How many of your classmates believe in ghosts?

If you’re a freshman, about one in four. If you’re a senior, one in three:

[H]igher education is linked to a greater tendency to believe in ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, according to a new study.

Contrary to researchers’ expectations, a poll of 439 college students found seniors and grad students were more likely than freshmen to believe in haunted houses, psychics, telepathy, channeling and a host of other questionable ideas…

While 23 percent of college freshmen expressed a general belief in paranormal concepts—from astrology to communicating with the dead—31 percent of seniors did so and the figure jumped to 34 percent among graduate students.

Yeah, damn academics, cramming materialisms scientific and dialectical down students’ throats.

Do I preemptively win Scariest Halloween Thing?

(Via Live Science.)


5 Responses

  1. What the [censored]

    Ok better.

    Then again a majority of people beleive in a being that is in a trans-dimensional sky that watches them poop….errr pray watches them pray. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they beleive other weird things.

  2. Hey now, I’m an atheist, but I totally believe in ghosts. In fact, I think atheists should be MORE likely to believe in ghosts and the paranormal, because it’s not like we’re going to heaven when we die!

  3. I am an atheist as well and I am undecided as to what I beleive in regards to the paranormal. Just because we don’t go anywhere when we die doesn’t mean that we have to go somewhere. As far as I can tell/ am concerned when I die the synapses stop firing and I stop existing.

    To add in ghosts and what not would require a completely different state of energy/matter than is known. And/or assume that humans do have some sort of soul but then the question becomes were do we have a soul from. Though that could play into the some eastern philosophies that beleive everything is connected and/or is part of a greater life force thing.

    I’m an atheist towards gods and a skeptics towards the paranormal.

  4. Jess: I hope there was no offense; none was meant. Now we really need to make this WW November cheese night happen; I’m intrigued now to discuss our differing atheistic beliefs on the afterlife in greater depth than blog comments allow. I, with Kel, believe in the cessation of existence of consciousness after braindeath. I see no more reason to suspect our personality endures after the dissolution of the body than I do to believe the sums a computer was made to solve re-calculate themselves perpetually after the harddrive is smashed with a hammer. I also take a harder line than him on “paranormal,” that is to say, psychic phenomenon. If such powers were real, it would be reasonable to expect
    i.) they would be more widely proliferated than they supposedly are, as they would seem to provide a strikingly powerful advantage in natural selection,
    ii.) some sort of physical mechanism for these powers in the body. For example, telepaths would have some sort of “broadcasting” device, and some sort of faculty to translate “recieved” messages. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the brain, but we haven’t found anything that looks capable of transmitting information between skulls without speech, gesture or writing.
    Moreover, accounts of precognition look like nothing more than dreams believed to represent true reality. I mean, not-quakish theoretical physics tell us it might be possible for quantum-level particles or tachyons moving faster than the speed of light *might* be able to move backwards in time. But neither of these phenomenon would seem capable of transmitting information backwards in time on a macroscopic level human beings could comprehend, or even be aware of. Quantum-level phenomenon are just too tiny either to inspire visions in the brain or affect the photons and sound waves which would be necessary for most cinematic portrayals of auditory and visual “visions.”
    Moreover, the visions we know from fiction always just-so-happen to pertain to things psychics actually care about. It’s always “You will kill your father and marry your mother,” or “It was Mrs. White in the library with the lead pipe!” They never get visions like “You will go to the store next Wednesday and choose to buy 1% instead of skim,” or “A comet will burn up in the atmosphere above the Australian outback in 2012CE and no one will be hurt,” or “An atom of uranium-238 on an asteroid orbiting Omicron Persei will collapse into lead May 17, 78,309 CE.” In fictional accounts of psychics, it just looks too much like nature/providence is tweaking itself to help humanity out, where it is very clear the order of things is neither hostile nor benevolent to us.

  5. That was a lot of big words, man.

    I think it’s fun to think about, the fact that when you’re alone in a room you might actually NOT be alone. Perhaps it stems from the fact that everything else you’re taught to believe in as a child dissolves over time (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, God), so it’s somehow comforting to have something to believe in that you can’t really explain.

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