Monday, September 22, 2008

Many people believe in many strange things

This article in the Wall Street Journal by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway discusses an interesting paradox. It turns out that religious people are actually somewhat more more likely to be rational than non-religious people when it comes to things like Atlantis, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, ghosts, etc.

The author points out that Bill Maher, for example, who often mocks people who believe in a "sky god" as he puts it, turns out not to believe in scientific medicine. This in the face of a hundred years of evidence, a good bit of which evidence he surely saw with his own eyes in the simple fact that we and our children are far healthier over all than the average of our grandparents and their children. He doesn't believe that vaccination is what wiped out polio, for instance, even though he actually lived through the time when the disease was eliminated. Sheer bloodyminded idiocy. Bill Maher is a short slim strunze.

The Baylor University study that the author refers to got results exactly opposite to what I would have expected. At any rate I found this to be an interesting article.

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