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Polls: Believers winning over Skeptics?


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#1    -vv-

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

In 1633, the Church condemnation of Galileo Galilei, was one of the most dramatic incidents in the long history of the relations between science and religion. Galileo had published a year before that the sun-centered system was the physical truth and was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for "following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture.” Galileo was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

But beginning the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment began to erode the position of authority held by religion. A new willingness to confront religious authority and a new respect for reason and its accomplishments began to counter established ways of thinking based on revealed religious truth.

Complete article
http://skepticsvsbel...skeptics-i.html

Edited by Saru, 14 March 2012 - 03:01 PM.
Edited for length - please do not copy and paste entire articles


#2    Rlyeh

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:04 PM

I believe it, people are stupid, great numbers will still believe even things that have been refuted.

For example;
http://www.usatoday....poll-iraq_x.htm


#3    Child of Bast

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

I admit. I'm stupid. I have the IQ of a fish. :unsure:

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#4    Meiliken

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 08:13 PM

Nah, mankind seems to be getting smarter as a species.  That's why so many churches are getting closed across the country.  At least in the U.S. anyway.  Lets hear it for the skeptics yay!   :w00t:

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#5    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 11:24 PM

This poll means nothing. It was done by different people and they did not tell us anything about who was polled. If we do not know who was polled we cannot determine if it is a representative sample. Also we are not given the number of individuals polled so we cannot know if it was a good sample size nor figure out the margin of error.

The only number given in the article was 439 students, hardly a good number and once again they give us no info on who the 439 students were. For all we know they could have been the students making up the “I believe in ghosts, haunted houses, and Jesus club.”

One can skew poll results in any way they want by either polling certain people or simply wording it in a certain way...here is an example

1. Do you believe we have freedom of expression in America? Y/N
2. Should Americans have the right to burn a US flag? Y/N

1. Do you consider yourself a patriotic American? Y/N
2. Should Americans have the right to burn a US flag? Y/N

See how you might get very different answers for the second question based on the first? Polls can say many different things and not very many of them actually tell us anything.

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#6    Paranoid Android

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:21 PM

Was Galileo really a matter of "science vs religion"????  From what I have read it is not.  So how does this fit into the original post?  I'm not sure.  I don't know the actual numbers used in the statistics during the compilation, so it may or may not be of further value.  Whether it is or not, I still struggle to see how Galileo fits into this picture :tu:

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#7    -vv-

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:59 PM

View PostHuttonEtAl, on 14 March 2012 - 11:24 PM, said:

This poll means nothing. It was done by different people and they did not tell us anything about who was polled. If we do not know who was polled we cannot determine if it is a representative sample. Also we are not given the number of individuals polled so we cannot know if it was a good sample size nor figure out the margin of error.

The only number given in the article was 439 students, hardly a good number and once again they give us no info on who the 439 students were. For all we know they could have been the students making up the “I believe in ghosts, haunted houses, and Jesus club.”

One can skew poll results in any way they want by either polling certain people or simply wording it in a certain way...here is an example

1. Do you believe we have freedom of expression in America? Y/N
2. Should Americans have the right to burn a US flag? Y/N

1. Do you consider yourself a patriotic American? Y/N
2. Should Americans have the right to burn a US flag? Y/N

See how you might get very different answers for the second question based on the first? Polls can say many different things and not very many of them actually tell us anything.


A very good point. Recolection of data and interpretation is always key in any survey result. We must be cautious when we read any poll.
The Gallup Organization that conducted the 2001 poll is a very well known researcher company though and I think you can find the references at the end of the article

Other thing is the fact that support this surveys is the paranormal trends in the business and media. The recent wave of TV shows, movies and books devoted to paranormal phenomena are actually part of a larger trend incorporating alternate realities that a realm media analyst would call hyper-reality. The way consciousness defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience.

Paranormal television shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures are becoming incredibly popular. If anyone is looking for more scientific proof, rather than anecdotal evidence, these shows provide that. We watch them, then, to give proof and validation to some of our experiences or fears.

The business of Halloween is one example of how the theme of uniqueness, cultural experience and fascination with death and afterlife are growing. Retail figures for Halloween have increased in America, with around $ 5 billion for 2009. The Economist reported that Halloween could be the new Christmas. In New York City the haunted house attraction “Nightmare” has seen its visitors grow from 6000 in 2003 to an estimated 35.000 in 2007, and makes $1 million in revenue during Halloween.


#8    -vv-

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 15 March 2012 - 03:21 PM, said:

Was Galileo really a matter of "science vs religion"????  From what I have read it is not.  So how does this fit into the original post?  I'm not sure.  I don't know the actual numbers used in the statistics during the compilation, so it may or may not be of further value.  Whether it is or not, I still struggle to see how Galileo fits into this picture :tu:

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I think the article intended to limit the discussion between two big groups: those who need scientific evidence to accept the existence of a phenomenon and those who don't. The second group is winning.


#9    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:31 PM

View Post-vv-, on 15 March 2012 - 05:03 PM, said:

I think the article intended to limit the discussion between two big groups: those who need scientific evidence to accept the existence of a phenomenon and those who don't. The second group is winning.

Yes,because I believe in ghosts,but I sure as hell do not believe Saddam and Osama had anything to do with 911.
Interesting,because im betting the people who think Saddam caused 911,think ghosts DO NOT exist.
Lol
:lol:

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#10    CommunitarianKevin

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:53 PM

View Post-vv-, on 15 March 2012 - 04:59 PM, said:

A very good point. Recolection of data and interpretation is always key in any survey result. We must be cautious when we read any poll.
The Gallup Organization that conducted the 2001 poll is a very well known researcher company though and I think you can find the references at the end of the article

Other thing is the fact that support this surveys is the paranormal trends in the business and media. The recent wave of TV shows, movies and books devoted to paranormal phenomena are actually part of a larger trend incorporating alternate realities that a realm media analyst would call hyper-reality. The way consciousness defines what is actually "real" in a world where a multitude of media can radically shape and filter an original event or experience.

Paranormal television shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures are becoming incredibly popular. If anyone is looking for more scientific proof, rather than anecdotal evidence, these shows provide that. We watch them, then, to give proof and validation to some of our experiences or fears.

The business of Halloween is one example of how the theme of uniqueness, cultural experience and fascination with death and afterlife are growing. Retail figures for Halloween have increased in America, with around $ 5 billion for 2009. The Economist reported that Halloween could be the new Christmas. In New York City the haunted house attraction “Nightmare” has seen its visitors grow from 6000 in 2003 to an estimated 35.000 in 2007, and makes $1 million in revenue during Halloween.

I know what you are saying. It’s not the Gallup polls I have issues with. They generally do a good job and are one of the more credible ones but Gallup were not the ones that conducted the main poll they are talking about; they are simply comparing it to a Gallup poll which I do not think is comparable. Gallup versus Gallup I would be more interested but even then I would like to know the details of the polls.

What annoys me is the claim that by this time, this many people will believe this. No, probably not. Of course more people are watching shows about that stuff. More people are also watching “reality” TV and garbage like Jersey Shore and the Kardashians. So by comparison does that mean by 2050 the majority of us will be stupid, money grubbing whores (if we aren't already?) It does not help that our schools are garbage and lag behind much of the world in science because uneducated parents or poorly educated parents get to control what their children are taught. Will the movie Idiocracy really happen? Probably not...

In reality there have always been this many, and actually many more people, that believe in stuff like this. For centuries the vast majority of people believed in superstition and it was not until just recently that even a large number of people accepted science. The truth of the matter is that more people believe in science today than any other time in history. A poll shows more people believe in ghosts now than a few years ago? So what? If more people really believe that (and I already expressed my opinion about that,) it will only be until they realize that superstition does not make everything important in their lives. Allah did not create the iPhone and Jesus did not show us how to make water sanitation plants. When people realize that praying does not cure diseases they will stop believing in that stuff.

Are religion and superstitions going to go away? Nope. Is it going to be the dominate way of thinking? Not until Ahura Mazda comes down and gives us all of the answers of the universe.

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#11    and then

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:13 PM

View Post-vv-, on 15 March 2012 - 05:03 PM, said:

I think the article intended to limit the discussion between two big groups: those who need scientific evidence to accept the existence of a phenomenon and those who don't. The second group is winning.

I think this is an accurate way of framing the groups.  Those who view the latter group as stupid might want to consider that they also are human and may have given up looking to science to solve the world's problems.  They have seen no evidence that the advance of knowledge and technology has made the situation any better.  In fact the world seems to be spiraling downward toward imminent destruction.  It is natural for mankind to desire hope.  Faith just does a better job of relieving the fear.

  Imagination is the power in the turn of a phrase.

#12    Sakari

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:20 PM

View Postmissymoo999, on 15 March 2012 - 06:31 PM, said:

Yes,because I believe in ghosts,but I sure as hell do not believe Saddam and Osama had anything to do with 911.
Interesting,because im betting the people who think Saddam caused 911,think ghosts DO NOT exist.
Lol
:lol:



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#13    Rlyeh

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:50 AM

View Postmissymoo999, on 15 March 2012 - 06:31 PM, said:

Yes,because I believe in ghosts,but I sure as hell do not believe Saddam and Osama had anything to do with 911.
Interesting,because im betting the people who think Saddam caused 911,think ghosts DO NOT exist.
Lol
:lol:
It shows numbers have nothing to do with facts.


#14    Leonardo

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:49 PM

View Post-vv-, on 14 March 2012 - 02:54 PM, said:

In 1633, the Church condemnation of Galileo Galilei, was one of the most dramatic incidents in the long history of the relations between science and religion. Galileo had published a year before that the sun-centered system was the physical truth and was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy for "following the position of Copernicus, which is contrary to the true sense and authority of Holy Scripture.” Galileo was placed under house arrest for the rest of his life.

But beginning the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment began to erode the position of authority held by religion. A new willingness to confront religious authority and a new respect for reason and its accomplishments began to counter established ways of thinking based on revealed religious truth.

Complete article
http://skepticsvsbel...skeptics-i.html

I'm sorry, but the entire article linked to is a pile of tosh.

This is no reflection on you, vv, just that the 'researchers' for the article got things very, very wrong.

They compared a University poll carried out in 2006 to a Gallup poll carried out in 2001. They then go on to say...

Quote

Gallup poll revealed a clear increase in belief in just about everything from haunted houses and communication with the dead to psychic healing and reincarnation.

?????

How can a poll carried out 5 years before, show a ' clear increase in belief'?

They have reversed the results!

Only 2 of the subjects polled showed an increase in belief compared to the 2001 poll - psychic/spiritual healing and ghosts/spirits of the dead.

All the other subjects polled showed a decrease in belief over the space of 5 years (one, witches, showed no decrease or increase).

Edited by Leonardo, 16 March 2012 - 03:49 PM.

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#15    -vv-

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

This polls create a lot of controversy, not only here, I mean in general, you can find a lot of them conducted by professional or amateur and always have controversy responses. I think part because these polls touch sensitive nerves as religion and belief.

I really appreceate all the comments, I am learning here too and I found the feedback very educative.





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