Archive for August 16th, 2005

“Ancient” Tiled Floor Declared Nature-Not Nurture. You sure?

Science, Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized, Unexplained Artifact | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 16 2005

It began in 1937, when rancher Tom Kenney decided to build an outhouse and started digging into the soft earth of Battlement Mesa. Kenney changed goals when he struck an impermeable layer of rock, which, on closer inspection, looked like a tiled floor buried under 10 feet of boulders and clay. Instead of an outhouse, Kenney decided he would have a tiled root cellar.

His curiosity aroused, though, Kenney summoned some Grand Valley experts to look at his tiled floor. A delegation examined the floor and decided, according to The Daily Sentinel of May 3, 1937, that there was “not the slightest doubt but that the work is of some prehistoric civilization.”

So compelling was the floor that Denver archaeologists went to visit. They concluded the tiles were laid somewhere between 25,000 and 80,000 years earlier.

To learn more, the Denver archaeologists approached the Archaeological Society of London, which sent an Egyptologist, who pronounced the floor a geological phenomenon.

And there, for the next seven decades, the matter stood, with adherents on both sides, until the Western Investigations Team took on the mystery.

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Scientists’ Belief in God Varies Starkly by Discipline

Religious, Science, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Aug 16 2005

By Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Staff Writer

About two-thirds of scientists believe in God, according to a new survey that uncovered stark differences based on the type of research they do.

The study, along with another one released in June, would appear to debunk the oft-held notion that science is incompatible with religion.

Those in the social sciences are more likely to believe in God and attend religious services than researchers in the natural sciences, the study found.

The opposite had been expected.

Nearly 38 percent of natural scientists — people in disciplines like physics, chemistry and biology — said they do not believe in God. Only 31 percent of the social scientists do not believe. (Is this really a “stark” difference?

In the new study, Rice University sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund surveyed 1,646 faculty members at elite research universities, asking 36 questions about belief and spiritual practices.

“Based on previous research, we thought that social scientists would be less likely to practice religion than natural scientists are, but our data showed just the opposite,” Ecklund said.

Some stand-out stats: 41 percent of the biologists don’t believe, while that figure is just 27 percent among political scientists.

In separate work at the University of Chicago, released in June, 76 percent of doctors said they believed in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife.

“Now we must examine the nature of these differences,” Ecklund said today. “Many scientists see themselves as having a spirituality not attached to a particular religious tradition. Some scientists who don’t believe in God see themselves as very spiritual people. They have a way outside of themselves that they use to understand the meaning of life.”

Ecklund and colleagues are now conducting longer interviews with some of the participants to try and figure it all out.