A news report that challenges conventional wisdom, especially one about a personal/cultural topic like religion, is often rich fodder for online conversation. This was the case last week as a Pew Research Center survey showing that atheists and agnostics were more knowledgeable about religion than followers of major faiths drew significant attention.
For the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, almost a quarter (23%) of the news links on blogs were to a Los Angeles Times story about the survey, making it the No. 1 subject, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
The survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that non-believers were able to answer more questions about religion correctly than believers, even when one controlled for educational background. It also showed that people were ill-informed on some of the questions related to their own religion. A majority of Protestants, for example, were unable to identify Martin Luther as the primary figure behind the Protestant Reformation. (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Project for Excellence in Journalism are both are part of the Pew Research Center.)
You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’d like to dig a little deeper…
- Atheists Know More about Christianity than Christians (slog.thestranger.com)
- Americans don’t know a hell of a lot about religion (capitolhillblue.com)
- Study: Atheists Know the Most About Religion [God Is Dead] (gawker.com)
- US atheists know more about religion than believers, quiz finds (telegraph.co.uk)