But like flamingos at a deadly Andean lagoon, or red flat bark beetles living in Alaskan winters below -72°F, there's surprisingly robust life where you'd least expect to find it. If 2.1 percent of the U.S. is non-Christian biblical literalists, that's about 6.7 million people—the population of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. And if nearly half of non-Christians think the Bible is the word of God, "literal," "inspired," or otherwise, it may have profound implications for evangelism, outreach, interfaith cooperation, social justice advocacy, and a host of other issues that are often divided too neatly in public discussions.
Either that, or some awkward survey questions really need a makeover.
Ted Olsen is CT's managing editor for news and online journalism. Ruth Moon is a freelance reporter and contributing editor for CT. She has a master's degree in political science and is finishing another in communication. (She can actually do regression analysis but this isn't an academic journal so we just ran some simple crosstabulations.)