If national polls show support for gay marriage, why does it keep losing in state votes?

posted at 10:09 pm on May 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

That’s the question of the week after Gallup’s national poll two days ago showing 50 percent support for SSM was abruptly followed by North Carolinians voting overwhelmingly to ban the practice. That makes 42 states that now define marriage as between a man and a woman. How do we get from that national point A to the state level’s point B? Can’t be that Gallup is wildly off; Pew got similar numbers when they polled this issue too.

Ross Douthat speculates:

In a 2010 paper, for instance, the New York University political scientist Patrick J. Egan compared polling in advance of state same-sex marriage referendums to the actual results, and found that

“the share of voters in pre-election surveys saying that they will vote to ban same-sex marriage is typically seven percentage points lower than the actual vote on election day.”

That seven-point gap between appearances and reality may help explain why same-sex marriage supporters lost referendums they expected to win in liberal states like Maine and California. And it explains why a savvy White House might take polls suggesting that the issue is a political winner with a very large helping of salt.

“Voters who say they support it when Gallup and other pollsters come calling can behave very differently in the privacy of the voting booth,” he writes, implying some sort of “Bradley effect” on this issue. Eh, I’m skeptical of that. One big reason why is that the Bradley effect itself is almost certainly a myth. Read this insightful LA Times op-ed from 2008 to see why — or better yet, consult the results of the 2008 presidential election. The final RCP poll average that year was Obama by 7.6 points; Obama ended up winning by 7.3 points. It’s hard to believe that any significant number of people would so fear being judged a racist/sexist/homophobe by some random pollster that they’d actually lie to do so. If you doubt me on that, go dig up one of those freak-show polls that PPP conducts from time to time asking people whether they think Obama is the antichrist or a werewolf. People aren’t shy about copping to “disfavored” responses. But wait, you say — after the blacklists in California of people who donated money to support Proposition 8, might not poll respondents be extra fearful of being found out as opposing gay marriage? Well, yes, if they know about those blacklists, which I’d guess maybe one in 100 do. You guys know about it because you follow politics every day. The average voter likely would have trouble picking Joe Biden out of a line-up. Just not enough knowledge on average to fear reprisals.

Rachel Weiner has another theory for the poll disparity:

Turnout is also a factor. Older voters tend to vote in higher numbers, and there’s a stark age divide on gay marriage.

As Columbia Political Science professor Jeffrey Lax wrote in 2009: “If policy were set by state-by-state majorities of those 65 or older, none would allow same-sex marriage. If policy were set by those under 30, only 12 states would not allow-same-sex marriage.”

Primaries, like the one in North Carolina last night, are particularly low turnout affairs— giving opponents to gay marriage the edge.

Yeah, I think demographics are the key. According to the Pew poll I linked up top, fully 56 percent of seniors still oppose gay marriage. Among voters 18 to 29, it’s just 30 percent. Grandma and grandpa can be guaranteed to turn out while junior really can’t, so it’s grandma and grandpa who ultimately make the laws. (See also: Entitlements.) Beyond that, the national polls are typically of adults, not actual voters. It may well be that the average American adult shrugs at gay marriage, but shruggers tend not to make it to the polling place. In all likelihood opponents of gay marriage are more motivated, which means they’ll be overrepresented in the voting booth. And finally, it could be that there’s a slight NIMBY problem at work in state votes as opposed to national polls. Some people, when asked whether they support gay marriage in the abstract, might say “sure” because they’re dealing with a hypothetical. When suddenly they’re not dealing with a hypothetical but rather the prospect of lots of gay couples moving to their state to marry if no ban is enacted, the calculations for some fraction of those voters might change.

Any other theories? Given the trendlines on this issue across demographics and the prospect of more young voters coming onto the rolls, I think the gap between the national polls and state votes will disappear in time. How much time, though, I don’t know.


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Sorry, the polls are wrong. It’s not just demographics, it’s not just voters v. non-voters, it’s the polls consistently overstate SSM’s popularity.

Greg Q on May 11, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The trend over the past 30 years from about 10% approval to about 50% approval is reflected in the election day votes becoming closer. If there is a gap of about 8% between the poll results and the voter results, then the demographic-driven trend will supersede that percentage soon causing a majority in the polls to result in a smaller majority at the ballot. Some states are likely already at that point.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM

one important correction:

taking that passage as justification to make the US an obligatory religious country is ludicrous. to me that passage was written by men and in the end nothing by but men gave me those rights, no matter what justification was used.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 9:23 AM

That however is not what I proposed nor what I argued for.

The Founders knew not these “rights” of which you speak.

Founders and the constitutional Ratifiers legislated in favor of traditional marriage and against homosexual behavior when and where they thought appropriate.

“Homosexual rights” were exported to the USA by the radical homosexual rights (and pederasty) movement that emerged in Germany in the late 19th Century.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM

your wording makes me thing you believe that our revolution was pure and the initial American society was almost perfect but then tarnished with some foreign influence.
ah… we create and export way more culture that we import. in fact we are “responsible” by breaking countless taboos in other countries and some even call us satan …

no, our cultural changes are mostly indigenous, there is no conspiracy. its only a testament to the personal freedoms we enjoy.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM

It reminds me of a tweet @ppppolls (Kos’s pet pollster) sent to Larry Sabato on May 8th:

PublicPolicyPolling ‏ @ppppolls
Hate to say it but I don’t believe polls showing majority support for gay marriage nationally. Any time there’s a vote it doesn’t back it up

Dawnsblood on May 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM

you fears are strange. i don’t really see it that way. we live in a rapid changing world, but the driver of this is not a cultural conspiracy, but its a consequence of ever changing technology changing the rules of the social games…
nathor on May 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

.
You mean my views are unusual, don’t you? ;-)

The driver behind that change is the de-sacralization of the world fostered by the Gospels. There would be no modern science or Industrial revolution without it. No cultural conspiracy is this. It is anthropology.

Today people now access the ideas of any one in the globe and they can observe behaviors in the Western World that are taboo in their own country\state\city and they are repulsed. Even illiterate common men in Archaic Pagan Greece understood the transgressive stunts we are now enabling and ratifying in Western World are dangerous.

culture change is a reflexion of the impacts of technology of human society and, in my opinion, only stopping technology, you might even dream to stop this trend.

Cultural change and cultural norms are direct outcomes of human nature. The fundamentals of human nature do not change.

De-sacralization accelerates social change. Technology puts more food on our tables, it also puts more firepower in our weaponry.

technology will change the premisses of your doomsday scenarios, so, they will probably not happen.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

You know this how?

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Of course the polls are wrong.

It would be like polls showing a president leading polls nationally, for so to lose every single contest that is held on a state level. The national polls on this issue has been meaningless for years.

And no, there is no trend developing in favor of gay marriage. The margin of which Gay Marriage lost in NC was wider than many other states contests in even more socially conservative states.

Finally, people change as they age. I was not particularly opposed to marriage/civil unions back a few years ago. Now, after I got married and started a family, I am vehemently against both.

Just like the baby boomer radicals of the 60s thought demographic trends would mean inevitable future victory for their pet causes, the gay advocates of today are dead wrong suggesting the same.

Norwegian on May 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Evidence….
http://tinyurl.com/756p75f

frizzbee on May 11, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Gallup, Pew and Rasmussen – what was the % of respondents ? We know Obama has no beliefs other than himself. His own polling had to show his chance of being hurt by the latest distraction was low or certainly worth doing. He is killing us senior citizens and we will vote him out.

democratsarefools on May 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

The driver behind that change is the de-sacralization of the world fostered by the Gospels. There would be no modern science or Industrial revolution without it. No cultural conspiracy is this. It is anthropology.
Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Technological advances have been made across cultures independent of the Gospels. At the time the Gospels were introduced into Rome, the empire had developed technologies that were remarkable almost two thousand years later. However, a few centuries after the Gospels were introduced Rome fell and European technology lagged Eastern technology for a long time.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Technological advances have been made across cultures independent of the Gospels. At the time the Gospels were introduced into Rome, the empire had developed technologies that were remarkable almost two thousand years later. However, a few centuries after the Gospels were introduced Rome fell and European technology lagged Eastern technology for a long time.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Ignore the other issues with Europe at the time… divine right of kings, serfdom, famine, plague. You also fail to mention Western technology, after accepting the Word of God, far surpassing Eastern technology and development which continues to this day. Only as we become more pagan and atheist do we give ground to these other societies.

njrob on May 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

You mean my views are unusual, don’t you? ;-)

actually, i think i read similar views before.

The driver behind that change is the de-sacralization of the world fostered by the Gospels. There would be no modern science or Industrial revolution without it. No cultural conspiracy is this. It is anthropology.

this type of opinion i did read before. i dont agree. i think its was the printing press that was pivotal in taking us from the dark ages and lead foster exchange the ideas that lead to the scientific and industrial revolutions.

read bellow:

The printing press was first used in the Holy Roman Empire by the German Johannes Gutenberg around 1440….

The mechanization of bookmaking led to the first mass production of books in history in assembly line-style.[3] A single Renaissance printing press could produce 3,600 pages per workday,[4] compared to forty by typographic hand-printing and a few by hand-copying.[5] Books of bestselling authors like Luther or Erasmus were sold by the hundreds of thousands in their lifetime.[6]

From a single point of origin, Mainz, Germany, printing spread within several decades to over 200 cities in a dozen European countries.[7] By 1500, printing presses in operation throughout Western Europe had already produced more than twenty million volumes.[7] In the 16th century, with presses spreading further afield, their output rose tenfold to an estimated 150 to 200 million copies.

a technology that enable the free flow of information forever changed the world and enabled the upcoming scientific revolutions.
the church did not help in this at all. it seems only that the printing press was used to foster a propaganda war between catholics and protestants.

Cultural change and cultural norms are direct outcomes of human nature. The fundamentals of human nature do not change.

De-sacralization accelerates social change. Technology puts more food on our tables, it also puts more firepower in our weaponry.

you are wrong. its very clear that human natural behavior can assume many different forms. this is historically and also we can testify to many different human cultures today.
the “correct and natural” human behavior is much broader that you think and the gospels are a very poor description of them. we are also a technological species, meaning we are deeply dependent of technology to survive. its only natural for us to invent new technology and adapt our culture to its use.

sure, technology can be dangerous. no denying that. but hey, its like pandora box, once you open it, you cannot put everything back in…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Ignore the other issues with Europe at the time… divine right of kings, serfdom, famine, plague. You also fail to mention Western technology, after accepting the Word of God, far surpassing Eastern technology and development which continues to this day. Only as we become more pagan and atheist do we give ground to these other societies.

njrob on May 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

our technological revolution had little to do with religious inspiration. actually our science many time opposes the biblical dogmas and history is full of examples where the church lead the opposition to science that opposed their biblical dogmas.
it also to note that our scientists today, are in their majority atheists. claiming that “the word of god” helped us in our technology is a shamefull distortion of history.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Technological advances have been made across cultures independent of the Gospels. At the time the Gospels were introduced into Rome, the empire had developed technologies that were remarkable almost two thousand years later. However, a few centuries after the Gospels were introduced Rome fell and European technology lagged Eastern technology for a long time.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM

.
Rome entered its decline upon its failure in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. The Empire almost collapsed in late 6th decade AD, it struggles in the 12th and almost collapse again in the 13th decade AD. The Roman Empire wobbled throughout the 2nd and 3rd Centuries only to be stabilized and reinvigorated in early 4th Century by Constantine and the bishops, because the Gospels had spread. Read Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance The Eastern Empire then survived almost to the modern era. The Irish monks and the See of Rome rebuilt a civilization in the ruins of the Western Empire:

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

It is two centuries passed the time for your copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Drugs are far different, and you should know it. The fact that you think someone shooting up heroin only affects the person with the drug in his/her veins proves you a fool (see my historical example). There is a fine line between liberty and lawlessness. I suggest you find it.

By the way, I take it you are in favor of banning alcohol, cigarettes, salt, and soda?

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Absolutely not, but I am in favor of drunk driving laws. Again, you said drugs…that means anything from caffeine to crack to heroin. I’m in favor of some drug legalization, but your “one size fits all” approach is no different that a federal mandate approach.

Pattosensei on May 11, 2012 at 10:19 AM

But they aren’t different. Someone shooting up heroin in no way effects my rights or my life, nor does it effect yours.

Absolutely not, huh? But think of the consequences! Alcoholism, spousal abuse, broken families, lung cancer, adverse health, etc.

Drunk driving laws and driving under the influence laws are a completely separate issue, just as owning a gun and killing someone with it are separate issues. My one-size-fits-all approach maximizes liberty without infringing upon anyone. You advocate using the force of government to make people behave how you want them to.

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 12:30 PM

You also fail to mention Western technology, after accepting the Word of God, far surpassing Eastern technology and development which continues to this day. Only as we become more pagan and atheist do we give ground to these other societies.

njrob on May 11, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Rome accepted the word of the Gospels around 313. It fell about a century later. Europe toiled for over a thousand years with faith in the God of the Gospels and inferior technology. Its emergence into technological superiority appears more closely coupled with a skepticism toward dogma and the development of a merchant class than with an increase in devotion.

Christianity had a significant and powerful impact on democratization and developing the type of society that could produce the wealth and equality necessary for advanced technological systems. However, the advances themselves have been driven by an intellectual process that is not correlated with faith in the Gospels.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

technology will change the premisses of your doomsday scenarios, so, they will probably not happen.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM

You know this how?

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I am just noticing that you cannot make long term predictions assuming there will be no very disruptive technological changes.

for example, imagine that medical technology enables us to produce much more cheaply(3d printing, nanomanufactoring)?
imagine that medicine evolves to reverse many of our old age illnesses and limitations thus making old people productive members of society for much longer instead of an entitlement time bomb?
imagine that solar panels can be produced so cheap that its cost per MW is lower than coal\gas. energy crises would be solved…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

this type of opinion i did read before. i dont agree. i think its was the printing press that was pivotal in taking us from the dark ages and lead foster exchange the ideas that lead to the scientific and industrial revolutions.

Or was it Aquinas and the Gregory Popes? Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages

Aquinas integrated faith and reason so well for Western Civilization that it is hard to find the seams between the two.

Nonetheless there would no modern world or Western Science if the physical world around us had not been de-scaralized by the Gospels: Violence and the Sacred

And without the unprecedented investment into primary scientific research by the Western Church: The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Or:

Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I don’t see how you could possibly consider yourself libertarian.

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 9:29 AM

i tell you that i am not a purist libertarian. but i am midway of that position from both dems and repubs.

in general I think in almost all branches of government, there is much to be cut. unions are leeches, and there is too much regulations.

but i still support goverment enacting some regulations and providing some services.

but if you look at purist libertarianism, its just too much…
actually i am not a purist in anything. every ideology has good and bad things and its important to know what is being critiqued of the libertarian ideology. from the right is mostly a social critique. from the left there are quite convincing writings about libertarianism problems. i leave a link here:
noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/libertarians-only-now-at-end-do-you.html

listing some:
-state sponsored services might make sense to when transactional costs are too high.
-liberty to bully
-some other posts i read how in a radical libertarian world, even security(police) would be private and provided by insurance companies and other…

still for smaller government, but not all the way. I am not comfortable with the outcome.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 10:21 AM

you need to take another look at libertarianism if you think people have the liberty to bully.

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Rome entered its decline upon its failure in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. The Empire almost collapsed in late 6th decade AD, it struggles in the 12th and almost collapse again in the 13th decade AD. The Roman Empire wobbled throughout the 2nd and 3rd Centuries only to be stabilized and reinvigorated in early 4th Century by Constantine and the bishops, because the Gospels had spread. Read Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance The Eastern Empire then survived almost to the modern era. The Irish monks and the See of Rome rebuilt a civilization in the ruins of the Western Empire:

How the Irish Saved Civilization

How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

It is two centuries passed the time for your copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM

i have seen this kind of historical apologetic before. its false. there is NO WAY, that a dark age lasting 1000 years from the 4th century to 15 century, while the church and the gospels reign supreme, can be spinned into a “Christianity saved civilization”. what you going to say? blame it on the devil? blame it on the faults of men of a corrupted catholic church?

its also historical facts that the most serious declines happened under the rule of christian emperors from Constantine forward.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

you need to take another look at libertarianism if you think people have the liberty to bully.

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM

the article is self explanatory…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

its also historical facts that the most serious declines happened under the rule of christian emperors from Constantine forward.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

That is simply not factual.

For example the Roman Empire lost Control of much of the Western empire to the The Gallic Empire and of the Eastern empire to the Palmyrene Empire and suffer significant defeat by the Sassanid Empire of Persia in the 3rd century AD.

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Or was it Aquinas and the Gregory Popes? Aristotle’s Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Dark Ages

Aquinas integrated faith and reason so well for Western Civilization that it is hard to find the seams between the two.

Nonetheless there would no modern world or Western Science if the physical world around us had not been de-scaralized by the Gospels: Violence and the Sacred

And without the unprecedented investment into primary scientific research by the Western Church: The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 12:37 PM

again, its funny to claim that after 1000 years of dark ages while the church ruled supreme, suddenly, the christians took inspiration on ancient wisdom they allways possessed and triggered a scientific revolution. ah! what took them so long? 1000 years is a long time to be siting on such stuff revolutionary knowledge…

its quite obvious that science does not need religion to thrive. its very obvious also that once other cultures understood the philosophy behind science, they could do it themselves without discarding completely the christian culture where it originated from.
i mean budhist japanese or communist russians could very well do science too…

as for churches as solar observatories, lol! how efficient were those 1000 of church building were in producing any breakthrough in astronomy? galileo did more for astronomy in his short life that all those churches combined and even then the church did not liked his work.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM

That is simply not factual.

For example the Roman Empire lost Control of much of the Western empire to the The Gallic Empire and of the Eastern empire to the Palmyrene Empire and suffer significant defeat by the Sassanid Empire of Persia in the 3rd century AD.

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:04 PM

fact: rome was first sacked by barbarians in 410, 100 years after Constantine rule and 10 years after Theodosius rule.
the barbarian that sacked it was himself a arian christian named Alaric.
did not the “good” christian emperors that imposed christianity had time to regenerate the decaying empire and avoid its continuous humiliation by barbarians?
again, fact, the greatest destruction upon the roman empire happened under the rule of christian emperors. the few lost battles at the fringes of the empire would not take the empire down…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

you poor pathetic bankrupt reprobate

tom daschle concerned on May 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

i have seen this kind of historical apologetic before. its false. there is NO WAY, that a dark age lasting 1000 years from the 4th century to 15 century, while the church and the gospels reign supreme, can be spinned into a “Christianity saved civilization”. what you going to say? blame it on the devil? blame it on the faults of men of a corrupted catholic church?

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

First of all I do not maintain a sacralized view of history. Second your assertion that I claimed rom the 4th century to 15 century … the church and the gospels reign supreme? That is what is called a Strawman. Why? Because I argued something else.

In the 5th century Irish were primitive savage illiterate headhunters. By the 7th and 8th centuries Christian churchmen (and women) of Ireland were peers to the best intellectual talent of the Western and Eastern Worlds. By the 6th century the second largest library in the Western World belonged to the Western Pope (one book case of books) the largest was in Ravina (three book cases of books) and that of Ravina was soon lost. By the end of the 10th Century AD the Church and the See of Rome had instituted significant intellectual and scientific advances.

By the early 16th century the English Cisterians had invented and built the world’s first blast furnace …

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

correction

its quite obvious that science does not need religion to thrive. its very obvious also that once other cultures understood the philosophy behind science, they could do it themselves without discarding completely the christian culture where it originated from.
i mean budhist japanese or communist russians could very well do science too…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Dude, I don’t maintain a sacrilized view of history. It appears you might do so however. Do you?

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

First of all I do not maintain a sacralized view of history. Second your assertion that I claimed rom the 4th century to 15 century … the church and the gospels reign supreme? That is what is called a Strawman. Why? Because I argued something else.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I claim: from the 4 to 15 century, european society was mostly christian and christians dominated almost all intellectual activity
do you deny this?

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

The “mystery” is due in large part to the way many of these propositions are worded. The leftist ideologues always get way too pushy and ambitious. It’s not enough to have a “separate but equal” for gay marriage, it must be totally integrated or even better, be rubbed into the faces of the electorate. I’m thinking for example the California idea that they would remove “husband” and “wife” from the license and change it to “Party A” and “Party B”. Is that kind of crap really necessary? Not really. And if you do that, people get pissed and will rebel.

Pretty simple really.

Mr Galt on May 11, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Dude, I don’t maintain a sacrilized view of history. It appears you might do so however. Do you?

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

just because you say gibbons work is trash, does not make it it so, but what it matters? i am not quoting gibbon! i am giving you straight facts, like, the first sack of rome happened 100 years after Constantine and after christianity was imposed on the empire. I am not giving to you gibbon analysis of the reasons of the fall of the roman empire.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

its quite obvious that science does not need religion to thrive. its very obvious also that once other cultures understood the philosophy behind science, they could do it themselves without discarding completely the christian culture where it originated from.
i mean budhist japanese or communist russians could very well do science too… nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

.
I maintain that it is religion, archaic religion, that makes it neigh impossible to approach the physical world without imbuing it with irrational magical powers. Scientific research could advance only so far in per-Judaeo/Christian cultures. The Gospels demystified the external physical world. Then real object science could take place. Without the initial impact of the Gospels science more or less = magic as it does in the Islamic World today (where the world is understood to be under the supernatural influence of jinns and ‘modern’ science is viewed as controlling jinns)

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:34 PM

.
Your understanding the Fall of Rome is clearly derived from and constrained by Edward Gibbons nonetheless. Try reading the references I’ve provided for you. Maybe we can advance our conversation thereafter.

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:44 PM

its quite obvious that science does not need religion to thrive. its very obvious also that once other cultures understood the philosophy behind science, they could do it themselves without discarding completely the christian culture where it originated from.
i mean budhist japanese or communist russians could very well do science too… nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:25 PM

.
I maintain that it is religion, archaic religion, that makes it neigh impossible to approach the physical world without imbuing it with irrational magical and potentially hostile powers. Scientific research could advance only so far in pre-Judaeo/Christian cultures. The Gospels demystified the external physical world. Then real object science could take place. Without the initial impact of the Gospels science more or less = magic as it does in the Islamic World today (where the world is understood to be under the supernatural influence of jinns and ‘modern’ science is viewed as controlling jinns)

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

I maintain that it is religion, archaic religion, that makes it neigh impossible to approach the physical world without imbuing it with irrational magical powers. Scientific research could advance only so far in per-Judaeo/Christian cultures. The Gospels demystified the external physical world. Then real object science could take place. Without the initial impact of the Gospels science more or less = magic as it does in the Islamic World today (where the world is understood to be under the supernatural influence of jinns and ‘modern’ science is viewed as controlling jinns)

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

what? the gospels talk all the time about magical interventions by god,jesus, angels and devils on the physical world.

but, what really matters, is the believe structure of Christians during and after the middle ages. they were very superstitious! praying for divine(magical) intervention from god and saints on their problems and blaming the devil when things went wrong.

your assertion is ridiculous!

it was more important to the development of science the advent of protestantism and the highly critical and rational view of Christianity it generated. this freedom to ponder and discuss theological issues free from the diktats of rome created an racional tradition that later influenced scientific thinking but also ended up being used to criticize the bible and Christianity itself.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Your understanding the Fall of Rome is clearly derived from and constrained by Edward Gibbons nonetheless. Try reading the references I’ve provided for you. Maybe we can advance our conversation thereafter.

As I said, it is two centuries passed the time for copies of Edward Gibbon to have gone into the remainder bin.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 1:44 PM

look, i will make it very simple:
I claim: from the 4 to 15 century, european society was mostly christian and christians dominated almost all intellectual activity
do you deny this?

if christianity was so wondrous for the advent of science, why those 1000 years were so poor in any scientific developments?

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM

As Columbia Political Science professor Jeffrey Lax wrote in 2009: “If policy were set by state-by-state majorities of those 65 or older, none would allow same-sex marriage. If policy were set by those under 30, only 12 states would not allow-same-sex marriage.”

Q: I see, well how do you come to that conclusion, Prof Lax?
A: Well… I took a poll.

/circ logic

OccamsRazor on May 11, 2012 at 2:48 PM

if christianity was so wondrous for the advent of science, why those 1000 years were so poor in any scientific developments?
nathor on May 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Because during this period, the technological and scientific ground work was laid for the Renaissance. Without any unifying government, the modern university was invented (between 400-800), by 1200s Oxford was founded, libraries re-constituted, and knowledge was transferred. Most universities in Europe were founded during this period under the auspices of the Catholic Church. This idea that the medieval period was some sort of scientific dark age is laughable and shows a misunderstanding of reality.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Oh, and the oldest continiually active observatory is owned and operated by the Vatican. Galileo got busted because he didn’t have proof at the time for his theories but still claimed they were true. And spent his confinement in his villa in Tuscany, when he could have become a protestant and thus free of the Church’s authority. But he didn’t. And lets not forget that many of the features on the Moon are named in honor of Catholic (especially Jesuit) priests in recognition for their contributions to mathmatics and physics.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

And let’s not forget Marco Polo did his great travels in the late 1200s/early 1300s adding significantly to the knowledge of the west.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Nothing you have said is remotely true.

tom daschle concerned on May 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Because during this period, the technological and scientific ground work was laid for the Renaissance. Without any unifying government, the modern university was invented (between 400-800), by 1200s Oxford was founded, libraries re-constituted, and knowledge was transferred. Most universities in Europe were founded during this period under the auspices of the Catholic Church. This idea that the medieval period was some sort of scientific dark age is laughable and shows a misunderstanding of reality.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 2:50 PM

I really fail to recollect are serious scientific breakthrough during those 1000 years. people don’t usually label that period as the dark ages for nothing…

but the its really laughable is the notion it took 1000 years for those universities to actually produce practical scientific revelations. and also, to note, that the period before, during the apogee of the roman empire, it was far more intellectually productive than those 1000 years later. what was wrong? the christian society of the middle ages could not even copy the technology of the “decadent” period before it and it took some monks to rediscover that knowledge 1000 years after?! what are we to be thankful for exactly? thanks for ignoring crucial knowledge for so long? i mean, its 1000 years!!!

this historical spin of christian apologists really baffles me.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

I do surveys in my work, and I know the strong impact of social desirability. There are many, many things that are said on surveys that individuals will state to avoid being stigmatized or derided. In the day of vanishing privacy, where disagreeing with the status quo leads to being email blasted or targeted by some group, the effect is greater than ever.

The last bastion of personal privacy and freedom left for many of us is the voting booth, where left alone with your thoughts you can make your personal convictions count. For from being an isolated incident, as privacy melts to nothing, expect more of these “suprises”.

itsspideyman on May 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Oh, and the oldest continiually active observatory is owned and operated by the Vatican. Galileo got busted because he didn’t have proof at the time for his theories but still claimed they were true. And spent his confinement in his villa in Tuscany, when he could have become a protestant and thus free of the Church’s authority. But he didn’t. And lets not forget that many of the features on the Moon are named in honor of Catholic (especially Jesuit) priests in recognition for their contributions to mathmatics and physics.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

lol, in your own words you said that the church busted Galileo for presenting a theory for which he had no evidence for!!! lol! that how you foster science?!?! imagine if Eisenstein had to prove his relativity theory before presenting it or else! lol!
since when an environment where any freethough and dissenting idea needs to be controlled leads to scientific development?

what is the point of having an observatory if you will be afraid of putting out any hypothesis without evidence you get from it? that is not science!!

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

And let’s not forget Marco Polo did his great travels in the late 1200s/early 1300s adding significantly to the knowledge of the west.

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 3:02 PM

the impact of such travel when the free flow of information was so restricted and controlled would be minimal. only with the printing press that disabled the capability of the church to censor books and information that a true revolution could happen.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Nothing you have said is remotely true.

tom daschle concerned on May 11, 2012 at 3:07 PM

lol, i present very simple facts, say for example, 100 years after the first christian roman emperor and after Christianity was imposed as the state religion through out the empire, did the rome finally fell to a barbarian horde of visigoths led by alaric that was himself of an opposing sect of arians christian(non trinitarian)

is this not true?!
please report to the catholic encyclopedia that they have an error in an article!
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07460a.htm

lol!

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

the article is self explanatory…

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

That “article” – some random guy’s incorrect perspective on libertarianism – was a pile of crap. If you knew the bedrock principle of libertarianism, you would know this.

Dante on May 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Hey nathor something pretty important happened between the 4th and 5th centuries that undermines the entire notion of “Christian Rule.”

Even heard of Mohammed? The Moors got all the way to Spain.

BKennedy on May 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

That should be 4th and 15th, not 4th and 5th. Islam didn’t start it’s war against civilization until the 7th and 8th centuries.

BKennedy on May 11, 2012 at 4:28 PM

Any other theories?

A very simple one: the polls show support for same-sex marriage because they are designed to do exactly that. Elections are harder to fudge — though it’s not like the Democrats don’t do their best anyway — so the answer is more honest.

tom on May 11, 2012 at 6:14 PM

Rome accepted the word of the Gospels around 313. It fell about a century later. Europe toiled for over a thousand years with faith in the God of the Gospels and inferior technology.

dedalus on May 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM

In 313 AD approximately 1/3rd of Eastern Empire was Christian. In 313 Christianity was legalized. A Pagan majority precised in the East though the 4th Century. “The Eastern Roman Empire was going from strength to strength and continued until the Fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453AD” during the reign of Emperor Constantine XI. He threw off his imperial robes and enter the final battle and died as a common soldier after the Turks breached of the city gates.

Christians made up 10% or less of the European Western Roman Empire in 313 AD and during the 4th century. The Western Empire fell in 476AD. Emperor Justinian the Great recovered much of the Western Empire including Rome itself during the 6th century.

Your grasp of the history of Rome is weak.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I claim: from the 4 to 15 century, european society was mostly christian and christians dominated almost all intellectual activity
do you deny this?

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Yes because you are wrong, and not just wrong you are in substantial error.

Christians made up 10% or less of the European Western Roman Empire in 313 AD and during the 4th century. The Western Empire fell in 476AD. Emperor Justinian the Great recovered much of the Western Empire including Rome itself during the 6th century. Those Western regions which Justinian did not recover were largely de-Christianized. The missionary work Christianizing Western Europe then proceeded from Catholic Ireland and from Rome under Pope Gregory the Great begin at the very end of the 6th century but largely starting in the 7th century. It took centuries before Christianity became the dominant religion in Western Europe.

The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 6:38 PM

this historical spin of christian apologists really baffles me.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 3:17 PM

That’s because you have a poor grasp of the history of these periods. I’ve already hazarded a guess that you are stuck on Edward Gibbon’s history of the Fall of Rome.

The Not-So-Dark Ages
by Richard Hodges
A number of early twentieth-century historians, however, saw the age quite differently. Marc Bloch of the University of Strasbourg and Henri Pirenne of the University of Louvain reassessed the end of the Roman world, emphasizing that in the twilight of the empire the foundations of modern European culture were laid. While original texts, mostly chronicles charting early monastic histories, described brutish living conditions of the peasants, these scholars, studying land charters and administrative records, showed that the early Middle Ages (A.D. 500-1250) were anything but primitive. They stressed the complex social organization of Europe’s new villages, reflected in planned settlements with manors and peasant dwellings, and the far-reaching effects of a new class of merchant-adventurers who were prepared to travel long distances and cross tribal borders linking Christian lands with pagan cultures to the north and east.

RICHARD HODGES, professor of archaeology in the School of World Art Studies and Museology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, excavates at San Vincenzo al Volturno, Italy, and Butrint, Albania. He was formerly director of the British School at Rome.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Nathor,
You have serious issues.

kingsjester on May 11, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Could it be that people support Civil Unions while refusing to have their religious institutions invaded by liberal doctrines? HMMM! Maybe not.

DannoJyd on May 11, 2012 at 7:30 PM

kingsjester on May 11, 2012 at 6:57 PM

.

During the 19th century some German philosopher or another worried that there was too much Enlightenment in the World and Universities dedicated to “Endarkment” would be required to provide balance.

I’d say of those Universities of “Endarkment’? Well, they are here!

During the sixth century Byzantium had become one of the highest civilizations known in the world until that time. The science of some of Byzantium’s neo-Platonists began to approach that of the modern era. It produced world class women scholars too. Some say the Chinese civilization was higher yet. But the highest civilization of that period was the Christian Nestorian Civilization of which the tiny Chaldean Catholic Church is but a small surviving memory.

The modern endarkment is so sad…

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Iblis on May 11, 2012 at 2:56 PM

You’ve got to be careful and spell it all out for them. The Church told Galileo that he could teach his theory as a hypothesis unless he could provide scientific proof for his theory that that sun was the center of the Universe. Galileo persisted claiming that his theory was fact. The church called him on it. Galileo could produce no scientific proof. So the Church ordered him to stop teaching his theory as fact. The Church in fact went on to teach it as a scientific hypothesis for centuries.

Ironically Galileo’s theory remained unproven until the middle 19th century when it proven by stellar parallax.

Double ironically it was disproved scientifically during the 20th century because Galileo’s theory was in fact wrong. The Sun is not the Center of the Universe.

Triple ironically the real center of sort of the Universe was proposed by a Catholic priest in the 1920s: he proposed the Big Bang Theory.

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM

i have seen this kind of historical apologetic before. its false. there is NO WAY, that a dark age lasting 1000 years from the 4th century to 15 century, while the church and the gospels reign supreme, can be spinned into a “Christianity saved civilization”. what you going to say? blame it on the devil? blame it on the faults of men of a corrupted catholic church?

its also historical facts that the most serious declines happened under the rule of christian emperors from Constantine forward.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Every historical civilization has fallen into darkness. Only one has come back from the dead: the Catholic empire of Rome. During the thousand years when there was no Motel Six, the places “keeping the light on for ya” were the Catholic monasteries quietly accumulating and publishing knowledge.

I guess you can say two civilizations have come back from their dark ages. The second would be Israel in 1948.

joe_doufu on May 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM

i have seen this kind of historical apologetic before. its false. there is NO WAY, that a dark age lasting 1000 years from the 4th century to 15 century, while the church and the gospels reign supreme, can be spinned into a “Christianity saved civilization”. what you going to say? blame it on the devil? blame it on the faults of men of a corrupted catholic church?

its also historical facts that the most serious declines happened under the rule of christian emperors from Constantine forward.

nathor on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

… I guess you can say two civilizations have come back from their dark ages. The second would be Israel in 1948.

joe_doufu on May 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Three:
Sumer, the Sumerian civilization came back too. Abraham the Patriarch was a Sumerian btw …

.

Hello Joe:

Some of the general American public are pretty clueless.

I’ll quote Wikipedia (because it is easily copied):

The Christianization of Scandinavia took place between the 8th and the 12th centuries. The realms of Scandinavia proper, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, established their own Archdioceses, responsible directly to the Pope, in 1104, 1154 and 1164, respectively. The conversion to Christianity of the Scandinavian people required more time, since it took additional efforts to establish a network of churches. The Samis remained unconverted until the 18th century.

Although the Scandinavians became nominally Christian, it took considerably longer for actual Christian beliefs to establish themselves among the people. The old indigenous traditions that had provided security and structure were challenged by ideas that were unfamiliar, such as original sin, the Incarnation, and the Trinity. Archaeological excavations of burial sites on the island of Lovön near modern-day Stockholm have shown that the actual Christianization of the people was very slow and took at least 150–200 years, and this was a very central location in the Swedish kingdom. Thirteenth-century runic inscriptions from the merchant town of Bergen in Norway show little Christian influence, and one of them appeals to a Valkyrie

Note that actual diocesan structure was not even established in Denmark, Norway and Sweden until the 12th century!

And as “Christianization of the people was very slow and took at least 150–200 years” we can expect that Northern Europe was not Christianized” until the 13th or 14th centuries, which is awfully close to the end of Na-Thor’s 1000 year span (1,100 years actually) ending in the 15th Century and that does not account for the general cruel devastation wrought by the Pagan Viking breakout.

The first (Viking) raids in the British Isles was in 793, when the great (Irish) monastery at Lindisfarne was sacked. In Ireland, Rathlin island monastery was burned by the Vikings in 795. Other prominent monasteries that were attacked included Holmpatrick, Inishmurray, Inishbofin and Sceilg Mhicil. Sceilg Mhicil’s abbot died of thirst as a Viking prisoner. St Colum Cille’s great monastery at Iona was burned in 802.

It took a similar time, two centuries for Christianity to become well established in Ireland before the Viking breakout.

Mike OMalley on May 12, 2012 at 7:54 AM

Hey nathor something pretty important happened between the 4th and 5th centuries that undermines the entire notion of “Christian Rule.”

Even heard of Mohammed? The Moors got all the way to Spain.

BKennedy on May 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

mohammad died in the 7th century (632), well after the dark ages already started…

nathor on May 12, 2012 at 5:04 PM

You’ve got to be careful and spell it all out for them…

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM

this is what is all about, how to spin it, to make an apology and try to make christian influence something it was not.

nathor on May 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

You’ve got to be careful and spell it all out for them…

Mike OMalley on May 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM

this is what is all about, how to spin it, to make an apology and try to make christian influence something it was not.

nathor on May 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM

.

No doubt any fair minded intelligent reader can read my concise factual response of May 11, 2012 at 8:10 PM and establish that you Na-Thor are not acting in good faith. Further it seems fair to say that your response of May 12, 2012 at 5:07 PM was a dishonest accusation.

.

But I will say what your part in this is about Mr. Na-Thor. It is about the Dunning & Krueger Effect and why you, Mr. Na-Thor, continue to be so dreadfully ill informed.

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. As Kruger and Dunning conclude, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others”…

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1) tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
2) fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
3) fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
4) recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

Somehow either you failed during your stay in the American public school systems and/or those public schools you attended failed you.

See point #4 above. It is possible to help you. But you will have to do some serious homework. If you review my many responses in this thread you will find, in effect, assigned readings for you which can help. But you will have to do your part and read these resources cover to cover. If you fail to do so you may well continue evidence illusory superiority combined with cognitive incompetence.

Mike OMalley on May 14, 2012 at 8:16 PM

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