Chapman University Finds Continued Growth in Paranormal Beliefs, Including Rising Support for Atlantis, Ancient Astronauts
Each year, Chapman University publishes its annual survey of American fears, and each year the results get worse. In the two metrics that I have monitored over the past three or four cycles, we have witnessed self-reported belief in ancient astronauts and lost Atlantis-like civilizations climb to record levels, among the highest rates of belief ever recorded. Belief in Atlantis became a majority belief last year, and it now stands at 57%, up from 55% last year. Belief in ancient astronauts rose from 35% to 41%, representing a plurality of respondents. (The remaining respondents either disbelieved or were unsure—the latter category not exactly being great for the side of science.)
For comparison’s sake, here is the chart representing results for the past four years. Please note that the survey did not ask about Atlantis in 2015.
Even Chapman University noted dryly that “What is striking is how rapidly such beliefs are rising.” The reasons for this are unclear.
While the exact level of belief indicated by the survey is open to debate due to the survey’s methodology and the tendency of respondents to lie about their beliefs, the general thrust of the result cannot be denied. Belief in ancient astronauts and lost civilizations is increasing and represents a disturbingly large proportion of the American population.
The upward trend in belief doesn’t have an easy explanation. There is no clear reason that belief should be increasing by such magnitude each year. The media might be to blame, but nothing has really changed on the History channel or elsewhere to account for such a dramatic shift. More research is needed, but it seems that growth has occurred in tandem with the rise of ideological affiliation as a defining factor in American cultural life.
The only unexpected news in the survey, really, is that Atlantis lost its crown as the most popular paranormal belief, narrowly eclipsed by belief in haunted houses, which came in at 58%.
If these results are anything close to accurate, we are witnessing a full-scale cultural retreat from reason that it seems difficult to divorce from the other manifestations of cultural denial of facts in favor of fantasy, ideology, and belief.
10/18/2018 08:37:00 am
Huh. I would have thought Bigfoot would be higher. Is it possible Finding Bigfoot had a corrosive effect on Bigfoot belief?
10/18/2018 09:15:00 am
I wonder how many people say yes just because they think it is funny. Also, how many people say yes, I believe people can move objects with their mind (I do it everyday, my mind tells my hand to pick an object up); or fortune tellers can predict the future (my prediction is: the sun will rise tomorrow, and not only rise but rise in the east and just in case you don't believe me, tomorrow will be Friday). But, still these kind of humored or pedantic responses would likely be marginal. I would be more interested in a comparison going back many decades (I know the data probably doesn't exist) but comparing educational, economic, and cultural trends over that period would be interesting. But, how scary are these results?
10/18/2018 10:30:47 am
10/18/2018 10:55:59 am
No numbers on the earth being flat ?
10/18/2018 11:10:44 am
“The Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic associations remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and,therefore, membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful, who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”
10/19/2018 01:21:42 am
Yes, confirmed. The primary principle the Catholic Church directly opposes and mightily resists is the principle of individual freedom. Ergo, the US Constitution must be dismantled.
10/18/2018 11:24:26 am
What I know is that if impactor warning systems are not improved, very large numbers of people will die in the next impact event.
10/18/2018 01:26:57 pm
The sky is falling,,,,the sky is falling !
10/18/2018 09:37:30 pm
Beat me to it!
10/18/2018 12:04:25 pm
Third-to-last paragraph appears to be incomplete.
10/18/2018 01:31:12 pm
Not sure where the end of that sentence vanished to! I think Word ate it.
On this kind of Atlantis question I have to say "No" since they define Atlantis as an ancient advanced civilization before all civilization.
10/18/2018 07:41:32 pm
It is just another consequence of the American public losing faith in science. Our current politicians and the religious right contribute to this trend as it helps make the public easier to control
10/19/2018 01:33:29 am
10/19/2018 02:13:21 am
"It is just another consequence of the American public losing faith in science. Our current politicians and the religious right contribute to this trend as it helps make the public easier to control"
10/19/2018 10:54:43 am
""From a reasonable point of view, there is not much difference between a literalist Atlantis belief and belief in Bigfoot, or psychics."
10/19/2018 07:37:58 pm
Well I was only 10 in 1980 so I don’t know who you are quoting.
10/19/2018 12:19:43 am
My belief is that the ancient astronauts were the Atlanteans. I’ve probably said this before but I think it’s worth saying again. I think the atlanteans were a spacefaring civilization.
10/19/2018 12:27:17 am
All of this sounds crazy, but that’s because most of society is still living in the paradigm in which myths aren’t true. The truth will come out very soon...and the truth is so mind blowing that I sometimes wonder whether it’s all a dream...but I think it’s all true. I think myths really are true, Greek mythology is telling us about the world before the flood, and the flood happened more than 10000 years ago. How did the Greek stories survive for more than 10000 years! What an amazing civilization.
10/19/2018 12:47:45 am
"I’ve probably said this before but I think it’s worth saying again."
10/19/2018 01:56:19 am
Brady, did you get clonked on the head by a piece of the sky as well ?
10/19/2018 06:00:02 am
Or the more plausible answer is that the Ancient Greeks were just as capable of imagination and creativity as we are, and their myths are nothing but story and allegory?
10/21/2018 02:45:42 pm
Franke said this on 10/20/2018 10:17:33 am
10/21/2018 07:35:19 pm
I really like the way you adopt some of T, Franke's rhetorical style while demolishing him. He's carmen et error minus the poetry.
10/23/2018 08:10:52 am
Who is the “fringe” now?
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