February 25, 2010

Smart Kids Grow Up to be Atheists?
A new British study, published in Social Psychology Quarterly, says that adolescents who feel they are “very religious” sport IQs that average 97; those who say they are “not at all religious” have average IQs of 103. “More intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences (such as liberalism and atheism).” (Jim Nash, True/Slant)

Rising Emphasis on “Believing”
The exceedingly popular call to “believe” appears linked to a growing trend—associated strongly with American values, as well as New Age doctrine and oversimplified religious teaching—that claims, if you just “believe” hard enough, you can have whatever you want. (Douglas Todd, The Vancouver Sun)

Texas Getting Ready to Vote for State Board of Education Representatives
The 15-member board has been narrowly divided. Seven so-called “social conservatives” routinely vote as a bloc when it comes to questioning evolution, adding snippets of history to textbooks—or deleting them—and emphasizing a “back to basics” reading curriculum. (Gary Scharrer, Houston Chronicle)

Creationist Group’s “Olympic Outreach” Makes America a Laughingstock
For the past year, Answers in Genesis has been soliciting volunteers to pay their own way to Vancouver, so they can serve as missionaries, accosting athletes and tourists, handing out anti-evolution pamphlets and telling them that dinosaurs and man co-existed, that Jonah really did spend three days in the belly of a fish, and making the United States look stupid before the international media. (Lauri Lebo, Religion Dispatches)

Q&A
Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

In her well-received memoir, Surprised by God: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Religion, Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, the senior Jewish educator at Tufts University Hillel, records her path from cynicism and disenchantment with the Judaism of her childhood to a life of meaningful religious practice and, remarkably, rabbinical school. (Helene Ragovin, Tufts Journal)

TELEVISION
Caprica, Episode 4

Our favorite show of the current TV season takes its time to draw out themes of artificial life, the soul, the perils of monotheism, terrorism … and interplanetary futuristic souvenir-shopping. (Religion Dispatches)

Category: Field Notes

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