Study Guides

Exam 2

Sociology 4365

Topics in Science and Religion



1. Who seems to score lower on pseudoscientific beliefs, Europeans or U. S. citizens?  Why

     might this be expected?  Which such beliefs are most common among those in the U. S.?

     How do Americans feel about their competency re scientific literacy?  Why does this seem

     to occur? (from lectures)


2. Have men and women had difference experiences with science and technology, generally

    speaking?  Is so, are there any effects on their career choices?  Explain your answer.  How

    about for different racial or ethnic groups? (from lectures)


3.  From the Life magazine article about UFOs, what are the main reasons advocated in the article

     that cause people to believe in UFOs?


4. Who is most likely to believe in UFOs, sociologically speaking?


5.  Is End-Times theology related at all to the Civil War for those in the U. S.?  When did Jesus

     seem to tell his apostles to expect the end-times?  Who was John Nelson Darby?  What is

     the current technical name given to his view of the end-times?


6.  How pervasive IS belief in an imminent end-times for those in the mainstream of today’s

     U. S. variety of Christianity?


7.  Who is Tim LaHaye?


8.  About what percentage of U. S. Christians classify themselves as “Fundamentalists?”


9.  Can you define “premillennial dispensationalism?”


8.  What proportion of believers experience U. S. religion through the mass media compared to

     the number attending church in person?


10. What relationship is there between Jews, the state of Israel, and the beliefs of U. S. end-



12  How does the article “The Fellowship of the Rings” explain the origin of most crop circles?

      What proportion of believers accept this explanation?  Why does the author believe that

      most of the rings are created?


13. Is Christianity of the rise in Africa?  Explain.  What is Pentacostalism?  Where did it  

      originate?  What does the author mean by terming Pentacostalism as “A Fervent Response

      to Rigidity?”  Does Pentacostalism in Africa have any relationship to the practices

     of the Muslims there?


14.  What is Monsanto Corporations “Terminator Technology?”   What are the main reasons

       that some find the technology very worrisome?


15. Can you give a brief history of Israel?  What are “The Protocols?”  What effects have they

      had according to your reading?  Are there any problems with the relationship between Israel

      and current evangelicals?  Explain.


16. According to the article “Paucity of Aliens,” is there any hard evidence that aliens may have

      visited the Earth?  Explain.


17. What physical conditions might have needed to exist in order for life to have developed on

      other planets?  (From lecture: what aspect of physics appears to make it extremely unlikely

      aliens could reach the Earth, even if they exist?).


18. What is “sleep paralysis?”  What does it have to do with a discussion of beliefs about

     aliens?  When does it occur?   Who is most likely to experience it?


19. When did stories about “Satanic Ritualistic Abuse” first become highly popular?

      What role may hypnosis play in the overall picture?  How many cases do the

      authors you have read for this course believe to be valid cases?


20. What was the McMartin pre-school case all about?  How did it turn out?


21. What is “false memory syndrome?”  Why is it important?


22. According to Stevens, what are the primary causes of witch-hunting episodes?


23.  What primary elements appear in panics over alleged Satanism that seem to have their

       roots in ancient times?  Why do these themes appear?  Why do stories about children seem

       the most emotion-laden?


24. What is the relation of images of Satan to the culture of African-Americans and other blacks?


25. Can you describe Loftus’ research design for investigating the false memory syndrome?

      What were her main findings?  What is “imagination inflation?”  If false memories exist,

      are their any common mechanism by which they seem to form?  Are false memories

      related to the age of the believers in any way?


26. According to Scott, about what percentage of those in the U. S. agree with “strict

      creationism?”  Can you describe the various types of creationists Scott sets forth in

      her Figure 1?  How have the various laws against the teaching of evolution or in

      favor of the “two-model” approach faired in the courts?  What is “intelligent

      design theory?”  Can you describe it’s basic elements?  What does Scott predict about

      the future of the debate on creationism vs. evolution?  How willing have academics

      been to get involved in defending evolution?


27.  Where is Kanawha County?   Who lives there?   Why is it important in the study of

       creationism vs. evolution?   What is “the New Christian Right?”  How much evidence

       do Eve and Harrold put forward the there is something pathological about the

       thinking or personality of those who favor creationism?  What is “status politics?”

       Can you define “cultural traditionalists” and  cultural modernists?”

       Are creation scientists different from other creationists?  If so, in what way/s?

       What explanation do Eve and Harrold seem to favor for explaining belief in

       creationism or in evolution?  Is authoritarianism a good answer as to motive?

       What event seems to have greatly fanned the flames of the debate during the

       second half of the 20th century?


28.  Why is Kansas important in the recent debates over creation vs. evolution?


29. Regarding Rowe’s “School Daze: A Critical Review of the ‘African

American Baseline Essay’ for Science and Mathematics, list and 

briefly explain at least three claims made by the Baseline

essays that Rowe believes to be incorrect.


 30. Regarding “They Were Not Here before Columbus: Afrocentric

 Hyperdiffusionism in the 1990s,” does the author believe that

 theAfrocentric” writers have any legitimate claims against the

“Eurocentric” scholars?  Explain your answer briefly.


31. What are the basic claims associated with Afrocentric



32. In Johnson’s “Science, Technology, and Black Community

Development,” what does the author believe the effect of the

automobile was upon black people in the U. S.?  What were the

other major technological inventions that impacted the

black community?  In what ways?



B. Sociology of Religion, Part IV – “Race, Ethnicity, and



34. From Kurien’s “Becoming American by Becoming a Hindu,” define    

      satsang and bala vihars.  How is each related to the

      socialization process of Hindu’s?


35.  From Roof’s “Cultural Conflicts and Identity: Second Generation 

       Hispanic Catholics in the United States,” explain two important

       ways that the Catholicism of Spanish immigrants in the U. S.

       differs from the practice of Catholicism as they found it

        practiced by others in the U. S.

       What is “sidestream” ethnicity?


36. According to Nelson in the “Sacrifice of Praise: Emotion and

      Collective Participation in an African-American Worship

      Service,” what is the real significance of “shouting?”


37. What is “response behavior?”  When and where does it occur?


38. According to “Growing Up American: How Vietnamese Children Adapt

      to Life in the United States” by Zhou and Bankston, whate were

      the Characteristics of young people that made them most likely

      to think of themselves as “Vietnamese?”

      What are the two most important religions in the U. S.

      Vietnamese community?


39.  In Yinger’s “Ethnicity: Source of Strength? Source of Conflict,” 

      does the author think religion helps to promote conflict?  To

      reduce conflict?  Explain.


40. Can you briefly explain the nature of religious conflict in

      Northern Ireland?  In India?


Part 6: Social Class and Religion


41. According to the Introduction to Part 6, what is religion’s function?


42. In Mill hands and Preachers, what was the attitude and role taken by the “uptown churches” in relation

     to helping the less fortunate create meaningful social change?  Explain.


43. In Protestantism and the American Labor movement, what was the attitude of postmillennial Christians

      toward trade unions and radical reforms?


44. Are the main conclusions in Cultures of Solidarity similar to those seen in Mill Hands and Preachers?



45. According to the article about the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, who or what was the FSNL?  

      What was it trying to accomplish?



Powerpoints seen in class:


     41. Who wrote Frankenstein?  Why was this surprising at the time? 


     42. How unreasonable was the idea of creating Frankenstein from dead body parts at

           the time the story was written?  Explain.


     43. What two new technologies were much in the public's mind at the time Frankenstein

           was written?


      44. Who created the first U. S. movie about Frankenstein?


    45. From the class presentation on chaos and complexity theory, can you explain what

          is meant by “deterministic chaos?”   “A strange Attractor?”   A “phase state?”

          a “bifurcation point?”  How about “emergent properties” – and how predictable are



    46.  What implications does chaos and complexity theory have for the argument that the

           universe must have had an “intelligent designer?”  Explain briefly.


    47. From the Powerpoint on ID as a social movement:

          Can you identify the main social movement organizations involved in the creationism

          vs evolution controversy?  Can you briefly characterize each?  Which is currently

          the most influential?   What is the “wedge document” and why is it important?

          What is the “irreducible complexity” argument?

          What are the main tactics used by the Discovery Institute?


48.  What are the main points from the movie “Flock of Dodos?”

       How does the filmmaker characterize the creationists? 


Don’t forget that you are also responsible for the added online reading about

“A Short History of Halloween” (found at:

and for the main points in the movie “A Haunted History of Halloween.”


For other topics in lecture, such as witch hunts, ufos, etc., you will need to reply on your lecture notes.