The sad news: Americans’ beliefs about Christmas and “secular” evolution

65 per cent of U.S.adults believe in all four of these key elements of the Christian Christmas story: 1) that baby Jesus was laid in a manger; 2) that wise men, maybe (but not necessarily, three, came to Bethlehem, guided by a star, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus: 3) that an angel announced the birth of baby Jesus to shepherds; and 4) that baby Jesus was born to a virgin.

Maybe even worse, according to this Gallup poll – see: – 40 percent of Americans believe that God created mankind around 10,000 years ago; another 38 percent believe in intelligent design.

That is, (40 + 38 =) 78 percent of adult Americans doubt the scientific view of “secular evolution”!

Apparently they don’t read the blog posts here on the WEIT (Why Evolution Is True) blog. It’s a pity.

Why Evolution Is True

Sophisticated Theologians™ tell us all the time that only Biblical literalists or fundamentalists believe the stories in the Bible. God is, they say, much more “nuanced,” and most believers are closer to Kierkegaard than to Ken Ham.

Well, I call bullshit on that. Look at a new Pew Poll giving “Five Facts about Christmas in America.” Most of the survey is about whether we see Christmas as a cultural or religious holiday, our views on gift-giving, how we wish people happy holidays, and so on, but there’s one bit of interest to readers. That’s encompassed in this figure:


Got that, David Bentley Hart and Karen Armstrong? Got that, Terry Eagleton? Got it, all you atheist atheist-bashers who say we’re attacking a straw man? 65% of US adults believe all four of these Christmas myths.  No, not all Americans are Biblical literalists about everything, but nearly all Americans are…

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8 responses to “The sad news: Americans’ beliefs about Christmas and “secular” evolution

  1. Unless one has washed his eyes in a caustic liquid or been hypnotized to be blind to all but what he is taught, we know that evolution is true. ie: common bones between species, warmer coats and specialized feathers for northern species , lesser for southern….. The major point to me concerns the question: How did life as we know it begin? Whether a God sparked life into being or a thunderstorm gets the credit is a personal question and the only true answer is the one that the questioner believes! So much time is , to me, wasted in arguing the chicken or the egg that the energy consumed in the altercation would suffice to cure mankind of almost any conceivable wound ! All religions advocate, beyond the theological points, pretty much the same charge: Be nice to the earth and one another . Merry Christmas !

  2. It’s scary that the majority of the population of the world’s most influential state prefer religion over science. (I don’t want to say important because that’s not true from my point of view). It’s not like they live in, say Antarctica, where they don’t have any access to media and modern knowledge discovered by science. I guess I’ll never understand it.

    Again, thanks for the links and merry holidays 🙂

  3. Thank you for the links.
    All sides are to be studied.

  4. @williamleeone: Beautiful metaphors used by you!

    But now to the point. Yes, evolution tells us nothing about the really BIG question, “How did life start”?

    It’s like the Big Bang theory. That theory explains pretty well what happened AFTER the Big Bang (not before BB).

    But to presume a divine Creator behind either life or universe (or both) is a cognitive fallacy, closely related to the so-called God of the Gaps view.

    On the other hand I disagree with you when you write the following sentence in your comment: “Whether a God sparked life into being or a thunderstorm gets the credit is a personal question and the only true answer is the one that the questioner believes!”

    Of course everyone is entitled to believe what (s)he prefers. But what I mean is that the already established religions – especially those presuming an omnipotent divine being as the Creator of universe and life – are so full of contradictions and illogical statements that in order to believe in their dogmas you must deny both the probability theory and denigrate and belittle the cognitive method of logical reasoning.

    In short, religious believers have to regress to intuitive magical & religious woo-ish bullshit thinking and rely on subjective truths (= what I feel is right must be true), which is kid of megalomania. It’s the way of thinking that is typical of a child.

    BTW, a Merry Christmas to you, too, williamleeone!

  5. @juliawinnacker: Yes, in my eyes religious people are like aliens. As if they did never go to school here on planet Earth.

    Religious schools are particularly disinformative. They are outright lying for Jesus, an old tradition once suggested and promoted by no less than the church father St. Eusebius (d. 357).

    Here’s an example of the “Lying for Jesus” concept, taken from a biology book used in religious schools in the U.S.:

    “Whatever the Bible says is so; whatever man says may or may not be so,’ is the only [position] a Christian can take… If [scientific] conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong, no matter how many scientific facts may appear to back them. Christians must disregard [scientific hypotheses or theories] that contradict the Bible.”

    (From: William S. Pinkston; Biology For Christian Schools, Bob Jones University Press 1991.)

    A Merry Christmas to you, Julia, and your loved ones, too.

    • Sorry for the late reply, I just saw yours.
      This quote (from William S. Pinkston; Biology for Christian Schools): “Whatever the Bible says is so; whatever man says may or may not be so” is particular shocking. It’s almost as if they say something like “I don’t have to do any research or conduct any experiments because I know the answer anyway”.

  6. @Faraday’s Candle: Unfortunately such articles or blogposts are not studied by those who ought to do it. Probably they refrain from studying them because they dislike and abhor the cognitive dissonance such studies are known to evoke in their minds.

    They are instead following the old advice that if you don’t like the music the piano virtuoso is playing, just shoot him and have him replaced.

    BTW, a Merry Christmas to all of you in the Faraday’s Candle family.

  7. Why do most Jews, Messianic Jews reject Jesus?” The Answer: What do they do with Jesus Christ? These Jews rejected Jesus Christ because He failed, in their eyes, to do what they expected their version of the Messiah to do—destroy evil and all their enemies and establish an eternal kingdom with Israel as the preeminent nation of the world. Dream on..

    Christmas marks Christ’s birthday and it honors Him

    While many falsely legalists, unloving and non Holy Spirit filled persons, still are also falsely preaching the exact observation of the laws over honouring the spirit of the law.. this is why they do falsely want to insert the old testament falsely into the New Testament to.

    And if obeying Religion a Judaic one included can save one from then why was Jesus death required for us to be saved from Hell?

    The false loathing of Christianity is one reason why many especialy jews, Messianc Jews continue to repeat the claim that Christmas is a repurposing of a pagan Roman holiday. The celebration of Saturnalia, which honored the Roman god Saturn, or the Dies Natalis of Sol Invictus, that is the “Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun.” Both of these celebrations were held in the second half of December, making them somewhat close to Christmas. If Christmas was create to supplant Saturnalia, the Christians would have chosen December 17th. Add to that the references I noted yesterday about the December 25th date stretching all the way back to A.D. 200 and you have a very real dating problem with Saturnalia being the origin date for Christmas. Christmas is not a response to a pagan celebration such as Saturnalia but it has Christian roots. 202 to 211 AD mark where Hippolytus ties December 25 to Jesus’s birth.

    A feast to Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun) did occur on December 25, but the earliest evidence for it dates from the mid to late 4th century. which is mychafter the Christian practise of Christmas
    In reality December 25 first became associated with the Nativity, which is how the early church would have referred to the day of Christ’s birth.
    Much of the thrust of the “pagan Christmas” theory rests on the idea of a Christianized Rome trying to convert a populace that wouldn’t want to give up its secular feast traditions

    But in reality the marking of December 25 goes much earlier, before this period in Christian history.

    The ‘ Commentary on Daniel, written just after AD 200, notes that five of the seven manuscripts contain December 25 as the date
    Hippolytus in 202-211 AD set the date for the birth of Jesus on December 25, because he thought Jesus was conceived 9 months earlier on the Passover, the day in which he also thought the world was created (5500 years earlier), the Vernal Equinox March 25.

    Clement of Alexandria (193-215 AD) quoted various anonymous sources about the birth of Jesus and roughly agrees with Hippolytus, claiming that Jesus was born in late fall to early winter. Clement’s sources clearly seem to believe that Jesus was conceived on the Passover and was born roughly 9 months later;

    Augustine wrote ” He was born, according to tradition, upon December the 25th.”

    The idea of the church randomly choosing a pagan date is a big stretch. If Christians were recognizing the birth of Christ by the beginning of the third century, does it make sense to think that this was rather a fourth century invention to sway the Roman populous over to Christianity?…/no-christmas-is-n…


    Titus 1:10-11
    10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially THOSE OF THE CIRCUMCISION, 11 whose MOUTHS MUST BE STOPPED, who SUBVERT WHOLE HOUSEHOLDS, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

    The phrase “those of the circumcision” refers to Judaizers – and that is what the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) is – a bunch of Judaizers. They don’t like to admit that, but that’s really what they are. And much of the New Testament is devoted to warning Christians about Judaizers. In the past there were groups like the Seventh Day Adventists and the Worldwide Church of God which embraced Judaizing doctrine. But the modern-day manifestation of this heresy, the Hebrew Roots Movement, is particularly destructive. They are particularly aggressive and they spread on the Internet like a cancer

    h “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her, -how often I wanted to gather your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But you people did not want it. Look! Your house is abandoned to you.” – Matthew 23:37,38

    “Why do most Jews, Messianic Jews reject Jesus?” The Answer: What do they do with Jesus Christ? These Jews rejected Jesus Christ because He failed, in their eyes, to do what they expected their version of the Messiah to do—destroy evil and all their enemies and establish an eternal kingdom with Israel as the preeminent nation of the world. Dream on..…/why-do-most-jews-messianic…/

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