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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-09-29 05:04
Subject: [links] Link salad listens to the forests echo
Security: Public
Tags:culture, links, personal, religion, science, tech, videos
Mysteries That Howl and Hunt — Urban coyotes. I have seen one 1/4 mile from Nuevo Rancho Lake, and my sister saw a pair near her house a few days ago. (Thanks to Dad.)

An Airplane in Front of the Moon — Another rather striking image from APOD. I especially like the description of how it was taken.

First human-powered ornithopter — Mmm, Dune. Or maybe not...

How To Build A Warp Drive Using MetamaterialsA "warp drive" built using metamaterials could reach a quarter light speed, suggests a new analysis.

Project Icarus: Finding the Fuel — More on interstellar drives from Centauri Dreams.

Ancient Egypt's Pyramids: Norwegian Researcher Unlocks Construction Secrets

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says — This seems odd to me. Daniel Larison says some interesting things about this. (Thanks in part to shsilver.)

?otD: Does anybody remember laughter?

Writing time yesterday: 30 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute suburban walk
Hours slept: 6.0 (drug-free but interrupted)
This morning's weigh-in: 234.6
Yesterday's chemo/post-op stress index: 4/10 (post-op pain, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: A Fire in the Sun by George Alec Effinger

Post A Comment | 6 Comments | | Link

User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2010-09-29 13:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It also suggests that when belivers discuss the matter with the unsure/unbelievers, they are talking about different things based upon varying understandings each has about what the religion actually is/teaches, let alone whether or not one has had a "religious experience".

Then again, atheists may do better on a survey but after reading some of Bart Ehrman's book among others it looks like there is plenty coming out of Biblical scholarship that would be a surprise to everyone. Your religion is not what you think it is, or what you've been told, as it were.

As an aside, it is also sometimes useful to seperate "God" from "religion". I find Joseph Campbell's mention of priests vs monks in "Power of Myth" of use here - the functionary vs the spiritual experience. It is interesting sometimes to see some atheists who substitute some term like "the universe" for "God" but with the same anthropromorphizing language and seem to think they've done something clever, never quite seeing that they are still in God's camp if not one of the larger fan clubs. At the least it shows that such thinking is hard to shake.
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Twilight: What's Out There?
User: twilight2000
Date: 2010-09-29 15:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:What's Out There?
Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says — This seems odd to me.

It seems exactly as expected to me - one rarely becomes an Athiest without some serious research - one often falls into one's religion because the family expects it, so no real research is needed. Agnostics come in many flavors, but the two biggest are "I don't care enough to have an opinion" (little research) and "no matter how much research I do, I just can't tell" (much research). The balance could simply be that they happened to speak to more of the latter Agnostics than the former ;>.
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User: madrobins
Date: 2010-09-29 18:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just took the Pew test: 15 out of 15 right, and I was raised (religiously) by wolves, and belong to my own Church of One...
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User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2010-09-29 20:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, I don't think it's that odd. (FWIW, Jews and Mormons ranked just below atheists and agnostics, close enough to be statistically tied, according to the article.)

In the U.S., atheists, agnostics, Jews, and Mormons are all small minority belief groups that must interact with the much larger Catholic and Protestant belief groups. Those who have a lot of dealings with people outside their own belief group are more likely to gain knowledge about other groups. (As a really simple example, most working Mormons in the U.S. have at least one non-Mormon co-worker. But most working non-Mormons do not have at least one Mormon co-worker.)

I doubt the Pew survey is detailed enough to provide this kind of data, but my educated guess is that if the Mormon respondents were split into those who have lived in Utah all their lives and those who have lived outside of Utah for a substantial period, the latter would have higher scores.
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User: shsilver
Date: 2010-09-29 22:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Although many people have talked about taking the 15 question Pew survey, the actual survey that the results are based on is much longer, and asked a whole variety of questions with the religious ones interspersed.

It is quite interesting to look at how the questions were asked and how the survey was tailored, on the spot, for each respondent.

In addition to the survey linked to, above, the full results are available in the sidebar at this page.
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January 2014
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