Among people, there runs a continuum with skepticism on one end and religiousness/credulity on the other, right?
A study is described in What Americans Really Believe by sociologist Rodney Stark that asked people if they agree with the following statements:
1. Dreams sometimes foretell the future or reveal hidden truths.
2. Ancient advanced civilizations, such as Atlantis, once existed.
3. Places can be haunted.
4. It is possible to influence the physical world through the mind alone.
5. Some UFOs are probably spaceships from other worlds.
6. It is possible to communicate with the dead.
7. Creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster will one day be discovered by science.
8. Astrology impacts one's life and personality.
9. Astrologers, palm readers, tarot-card readers, fortune-tellers, and psychics can foresee the future.
An index was created from the answers. Thirty-one percent of people who never attend church scored high; only 8 percent who go to church more than once a week scored high on the index. The difference is statistically significant. So the continuum goes from a tendency to be skeptical about church to a tendency to be skeptical about the occult and the paranormal. The group that is skeptical across the board is a small minority.
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