Superstition surprisingly high in those with scientific background

In “Will science banish superstition for ever?: Which makes people more superstitious: fervent scientism or fervent religious belief? The answer may surprise you,” we learn, among other things:

In Britain, during National Science Week (2003), University of Hertfordshire psychologist Richard Wiseman and associates surveyed 2068 people on superstitious behaviour. They found, among other things, that

“The current levels of superstitious behaviour and beliefs in the UK are surprisingly high, even among those with a scientific background. Touching wood is the most popular UK superstition, followed by crossing fingers, avoiding ladders, not smashing mirrors, carrying a lucky charm and having superstitious beliefs about the number 13.”

Twenty-five percent of the people who claimed a background in science were very or somewhat superstitious. (Mercatornet, August 10, 2011) More.

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New book: John Lennox asks, If I believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, am I denying the authority of Scripture?

ID-friendly Oxford math prof JohnLennox has a new book out, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science . Can’t imagine which seven days. Blurb:

What did the writer of Genesis mean by 'the first day'? Is it a literal week or a series of time periods? If I believe that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, am I denying the authority of Scripture? In response to the continuing controversy over the interpretation of the creation narrative in Genesis, John Lennox proposes a succinct method of reading and interpreting the first chapters of Genesis without discounting either science or Scripture.

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“No Dinosaurs in Heaven” film purports to tell the Trooth about the intelligent design community

 

NO DINOSAURS IN HEAVEN is a film essay that examines the hijacking of science education by religious fundamentalists, threatening the separation of church and state and dangerously undermining scientific literacy. The documentary weaves together two strands: an examination of the problem posed by creationists who earn science education degrees only to advocate anti-scientific beliefs in the classroom;

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Geologist-artist’s 1998 work presages later changes in view of dinosaurs?

 In "Alternative Evolution" of Dinosaurs Foresaw Contemporary Paleo Finds” (Scientific American August 10, 2011), Brian Switek surveys the great changes that have taken place in how dinosaurs are viewed, many of which may have been foreseen by Dougal Dixon, who thought he was writing a fantasy about how dinosaurs would have evolved, had they survived. Except that they happened way back then.

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Texas Lottery revisited – why the Lottery can’t afford to highlight a design inference

Here we learned that when a woman might need to live through 3 successive universes (or something) to get so lucky in the Texas Lottery, the Commission just shrugged and said she was “born under a lucky star.” Others muttered that she was lucky all right … to be a Stanford math Ph.D. Why must the Commission pretend it’s luck?

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Study: God loves me, so I worry less …

In a finding that wouldn’t surprise many,

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have found that those who believe in a benevolent God tend to worry less and be more tolerant of life's uncertainties than those who believe in an indifferent or punishing God. – “Religious Beliefs Impact Levels of Worry” (ScienceDaily Aug. 5, 2011)

Here’s a welcome point:

"The implications of this paper for the field of psychiatry are that we have to take patients' spirituality more seriously than we do," Rosmarin said.

That means listening as well: To a religious person, guilt is an objective state, not a pathology. It’s no help to say, “You shouldn’t feel guilty …” A justifiable response from the patient would be

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