Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Religious Familiarity Not Good for... Religion

An unsurprising, though edifying piece in the NYT.  Money quote:
Researchers from the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life phoned more than 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about the Bible, Christianity and other world religions, famous religious figures and the constitutional principles governing religion in public life.
On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith.
Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics, as well as two religious minorities: Jews and Mormons. The results were the same even after the researchers controlled for factors like age and racial differences.
More at NYT.


  1. I was quite shocked by the results, not by the Atheists/Agnostics doing really well, but by the incredibly poor scores in general. Catholics that don't know about trans-substantiation or that Mother Teresa was a Catholic?

  2. Not I. Actually, I would have predicted the numbers would be worse still. Also interesting is that Jews scored highly; as, for the most part, theirs is one of the most greatly reformed and non-literal of the major religions.