Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Atheists/agnostics, Mormons, and Jews know a little about religion; everyone else is an ignoramus

Everybody's talking about this Pew Forum survey of religious knowledge in America. It asked 32 questions about religion. (I knew the answers to 31 out of 32, BTW.)

Here's a PDF with the complete survey, the correct answers, and who got what right. You can also take a shorter quiz here. (I got 15 out of 15 right on the quiz, but only because I found out the answer I missed on the full survey.)

The highest-scoring subgroups, in order, were atheists/agnostics, Jews, and Mormons (although the scores were so close as to be a statistical tie). I've seen a few people bragging a little about the results on some atheist blogs, but there's one thing wrong with that. The average score of those three groups was around 65 percent.

That's right. The knowledgeable groups still got a D, unless you grade on a curve. It wasn't that they did well, so much as everybody else did horribly. So I think my post title is more accurate: Atheists/agnostics, Mormons, and Jews know a little about religion; everyone else is an ignoramus.

(In America, anyway. To the extent one can generalize from survey results.)

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  1. I just did okay. I scored better than 80% of the population... I feel now that the general public is stupid lol.

  2. I think that's fine for a college student. You're still in the process of becoming educated. (Not that the process ever really ends, if you truly are educated.)

    But yeah, in terms of knowing facts, the general public isn't very smart.

  3. Could we conclude from this that the more people who learn about religion, the less they want to have anything to do with it?

  4. That would explain the atheists and agnostics, but not the Jews and Mormons...

  5. Valerie of Utah9/29/2010 9:48 PM

    Wow, I scored 14/15 - better than 97% of the people! I couldn't tell which one I missed though...


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