The 2008 Harris Poll is out, and shows that more Americans believe in the Devil (59%) than accept the reality of evolution by natural selection (47%). Still, that’s a slight improvement over last year, when the figures were 62% vs 42% (but it’s within the margin of error), and at least they’re doing better than Kazakhstan (just).
The high levels of belief in the Devil has nasty implications for society at large. Back in 2006, Gary Jensen (a criminologist at Vanderbildt University) showed that so-called ‘passionate dualism’ – i.e. religious worldview characterised by intense beliefs in a clash between good and evil – is a major cause of homicide.
Hat tip: AMJ