Topics in Science and Religion
1. Who seems to score lower on
pseudoscientific beliefs, Europeans or
might this be expected? Which such beliefs are most common among
those in the
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?
Is End-Times theology related at all to the Civil War for those in the
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?”
What proportion of believers
the number attending church in person?
10. What relationship is there between
Jews, the state of
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
originate? What does the author mean by terming Pentacostalism as “A Fervent Response
Does Pentacostalism in
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
had according to your reading? Are there any problems with the relationship
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
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?
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?
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
Hyperdiffusionism in the 1990s,” does the author believe that
the “Afrocentric” 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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: http://www.darkecho.com/darkecho/features/halloween.html)
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.