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Elaine Howard Ecklund - How Religious Are Scientists?
Posted: 14 May 2010 06:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Jackson, what was the 75% in reference to again?

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Posted: 14 May 2010 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Actually, I think I know why so many people answered they were spiritual. It’s probably the same reason why in a country like the Czech Republic most people would give the opposite answer. I think they are lying. In the U.S. being an atheist or even an agnostic is seen as something immoral, in the CR being religious or spiritual—the word “spiritual” hasn’t been part of everyday language now for over hundred years— is considered as almost some kind of mental illness. And so people lie.

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Posted: 14 May 2010 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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George - 14 May 2010 06:01 PM

Jackson, what was the 75% in reference to again?

Ok, sorry if I’m making too big a deal about this. I’ll drop it until I look at the book and dig a little more.

In the podcast Ecklund noted that she had a 75% RESPONSE RATE to her initial survey. She then interviewed folks randomly chosen from these respondents, but used the survey for the statistics.

This is high for a “random” survey. 
One post above noted she sent some money with the request—but it might be that she worded her request for the survey that appealed to the prestige of the scientists.
A best case scenario is that the results are 100% valid and it would be nice if she could share her procedure (which maybe is in the book) because we all benefit from properly conducted surveys.

To put the number in context—what fraction of these scientists voted in the last presidential election? Do we think it was 75%?

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Posted: 14 May 2010 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Hmm, I see. Yes, I agree, I think she should clarify how she did it.

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Posted: 14 May 2010 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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George - 14 May 2010 06:40 PM

Hmm, I see. Yes, I agree, I think she should clarify how she did it.

I’ll admit I’m a bit disappointed she hasn’t managed to visit this threat -

But, the cute barb’s at “spirituality” are missing the point also.

Jackson - 14 May 2010 05:59 PM

so “spiritual” scientists are more likely to feel guilty if you send them money….(?)

Oh, I get it, this is why they represented such a high % rather than arriving at a more true representative sampling - one that you would feel more comfortable with.

Any ways, you know what they say: money makes the world go around.

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Posted: 16 May 2010 01:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Thank you Chris for letting us know your worldview prior to beginning the interview.  However, less than 2 minutes later you introduce your guest and yet you never get around to asking about her worldview.  This needs to be a requirement for any and all guests, particularly authors.

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Posted: 21 May 2010 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Another link to discussion over at
Jerry Coyne (why Evolution is True)
http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/rosenhouse-reviews-ecklund/

and a blog new to me
EvolutionBlog—Jason Rosenhouse

http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2010/05/scientists_and_religion.php#more

have now had a chance to read Elaine Howard Ecklund’s new book Science vs. Relgion: What Scientists Really Think. It is worth reading, despite her annoying decision to include social scientists, but not mathematicians, in her definition of “scienitst.” I also did not care for her obvious preference for those scientists willing to talk sweetly about religion, but what can you do?

[ Edited: 21 May 2010 05:12 PM by Jackson ]
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Posted: 28 June 2010 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Another Jerry Coyne commentary on the book—-

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/ecklund-is-framing-again/

If you want to see framing at its nauseating best, or worst, observe how Ecklund downplays the irreligiosity of scientists in favor of showing how “spiritual” they are, how few of them actually spend their time trying to destroy religion, and how “nearly one in five is actively involved in a house of worship, attending services more than once a month.”

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Posted: 29 June 2010 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Yes, I read that too. I would really like to know more about her methodology. I can’t take a study seriously unless it is transparent. I’m sure someone will do a followup study which will find very different results.

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