A Country where no-one under 25 believes the biblical creation story.
Well, why would they?
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.
Interesting - but Iceland has less population than the capital of Wales (Cardiff) so maybe only representative of Nordic countries?
Since it was the Humanist organization that asked the question, they probably got the answers they wanted. It should have been interesting to see the questions, as Big Bang and God need not be mutually excluding.
Iceland in other connections is told to be the country having the largest percentage of people on Earth believeing in ghosts, fairies, ghouls etc. It puzzles me, and I so would like to have someone trying to explain how one can believe in an afterlife of souls but not believe in a creator god? Do people believe that an immerial soul somehow evolved? I am not trying to make fun of any idea or perception, so it is in fact a serious question - how can one (given that one believes in ghosts etc.) account for an immaterial afterlife without there being a god?
Well, the Beer Fairy is real enough.
slimboyfat : They don't believe in creation, but around 50% believe in elves.
Thank you, slimboyfat, for posting that addition to the first story. possibly we may be seeing that there is an age divide in Iceland in connection with superstitious beliefs. Older people accept superstition, younger people may not.
Another perspective: In the BBC report you posted Professor of Folklore Adalheidur Gudmundsdottir is quoted as saying:
"You can't live in this landscape and not believe in a force greater than you,"
Faced with trying to explain natural phenonema ancient man explained it by attribution to unseen forces. Even somewhat more sophisticated humans used similar processes of explanation - the Jews,who saw themselves as having the one true god as 'their' god, were at a loss to explain why their one true god did not protect them from subjection to more powerful states, so went on to invent 'prophecies' that foretold their eventual domination of the world.
The human mind can be very imaginative.
Iceland has 1/3 the population of the little county I live in in Florida. Pinellas county.
It would not be very hard to make them all believe in whatever they want to make them believe in. There are not very many of them.
For every Adalheidur Gudmundsdottir and eccentrics such as Bjork (incidentally, also a Gudmundsdottir) there must be many rational Icelanders.
Iceland is very advanced as a society having a high standard of living compared to the United States and a highly competent educational system.
About the elves thing... either Icelanders are all superstitious, or else they all simply know Bjork personally.