The Recent Harris Poll on Belief

Harris Poll Interactive conducted a recent poll in November in which they sampled 2,455 American adults and asked a variety of questions regarding the their beliefs, mostly religious, though they did poll with questions about UFOs, ghosts, reincarnation, and the like.

The tables of some of their results can be found at Harris Poll Interactive, but I’ve put some of these results in graphic format should anyone wish to use them. If you do, I only ask that you include a link back to Breaking Spells.

What Was Believed

I can’t help but wonder how many people answer polls like this based on what they want others to think about them rather than what they really believe. I’ve always had a hard time accepting that people truly believe in virgin birth and miracles to the degree represented above. Surely there’s more hope that miracles exist and that Jesus was born of a virgin than actually fully believe it. But its interesting to see that evolution edged out ahead of creationism, particularly given some of the other responses about miracles, and the “word of God” (below).

Word of God

What? The Book of Mormon isn’t strongly held to be the “word” of God? And what’s the deal with the Old Testament slightly beating the New Testament? This is a bit telling if you ask me: Christians are slightly more willing to accept that OT is the “word” of God over the NT -and it’s in the OT that some of the best hatred and bigotry can be justified.

How Religious People Are

And it’s also interesting to note that the “not at all religious” and “not very religious” categories together out-weigh the “very religious” category.

Anyway, these types of polls are often difficult to accept since even the methodology section of the Harris Interactive site doesn’t reveal enough details to know how effective the pollsters were at delivering the questions or what most of the actual questions were (or their contexts). Even the tone of voice carried by the pollster can influence the answer.

I’ll still add these graphs to the Data page along with a citation and link.

About Ylooshi

An anthropologist who is an atheist. My blog at concerns itself with breaking the spells of superstition and religious belief through examining human superstitions and religions scientifically and rationally. Breaking Spells, the blog, also focuses on atheist and secular concerns such as the separation of church and state as well as the negative influences of Islamo-Judeo-Christian religious cults on society.
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