A new Associated Press-GfK poll has found that when it comes to ideas about science that can be perceived as a conflict to religious or political values, Americans remain unsure. Though only a very small percentage doubts that smoking can cause cancer or have skepticism about the concept of genetic code, ideas like the age of the earth, the origins of the universe and man-made global warming remain contentious.

About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority—51 percent—questions the Big Bang theory.

Researchers believe that in addition to a variety of political and religious beliefs held by many Americans, big concepts that people don’t regularly encounter (unlike cancer or illness) can often lean them toward skepticism ... Discuss

 

Life 201 is a weekly advice column headed by pastor, counselor and RELEVANT Podcast member Eddie Kaufholz. Eddie answers questions and gives advice on issues you want to hear about. Email your questions to Life201@RELEVANTmagazine.com.] Read More

 
For all the thinking these people have done, they've never thought of the Bible as being at odds with science. Read More
 

For the unaware, Pastafarianism is a parody religion, invented to poke fun at other religions. The general idea is that there is as much proof for a deity they call the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" as there is for a loving, Triune God (or any other deity), so they "worship" an imaginary, spaghetti-like thing and conclude their prayers with "Ramen" instead of "Amen," which is admittedly clever.

There's no need to get into the glaring holes in Pastafarianism's general logic (to our knowledge, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has yet to, say, rise from the dead) but Pastafarians are taking their "religion" seriously. Particularly in Poland, where they just won the right to register as an actual religion ... Discuss

 

Barna and The American Bible Society have released their annual State of the Bible report, and found that skepticism, particularly among millennials, is on the rise. Their research show that the number of people who believe that the Bible is "just another book of teachings written by men that contains stories and advice" has tripled over the last three years, and is currently at 19%—the same percentage of those who read the Bible regularly (at least four times a week) and believe it is the actual Word of God. They found that “While 50% of all adults believe the Bible has too little influence in society, only 30% of millennials believe this.”

Despite the rise in those that are skeptical of scripture and new trends among millennials, numbers that indicate Bible ownership (88%) in American households, how many people believe the Bible is inspired and infallible (56%) and how many Americans use a smartphone to read scripture (35%) are still relatively high. You can go here to see more of the findings and see more infographs from their report ... Discuss