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Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter
In 140 characters or less, Christians seem to be spreading love and joy more than atheists.
June 28th, 2013
08:02 AM ET

Christians happier than atheists – on Twitter

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='JRavitzCNN']

(CNN) - Christians tweet from the heart, atheists from the head, according to a new study.

The study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tapped Twitter as a research tool and compared the messages of Christians and atheists.

The conclusion: When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts.

Two doctoral students in social psychology and an adviser analyzed the casual language of nearly 2 million tweets from more than 16,000 active users to come up with their findings, which were published in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The team identified subjects by finding Twitter users who followed the feeds of five prominent public figures. In the case of Christians, those select five were Pope Benedict XVI, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, conservative political commentator Dinesh D’Souza and Joyce Meyer, an evangelical author and speaker.

In the case of atheists, the five followed feeds included Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Monica Salcedo and Michael Shermer - the latter two respectively being a self-described “fiercely outspoken atheist” blogger, and a science writer who founded The Skeptics Society.

With the help of a text analysis program, the researchers found that Christians tweet with higher frequency words reflecting positive emotions, social relationships and an intuitive style of thinking – the sort that’s gut-driven.

This isn’t to say that atheists don’t use these words, too, but they out-tweet Christians when it comes to analytic words and words associated with negative emotions.

Christians, they found, are more likely to use words like “love,” “happy” and “great”; “family,” “friend” and “team.”

Atheists win when it comes to using words like “bad,” “wrong,” and “awful” or “think,” “reason” and “question,” said Ryan Ritter, one of the students behind the study.

While not perfect – for example, this sort of word examination can’t account for sarcasm – word choices, Ritter and his colleagues argue, reflect something about a person’s mindset.

An analytical thinker (atheist) is more likely to be skeptical or critical, for example, whereas an intuitive thinker (Christian) is guided by emotion and certainty.

Based on previous studies cited by these researchers, analytical thinking may "diminish the capacity for optimism and positive self-illusions that typify good mental health."

Likewise, mentions of social connections, which they say are often provided in a “tight-knit moral community,” suggest stronger relationships among Christian tweeters and are, they add, often an indicator of happiness.

The takeaway, Ritter wrote in an e-mail, is “not that religion is associated with more happiness, per se, but why?”

“If we can understand the factors that facilitate happiness (e.g., increased social support), ideally we can use these insights to increase well-being for believers and nonbelievers alike,” Ritter said.

But the Twitter study doesn’t fly with everyone.

After reading an article about the study on Pacific Standard magazine’s website, Richard Wade, an advice columnist for the blog Friendly Atheist, called it “useless and misleading” and based on “sloppy research.”

He wrote, “The take away for most lay people is ‘Atheists are unhappy people.’ … How do you quantify ‘happiness’? How do you quantify ‘analytical thinking’?”

“Even in their acknowledgments about the possible biases in their study, the authors still use absurd and meaningless terms like ‘militant atheist,’” he added. “This study suffers from the same negative stereotypes about atheists that most of society has, and it has simply reinforced that prejudice with more muddled thinking.”

Ritter, who happens to describe himself as a happy atheist, said in hindsight he wishes they hadn’t used the word “militant” and that no ill will was intended. They simply wanted to describe those who have “extremely negative attitudes” when it comes to religion.

“I am a friend of the atheists! My response to Richard would be that he should apply the ‘principle of charity’ when interpreting other’s research (i.e., that it’s possible we’re NOT incompetent,” he wrote in an e-mail.

“This is not an assumption; this is the pattern we observed in the data.”

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • Technology

soundoff (1,317 Responses)
  1. Are

    Previous Popes knowingly allowed their priests to molest boys/girls. Are those Popes and the pedophile priests in heaven because they believe in John 3:16?

    June 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • I dunno

      I don't know..but my understanding of it all was as long as you convince yourself of several impossibilities...then your good to go.

      June 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  2. bostontola

    This makes me happy: By creating a small electrical field that removes salts from seawater, chemists have introduced a new method for the desalination of seawater that consumes less energy and is dramatically simpler than conventional techniques. The new method requires so little energy that it can run on a store-bought battery.

    Thanks science.

    June 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Commercial grade installations in coastal areas can pump fresh water to aquifers inland, lowering rising sea levels and alleviating drought areas. The increase in available surface areas of water will increase the evaporation cycle and cool ambient temperatures. I can't wait for Al Gore to start investing his money in this technology.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill

      Why are you interested (hopeful) of where Gore invests?

      June 28, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  3. bostontola

    This makes me happy: A new class of experimental drug-like small molecules is showing great promise in targeting a brain enzyme to prevent early memory loss in Alzheimer's disease.

    Thanks science.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  4. salam dawood

    religion never makes people happy.. it makes them hate each other and even kill each other (read the History if you doubt me) and just because they use the word (love) a lot doesn't mean they're happy!!! they say God (loves) us but if you don't belive in him then you'll be sent to (hell) and you will burn forever !!!

    June 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  5. BowieBadu

    You know what they say... ignorance is bliss.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      yes, ignorance is hinduism, and atheism, self center ism is a curse.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • My Picture Of Muhammad

      8=>(_|_)

      June 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • BowieBadu

      Why don't you feed the poor... as directed. They, the prophets of the sky wizard, have been telling you for thousands of years to feed the poor, but none of you listen. If, religion worked, or was needed, you would think that there would be no more poor people... or at least not so many... as proof to it's success. A testimonial, if you will, to how well we need it in our lives. But, alas, there is billions of "unfortunate souls" out there... needing your help, not judgement... so... my self-centered suggestion is... start over, read the directions with an open heart... feed the poor.

      Feed the poor.

      Feed the poor.

      Feed the poor.

      Repeat until there is no more.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Silly You

      Silly you Bowie. The GOP/self called "religious" types, don't believe in following god's word.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  6. bostontola

    A full life experience goes beyond happiness. My kids were very happy as toddlers when all was provided and they were kept safe from bad events and ideas. When they got older and self reliant, they may not be as happy but they are more fully satisfied that they see the world as it is and deal with it. I have no desire to be fat, dumb, and happy.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  7. GodFreeNow

    Happiness and sadness are 2 sides of the same coin, separated only by the illusion of time.

    Happiness is a temporary state of emotional expression. Sometimes I am happy, sometimes I am not. Happiness is never my chief pursuit because it is a lot like trying to catch bubbles. As soon as you come into contact with them, they pop. I can tell you though as an atheist I have found peace and joy—and they are permanent and unchanging experiences regardless of emotional responses to change.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  8. Oh Happy Day!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=I30njzbERM0

    June 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Athy

      How cute! A little Sunday school ditty.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Colton

      That 'happiness' from non believers is infectious!

      June 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Don't Worry Be Happy

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-diB65scQU?feature=player_embedded&w=640&h=360%5D

      June 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • Don't Worry Be Happy

      dang it... embed didn't work. Oh well, you get the idea...

      June 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  9. Waking up

    Loving God can make you feel happy, yes. But it is sad sometimes when others don't love God too.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Athy

      There is no god. How can one love a nonexistent entity?

      June 28, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      I can assure you that you will find more comfort in loving your fellow man, than you will an idea.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Mirosal

      You don't need any kind of deity to live a full, rich, fulfilling happy life.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Flash

      Waking up,

      That you can love that reprehensible, monstrous "God" character from The Bible is preposterous.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • bostontola

      Athy,
      My kids loved their blankey, inanimate but it did exist.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Waking up

      God is extremely smart, sees things how they are, and how they will be. He is easy to fall in love with.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  10. Reality

    Beyond the "twittering":

    Only for the new members of this blog:

    AND THE INFAMOUS ANGELIC CONS CONTINUE TO WREAK STUPIDITY UPON THE WORLD

    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    Some added references to "tink-erbells".

    newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

    "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
    Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

    "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

    And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

    "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

    "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

    "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

    For added information see the review at:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel
    "The prophet Ezekiel described an incredible vision of cherubim angels in Ezekiel chapter 10 of the Torah and the Bible, mentioning that the angels’ wings were “completely full of eyes” (verse 12) and “under their wings was what looked like human hands” (verse 21). The angels each used their wings and something “like a wheel intersecting a wheel” (verse 10) that “sparkled like topaz” (verse 9) to move around."

    For a rather extensive review of angel wings, see http://angels.about.com/od/AngelBasics/a/Angels-Wings-And-Things.htm

    June 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  11. Rusty Yates

    And a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

    June 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • ME II

      ... until morning.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      every hindu drunk love to hug a toilet in the morning and does his thing on floor. waht a hindu stupid way to awake up, rather be a hindu, dead.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • GodFreeNow

      well said.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • HINDU FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTlTUTION

      every muslim drunk love to hug a toilet in the morning and does his thing on floor. waht a muslim stupid way to awake up, rather be a muslim, dead.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @lionlylamb –

      There are advantages, and disadvantages, to both methods of farming; however, one statement you made is unsupported by evidence –

      -–"Growing more yields of plant foods thru non-organic means lowers the nutritional value of food crops."

      Even the organic foods industry will not make this assertion. If you have authoritative evidence to the contrary, I'd be interested in a citation.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
  12. bostontola

    This makes me happy: a research project has identified a gene that gives wheat plants resistance to one of the most deadly races of the wheat stem rust pathogen, Ug99. The discovery may help scientists develop new wheat varieties and strategies that protect the world's food crops against the wheat stem rust pathogen.

    Thanks science.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Non-organic ways in which to alter any food crop's genetic makeup lowers such food crops' vitality toward being a highly nutritious food source.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • bostontola

      ll,
      Your assertion is not true in general. Is there some reason you think higher yield crops are not a benefit to man?

      June 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Boston to LA,

      My father was an organic planter. Back when I was a toddler, he told me that it was more nutritious to grow plants with natural fertilizers such as other plants than to use non-organic fertilizers. Growing more yields of plant foods thru non-organic means lowers the nutritional value of food crops. Big business farmers only care about yields and care little about the nutritious values.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • ME II

      @lionlylamb,
      Are you seriously using what your father told you as a source of evidence?

      June 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Unlike chemical fertilizers, organic material does more than provide organic nutrients. It also improves the soil structure, or tilth, and increases its ability to hold both water and nutrients. As microorganisms in the soil break down the organic material into an inorganic soluble form, a slow release of nutrients is provided over a longer period of time. This is probably a healthier situation for plant growth in that an oversupply of a nutrient such as nitrogen can lead to lush, succulent tissue growth which is more vulnerable to fungal and bacterial entry, more appealing to some insects, and more prone to stress injury from heat, cold, or drought.

      With organic fertilizers a buildup of toxicity in the soil is unlikely, as long as the amount of organic material incorporated into the soil is fully decomposed.

      On the other side of the coin, there are some disadvantages to the use of organic fertilizers. As noted above, they are not immediately available to the plants. The manure which is applied to a vegetable garden in the spring may not be broken down into organic form by soil bacteria (and therefore available to plants) until midsummer. If organic nutrients have been added to soils continually on an ongoing basis, this may not be a problem. However, if you are just beginning to rely solely on organic material as a nutrient source, your garden may experience an initial nutrient deficiency until the system is in place.

      The amount of nutrients and the exact type of elements available from a given amount of manure, compost or other inorganic fertilizer can only be guessed at. It is dependent on such factors as: the age of the manure or compost; its origin (chicken, cow, horse, sawdust, garden residue, grass clippings); and weather conditions such as temperature and rainfall. It is therefore a less exact way of providing for a plant's nutritional needs. With inorganic fertilizers, the type and amount of any given element in the fertilizer formulation are known.

      Organic fertilizers can be more expensive and less accessible than inorganic fertilizers. I think that is what stops some people from going organic.

      ....Thanks to Gardenguy for sharing!

      http://www.bostongardens.com/bostongardens/detail.cfm?id=1186

      June 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • fred

      ME II
      Back when I was a toddler those were the known facts. Lionly is correct for any atheist that demands there are no absolutes and truth is relative.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • bostontola

      ll,
      There are benefits of organic farming, maximizing nutrition per acre isn't one of them. This new finding along with thousands of others have and will produce much more food for people than organic. Organic will continue for the rich people.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @lionlylamb –

      There are advantages, and disadvantages, to both methods of farming; however, one statement you made is unsupported by evidence –

      -–"Growing more yields of plant foods thru non-organic means lowers the nutritional value of food crops."

      Even the organic foods industry will not make this assertion. If you have authoritative evidence to the contrary, I'd be interested in a citation.
      ...

      June 28, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      ME II,

      My father was a small crop farmer in that he grew many various plants within a small field. God, how I miss the tastes of organically grown food!

      June 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      This factsheet is a summary of an article published in "Coronary and Diabetic Care in the UK 2004" by the Association of Primary Care Groups and Trusts (UK). It was written by James Cleeton, Policy Projects Co-ordinator at the Soil Association.

      The article concluded that a predominantly organic diet:

      – reduces the amount of toxic chemicals ingested;

      – totally avoids GMOs [genetically modified organisms];

      – reduces the amount of food additives and colourings;

      – increases the amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, EFAs [essential fatty acids] and antioxidants consumed;

      – appears to have the potential to lower the incidence of common conditions such as cancer, coronary heart disease, allergies and hyperactivity in children.

      Copied from; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/10587.php

      June 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @lionlylamb – "how I miss the tastes of organically grown food!"

      What you actually miss is the taste of table crops that are allowed to complete their optimum growth cycle and then consumed almost immediately after harvesting, before their quality starts to degrade (this has nothing to do with the crops being "organic").

      Just an aside – when I was young, my father grew hydroponic tomatoes nourished with nothing but municipal water and jugs of chemicals formulated in a laboratory...and those tomatoes were AMAZING.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • bostontola

      ll,
      If people followed the organic practices you show, millions would die of hunger around the world.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @lionlylamb –

      reduces the amount of toxic chemicals ingested; ... True in the U.S., but not necessarily in other countries.

      totally avoids GMOs [genetically modified organisms ... True in the U.S., but not necessarily in other countries.

      reduces the amount of food additives and colourings; ... True in the U.S., but not necessarily in other countries.

      increases the amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, EFAs [essential fatty acids] and antioxidants consumed; ...Interesting references in the article you cited; I'll need to do some more research.

      appears to have the potential to lower the incidence of common conditions such as cancer, coronary heart disease, allergies and hyperactivity in children. ... At this point, this is speculative and is not supported by the probability of the evidence.

      Thanks for the citation.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • ME II

      I think there is a lot of confusion and conflation here between organic farming, organic labeled food, non-GMO food., and vine-ripened food.

      "Non-organic ways in which to alter any food crop's genetic makeup lowers such food crops' vitality toward being a highly nutritious food source."

      This first comment about GMO food being inherently less nutritious (assuming that is what @lionlylamb actually meant), seems baseless on its face, considering that a potential modifications could be so minor as to have no impact on nutritional value at all.

      Second, my comment actually had nothing to do with the validity of the claim but was simply saying that 'my dad said so' was a laughable source to reference, which I still maintain as laughable.

      June 28, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  13. Word Counts

    Looks like this study has made a foray into the field of 'analysis' by using Twitter word patterns.

    Awesome! The outcome of this analysis is what was expected anyways! 🙂

    June 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • 360

      "Formula for joy: Read the good news (Bible) every morning, Pray a prayer of victory in the car, fellowship with joyful poeple!"

      –Joel Osteen

      June 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • bostontola

      360,
      The bible has news in it? I thought it was filled with timeless wisdom.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      book of hindu Mithraism savior ism bible violates truth absolute 360* GOD, but divides truth absolute GOD, foundation of American consti tution by hindu atheism,, criminal self center ism of hindu Swamis, crook goons of hindu dark ages, A book to be banished, not preserved for good of humanity.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • HINDU FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTlTUTION

      book of muslim Mithraism savior ism bible violates truth absolute 360* GOD, but divides truth absolute GOD, foundation of American consti tution by muslim atheism,, criminal self center ism of muslim Swamis, crook goons of muslim dark ages, A book to be banished, not preserved for good of humanity.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  14. sam

    Does this also go with the study that was done re: which states had the most hate speech on Twitter? Mostly red states, it turns out.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      This is just really bad research methodology.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  15. AverageJoe76

    Being 'analytical' involves using information even when it doesn't suit your beliefs or assumptions. This can cause an individual some unhappiness at first. Take 'death', for instance. At first, my take on death was fairly ominous [like most people coming to grips with it's reality]. It's still an 'unknown', but I'm more at ease of being part of a bigger process. Not nessessarily going somewhere in an afterlife. I found honor in being the product of exploding stars. Now that the viel of religion has been lifted, I can see so much more to the world. With knowledge, I have bigger questions, and I'm in greater awe of this reality.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      I just love the ideologies around godliness valuations. Godlessness is emptiness and void of the spiritual essences needed for one to become a soulfully spiritual wholesomeness!

      June 28, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      One of the problems with this research is that the only atheists who would bother to follow atheists online those for whom atheism is a big deal, possibly with a traumatic past. After all, people don't follow a-unicornists and a-easterbunnyists online. Most atheists were either raised as atheists, in which case they give god and the easter bunny about equal thought, or they got over the religion thing after maybe a couple of years of trauma. So these atheists they're looking at are people likely just recovering from a bad upbringing while the Christians, like many other a christians, are people for whom this isn't just an issue of ontology, but their whole ethics, lifestyle and world view.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @lionlylamb – Can someone submit to a 'godly' notion and not a 'godlessness' one without having details about that particular 'god'? If so, I'm with that.

      Details tend to bug me concerning 'god'.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Saraswati – I concur. It depends on how this topic consumes you as a person.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Name* Ciara

      Lionly, if you don't know what an atheist truly thinks, you cannot judge whether they are wholesome or not. You are just basing your assumptions of your biases. I would never presume anything about another person, and neither should you.

      I have to wonder about this "study"; there are millions of people who don't follow other atheists; they just don't believe in any gods. In that, I am in total agreement with Saraswati.
      In any case, as someone else pointed out, this is just using a text recognition analysis for certain words; noticeably missing is the contents/context of those tweets.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
  16. LIGHT

    He created the heavens and the earth truthfully. He rolls the night over the day, and rolls the day over the night… (39:5)

    The Arabic word for “roll” is “yukewiru.” The word is used to depict the act of wrapping a turban around someone’s head. This word was also used in the sense of overlapping of the night and day and vice versa. The reason for the day’s turning into night and the night’s turning into day is due to the spheroid form of the earth. In this verse also we observe implied the sphericity of the world.

    During the Prophet’s lifetime it was impossible to scientifically determine the correct view. The scientific demonstration of the statements of the Quran was only possible after the lapse of a millennium. Why were these scientific explanations in the Quran-beyond the comprehension of the Prophet’s contemporaries, contradicting the hypotheses prevalent at the time and likely to cause harm to their messenger, certainly being of no benefit to him? We see that the Quran’s objective is to tell the truth at all costs. The fact that these phenomena could be explained thanks to the advance of science one thousand years later testifies to the universal address of the Quran and its character; it addresses not only its own time, but also the entirety of humanity until the end of the world.

    When the astronomers went to space, they bore witness to this statement of the Quran and took photographs. The face of the world facing the sun was day, while the other side was night. The rotation of the world around its own axis made the night and day alternate, and in some parts the transition from day to night took place simultaneously.

    The phenomena related to the roundness of the world and the succession of days and nights are the sine qua non conditions of our life on earth. Had our world not been of a spherical shape, had night and day not succeeded each other thanks to its rotation, life on the face of the earth exposed to heat would be extinct and in the portion left in the shade vegetation would not thrive. God’s omniscience, omnipotence and art, His perfect design of everything, and the miraculous character of the Book are better understood as we contemplate them.

    Facts are working, truth is talking, but those disbelievers living in another world.

    June 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Who's your daddy now?

      One world of many orders will one day become a one world order.

      June 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • ME II

      @LIGHT,
      "During the Prophet’s lifetime [570-631AD]it was impossible to scientifically determine the correct view. "

      "Aristotle accepted the spherical shape of the Earth on empirical grounds around 330 BC, and knowledge of the spherical Earth gradually began to spread beyond the Hellenistic world from then on." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth)

      Even if the Koran was implying a spherical Earth which seem dubious, it was already known by at least some people, i.e. not impossible.

      June 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  17. krm10007©

    by the same token, muslims are happier than all religions combined, especially, when some terrorist event occurs in US or UK........do you call these thugs dancing in streets or burning flags happy people?

    June 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  18. roe

    that would be because we want answers. We want real truth. We want to be heard not down played. The take the book to the heart and hold on to it. SO of course they would seem to be happier. But im happy i have the courage to question not just run with the heard over the cliff.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Who's your daddy now?

      How herding of you!

      June 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  19. tony

    Does that mean the bible is just filled with happiness?

    June 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
  20. lunchbreaker

    "When they are limited to 140 characters or less, these researchers say, believers are happier than their counterparts."

    So what is the antecedent of "they"? Is it when the researcher is limited to twitter data or the tweeter bing limited in characters? The latter would imply that person's happiness at any given moment may be depentent on wether or not they are currently posting on twitter. I would agree I am generally happier when Ii am not posting on these boards, but we all enjoy a good self-flagellation every now and then.

    June 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.