December 21, 2012
Amid the Mayan Calendar Hysteria, Some Interesting 'End Times' Research
Americans polled on whether recent natural disasters are evidence of biblical end times or global warming.
Amid all the coverage of today's end-of-the-world gatherings (pegged to a misinterpretation of the ancient Mayan calendar) in Mexico, Argentina, France, Italy, Germany, Serbia, Russia, and—of all places—Iowa, the Deseret News rounded up recent research on end times beliefs among Americans today.
According to a December survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, nearly 4 in 10 Americans believe recent natural disasters are evidence of the Bible's "end times," including 65 percent of white evangelical Protestants. By contrast, 50 percent of white evangelical Protestants connect such weather to global warming. (Yes, some overlap.)
Other highlights from Religion News Service's write-up of the survey:
15 percent of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted in the Book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetimes.
College graduates are four times less likely to believe the world will end in their lifetimes than those with a high school education or less.
About three in 10 white evangelicals (29 percent) and minority Christians (27 percent) believe the end of the world will occur in their lifetimes. That belief is held by only 10 percent of Catholics, 8 percent of white mainline Protestants and 7 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans.