I’ll have to look into this, of course, being somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to sociological studies and a hair skeptical, I’ll admit, of the Wall Street Journal. All the same, some of the correlations just beg to be contemplated:
The Gallup Organization, under contract to Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion, asked American adults a series of questions to gauge credulity. Do dreams foretell the future? Did ancient advanced civilizations such as Atlantis exist? Can places be haunted? Is it possible to communicate with the dead? Will creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster someday be discovered by science?
The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.
In addition to those, apparently 21% of self-proclaimed atheists believe in some kind of god (???), and the odds of a college student’s believing in communication from the dead to the living goes from less than 25% of freshmen to 31% of seniors and climbing to 34% of graduate students. Now I admit that I dig a good Toni Morrison novel as much as the next feller, and I know very educated people who claim that they’ve performed dozens of exorcisms, but I assumed that such things were common mainly to “my people,” not to the rational/skeptical/evolutionist folks with whom I work.
I do wonder what kind of samples these folks used, what their methodology was, and all that. I suppose that’s how they get you to buy their books, no?