Comments on: Atheists, Jews, Mormons top U.S. religious knowledge poll http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/28/atheists-jews-mormons-top-u-s-religious-knowledge-poll-christians-trail/ Religion, faith and ethics Sat, 23 Apr 2016 23:25:07 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Ludwik http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/28/atheists-jews-mormons-top-u-s-religious-knowledge-poll-christians-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-26068 Wed, 29 Sep 2010 23:28:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=16273#comment-26068 This reminded me a survey I conducted several years ago. The purpose was to find out how much our university students know about Stalin. Here is the description of the results:

According to one professor most MSU students do not know who Stalin was. I was very surprised and decided to survey my students. Of 23 present only 13 raised their hands indicating they knew who Stalin was. Was my small sample a good representation of the student population at our university? This was a statistics class, composed mostly of non-science students. As an exercise in data gathering I asked each student to conduct a survey in another class on campus. Find the fraction of students declaring “I know who Joseph Stalin was.” I now have 19 samples based on 439 students. On the average 72% of polled students think they know who Stalin was. The actual results are shown in the following table . . .

Ludwik Kowalski (Ph.D.)
the author of “Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality,” at

      http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life  /intro.html

It is an autobiography illustrating my evolution from one extreme to another–from a devoted Stalinist to an active anti-communist. This testimony is based on a diary I kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).

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By: jstaf http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/28/atheists-jews-mormons-top-u-s-religious-knowledge-poll-christians-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-26059 Wed, 29 Sep 2010 20:21:50 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=16273#comment-26059 Many past studies have shown that religious people have lower IQ and less curiosity than either agnostics or atheists.

The first commenter ties morality to religion, another myth that has been proved incorrect many times.

The problem is that many religious people use religion like race, to pretend that they are superior in some way just because they believe a different set of stories.

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By: drewbie http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/28/atheists-jews-mormons-top-u-s-religious-knowledge-poll-christians-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-26015 Tue, 28 Sep 2010 20:44:13 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=16273#comment-26015 The question about Martin Luther doesn’t seem related at all. It’s more historical than religious. I mean, he’s not even *in* the bible.

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By: JWBlakely http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/28/atheists-jews-mormons-top-u-s-religious-knowledge-poll-christians-trail/comment-page-1/#comment-26010 Tue, 28 Sep 2010 19:22:37 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/?p=16273#comment-26010 The problem with this survey is that its organizing principle is that knowledge of religion ought to be gaged by wide sweeping superficial facts about all the world’s religions. This notion of “religious knowledge” of course favors the secular and atheists as a demographic who may know a lot of superficial facts about a large number of religions but do not know any in depth and from the inside as a set of spiritual and moral practices.

See my fuller critique of the poll from the perspective of a young atheist convert to Catholicism here: http://bit.ly/9wxwIG

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