“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Sunday, January 17, 2016
The History of Everything in 18 Minutes
No Icelanders under 25 believe God created the universe, poll claims
Over 90 per cent of respondents under 25 believed in the big bang theory of the universe
No Icelanders under the age of 25 believe the creation story that God was responsible for creating the universe, a new poll claims.
The poll, commissioned by the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, claims that 93.9 per cent in the under 25 category responded that the universe was created by the Big Bang. Just over 6 per cent responded with ‘don’t know’ or ‘other’. None of the respondents, however, believed that the universe had been created by God.
The Iceland Magazine, which reported the findings, added that the poll showed younger people and inhabitants of Reykjavík were the least religious. It added: “80.6 per cent of those older than 55 identified as Christian and only 11.8 per cent said they were atheists. At the same time 40.5 per cent of people who were 25 years or younger said they were atheists, and only 42 per cent said they were Christian.
One Reddit user, however, criticised the poll as misleading. They said: “The question in the asked in the poll was confusing. It was ‘how do you think the universe came to be?’ and the answers were ‘the universe came to be in the big bang’ and ‘God created the universe’ or ‘Don’t know’ and ‘other’…”
The user added: “Many people believe that God is the root cause of the big bang, and the comments in the ‘Other’ section of the poll (page 14) are overwhelmingly about something to that effect, e.g. ‘God created the world in the big bang’ .
Other users pointed to the fact that the Big Bang theory was originally hypothesised by the Catholic priest and physicist Georges Lemaître.
In October 2014 Pope Francis said the theories of evolution and the Big Bang were real and God is not a "magician with a magic wand". Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.