
Yes No Don't know
3% 96% 1%

As Mama Shakes, over at (the newly renamed) Shakesville, says, “What the Poop?” Maybe I need to check the definition of atheist (Merriam-Webster again):

one who believes that there is no deity

Hmm, that’s what I thought. So, let me get this straight. 6% do not believe in God, but only half of those identify as “one who believes there is no deity”. Ohhh-kay. My head hurts.

Alright, back to question 15:

15. People who don't believe in God are called atheists. Do you personally know any atheists, or not?

Yes No Don't know
49% 48% 3%

This tells us that atheists, remember- only 6% (or is it 3%) of the population, really get around. My question to them is, why haven’t you introduced yourselves to the other 48%? Do they smell bad or something?

Check out the entire poll, if you haven’t already. I need a nap.

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for the poor structure of the block quotes. I can't figure out how to get them aligned properly. I hope it's not too confusing.

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