52% of people polled think God is A-OK

July 28, 2011

It’s a slim majority but apparently it’s the number of people polled who think that if God exists, he’s doing a fine job running the universe.

“When asked to evaluate God on some of the issues it is responsible for, voters give God its best rating on creating the universe, 71-5,” the polling report said. “They also approve of its handling of the animal kingdom 56-11, and even its handling of natural disasters 50-13.”

The comments below the CNN story run the gamut. One I spotted chides CNN for making this news in the first place (a point on which I agree). Others go for semantics (which god?). More go for the “You have to be Christian to understand why only we have the Truth (TM).” Some go as far as stating that humans shouldn’t dare to judge God and treat Him like someone people could potentially vote off the island.

More people ought to try, though.

I watched Jesus Camp the other night. You can, too, if you dare. It was stomach churning to watch those kids speaking in tongues, or prone on the floor bawling their eyes out after every adult in the room deplores their secretly sinful lives, and praying at a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush. The creepiest part was when the leader played the abortion card and made all those kids mourn the friends they’d never make because their mothers killed them first.

I think that camp met nearly every characteristic of a cult and sadder still, none of the parents who sent their kids there would ever believe any of them were in need of deprogramming later.


51% is not most; barely half of those surveyed believed in a god

April 27, 2011

18% are reported to have no beliefs of that nature and the rest (17%) remain undecided, according to a recent survey done in Britain that spanned 23 countries and polled over 18,000 people. Similar results occurred with questions about an afterlife. From the Christian Post:

According to the survey, “definitive belief in a God or Supreme Being” is highest in Indonesia (93 percent) and Turkey (91 percent), followed by Brazil (84 percent), South Africa (83 percent) and Mexico (78 percent). Those most likely to believe in “many Gods or Supreme Beings” live in India (24 percent), China (14 percent) and Russia (10 percent).

People who don’t believe in God or a Supreme Being(s) are most likely to live in France (39 percent), Sweden (37 percent), Belgium (36 percent), Great Britain (34 percent), Japan (33 percent) and Germany (31 percent).

They add a few more stats, like 13% of Hungarians think reincarnation is likely and Swedes were more likely than anyone to admit ignorance when guessing about the afterlife. Of those surveyed, South Korea and Spain had the highest ratings for belief that people “simply cease to exist.”

They also noted some stats for creationism and evolution:

41 percent believe in human evolution, 28 percent believe in creationism and 31 are uncertain of what to believe in.

Creationism, or the belief that human beings were in fact created by a spiritual force such as the God, is strongest in Saudi Arabia (75 percent), Turkey (60 percent), Indonesia (57 percent), and South Africa (56 percent).

It certainly makes a difference where a person is raised, educated, and living when it comes to this stuff. Sweden, China, Belgium, Germany and Japan topped the list for countries with more acceptance of evolution, with more than 60% of those surveyed. Sadly, neither the Post or MSNBC note how Canadians rated. I only found one mention in Mother Nature Network:

Mexicans were the most likely to accept the idea of an afterlife, but not heaven or hell, followed by Russians, Brazilians, Indians, Canadians and Argentines.

Found a poll for fans of Pham’s Jesus

April 7, 2011

The question reads, “Should St. Paul force Tuan Pham to take down the statue that rises 17 feet and violates zoning rules?” with two choices:

Yes. It doesn’t matter whether it’s yard junk or a religious icon, it has to conform to zoning laws.

No. Neighors aren’t complaining and it should be protected under the First Amendment.

“Yes” is the sensible answer, obviously. “No” is the one for people who want to claim Pham’s free speech (read: religion) was on trial at the same time.

The City Council decided to make him move it or lose it.

During the discussion, some council members noted that more than 40 neighbors had signed a petition in support of the statue.

Members called Pham a popular, likable fellow whose name appears on a plaque outside council chambers. He made the “St. Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll” for his good works in the community.

“This isn’t a popularity contest,” said council president Kathy Lantry, noting that she, the council and Pham were all bound by law. “It doesn’t matter who signed a petition or not.”

Council member Dave Thune recommended that Pham’s appeal be denied, and the council voted 5-2 in favor of Thune’s motion, with Dan Bostrom and Pat Harris opposed.

The family’s now bitching that they were unaware their side would only get 15 minutes to present their case. The “popular, likeable fellow” spent most of that time chatting with council and telling everyone present how much he loved the country. Nobody on his side got to snitch on everyone they know that leaves stuff within the “forbidden” zone.

Huy Pham said he never got the chance to share evidence he collected showing legal precedent for allowing “minimal disturbances” along the bluff line, including several existing structures.

They haven’t been forced to move their stuff so why should we, etc. Yeah well, I bet a cookie this lot is the only family with a 17 foot high statue ten feet from the edge of the bluff. Makes it a wee bit more noticeable for the City than the next door neighbour’s garden shed, even if it does sit on the other side of the invisible line between Can and Can’t.

Did you check out the poll and vote? I did.

The Yes votes: 482 (39%)
The No votes: 742 (60%)

I wish I had the power of P.Z. Myers to break this one. Isn’t that stupid? Laws are laws and they aren’t insisting he take down all his religious nuttery. They just want him to move the statue away from the edge. Why does this become a big deal as soon as a “holy” figure winds up being part of the story? Laws are laws. Follow or pay the price.

Quick edit: wish I would have thought of this before hitting publish. Grabbed a picture of the statue via My Fox Twin Cities which has a video up about the family’s plight (such as it is).

Where’s The Doctor when you need him?

July 16, 2009

I’m sure the giant blob of goo off the coast of Alaska has alien origins, but it’s not one of the poll choices, dammit all. But, “sea monster” is a choice so at least someone on staff’s got a bit of cheek. Score one more point for that one…

poll results

Researchers put to task to figure it out think it’s just algae but nobody yet knows why such a huge mess of it is out there. They’ve never seen anything like it.

Where hope for the future went

July 6, 2009

It went to Russia.

Pravda is offering an entertaining insight into just what Russians consider must-haves for the forthcoming century – a list which naturally includes flying cars, cheap space travel and the elixir of eternal youth.

A poll by the Russian National Centre for Public Opinion Studies asked the unwashed masses what they considered the most important advance of the last 100 years, and what was on their wishlist for the next 100.

Space travel topped mankind’s achievement last century, while the computer attracted 14 per cent of the vote. Mobile phones, TV and the internet scored eight per cent each.

Fourteen percent want to see space flights available to everybody (11% hope it’s light speed, too) and thirteen percent would like flying cars. Only 3% want teleportation? You and your flying cars. If we had teleporters we wouldn’t need so much in the way of fuels. Unless those flying cars can run on garbage or something and somehow poop out clean air instead of exhaust in the process. 34% of people polled hoped for an alternative fuel.

16% want decent Artificial Intelligence – well, you’d need it to keep all those flying cars from crashing into one another, wouldn’t you? Or for emergency brakes in case one falls from several feet up when the user forgets to put it in park before getting out at his top floor flat. That’d put a real crimp in window shopping.

Immortality or some youth elixir had 6% interest, as did perpetuum mobile. You know, I watched a movie once where a carousel worked like a youth elixir, turning a life back from 60 to 5 or so in the span of a few minutes. It worked the other way, too. It was in the movie The Thief Lord, based on a book by Cornelia Funke with the same name. Show’s not bad, but the book’s better.

7% of those polled actually want to know what people are thinking. I used to think mind-reading could be cool, but it’s only cool if a person can shut it off when not needing it. Imagine having to hear the thoughts of everyone around you every moment of the day! I hope you’ll enjoy your extended stay at the Rubber Room Hotel.

21% hope we’ll have all the medicines required to end disease and 33% want to see bioartificial organs – well, maybe not see per se, but know they’re around in case of need.

Only 5% want to see a workable time machine and now that I’ve watched more Doctor Who, I think the TARDIS is supercool. Should everyone have the ability to move through time though? No. Imagine the chaos of a thousand people bouncing back and forth to get autographs and stop stars from getting killed or help despots get killed in the crib or play the stock market in the weeks before it all crashed or get lotto numbers the day after and go back to play them (saw a short story once with that as its plot – it didn’t end well).

Looks like 0% asked for some sort of end to war, famine and poverty. 0% were interested in affordable housing for everyone. 0% interested in a living wage. 0% interested in an end to racism and religious tyranny and prosecution.

Although maybe they just weren’t asked.

Interesting results, at any rate.