Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rapture: This Time I Mean It

As mentioned in my last post, one survey appeared to find much lower numbers believing in the "Rapture."  I checked the codebook, and found that 1=Will happen; 2=won't happen; 3=world won't end (volunteered).  In the data, 48% chose 1, 38% chose 2, and 1% chose 3.  13% chose 0--what that means is not described in the codebook.  So it appears that the figures reported in the last post were based on taking the first actual answer (0) as the first listed answer (1), the second actual (1) as the second listed (2), etc.  (The figures I report here involve actual number of people--the percentages reported by the Roper Center probably used sampling weights, so they're a little different).

Just to check, I broke down the answers by responses to another question, about whether the Bible is the literal word of God, divinely inspired but not to be taken literally, or a book written by men and not the word of God.The results:
                 0        1      2     3        Total             
Not sure        35%      22%    41%    2%       100%
Literal         10%      76%    14%    1%       100%
Inspired        15%      44%    40%    1%       100%
Just men        10%      10%    78%    2%       100%

So it's pretty clear that 1 does correspond to "yes," and the undocumented 0 value probably designates "don't know."  Like the other surveys mentioned last time, this one finds that about half of contemporary American adults say they believe in the Rapture.  So never mind the clever hypotheses in the last post.

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