I created a survey with the goal of learning about how many people from different religions believe or do not believe in giants. This turned out to be a tricky thing to do: what kind of questions do you ask? how can you be sure everyone has the same definition of "giant"?
I used the free version of surveymonkey.com, which limited the number of responses I could see to 100. The results below are out of 100 responses.
I posted the survey on a couple of sites. I first posted it on www.reddit.com. Reddit is a discussion website that many people visit. There is a section of Reddit where you can post surveys for “Redditors” to take. The survey was also posted on the Modern Mythology of Giants and Fraudulent Archaeology Wall of Shame groups on Facebook.
The first question on the survey was “What is your current religion, if any?”
As shown in the chart, "athiest/agnostic" (n=59) was the majority by a landslide with the next highest being “nothing” (n=16). "Christian" followed (n=15). The “other” category consisted of a deist, an apatheist, an agnostic Christian mystic, and someone who believes in God but did not list themselves in a religion. Judaism, Mormonism, and Buddhism followed. One individual preferred not to answer.
I also asked for specification of denomination from the Christian respondents. The results were as follows: Catholic (3), Baptist (2), Pentecostal (1), Presbyterian (1), Anglican (1), Latter-Day Saint (1), and Protestant (1).
Now for the big question: “Do you believe giants have existed or even exist today?” I will first show the results for the full 100 answers, and then I will show the results for the different religions.
Sixty-nine people answered “no”, 18 people answered “yes”, and 13 people were “undecided.”
Forty-six of those who answered “no” (i.e., 67%) were atheist/agnostics. Eleven of those who answered “yes” (61%) were theists.
Of the 59 atheists/agnostics, 46 answered “no”, five answered “yes”, and eight answered “undecided.” It was interesting to see how the majority of atheists/agnostics answered “no.” Was this directly because of their belief? Alongside this, those who listed themselves under no religion had eleven “no”, two “yes” and three “undecided.”
Out of the fifteen Christian respondents, it was a tie between “yes” and “no.” Both answers were given by seven Christians, with one individual answering “undecided.” We can break this down even more. Two of the three Catholic who participated in the survey answered “no” while the other answered “yes.” The participants who answered “yes” identified as Pentecostal and Baptist. The Presbyterian, Anglican, Latter-day Saint, and Protestant answered “no.”
I also asked for participants to provide reasoning for their responses. For those who answered “no,” the predominant reason behind their answer was “A lack of evidence." The majority who answered “yes” listed “Holy texts” as their reason. Some comments also mentioned gigantism being a real occurrence happening to real people as evidence (again, this was a weakness of the survey as designed: not everyone has the same definition of a giant).
I then asked for a definition of giants. I put in some answers for people to choose and also left a comment box. The answers I left were “A natural humanoid being that is much taller than the average human” and “An offspring of a fallen angel and a human female.” I had a couple of comments that did not see the connection between the fallen angel/Nephilim answer and giants.
One of the last questions I asked was if people thought giants were good or evil. The majority, 90%, chose “can’t say.” The remaining responses were split, and a few didn’t answer this question.
This survey is difficult to make sense of. With the definition of a giant being variable among people and the number of answers available for me to examine, I am not sure how helpful this survey was. From these data, you can conclude that from this small group of survey-takers, that the majority are atheists/agnostics, and that the majority of atheists/agnostics answered “No.”
Does 18% of the population really believe in giants? It's hard to say that confidently because of the small size of the survey and the fact that it's probably not representative.
Could the reasoning behind the atheists/agnostics answering “No” easily be just because of their disbelief in God? Why did some Christians answer “Yes,” but some did not? If the Bible mentions giants, why do some Christians not believe in them? Why have so few of the participants heard of the Nephilim?
I do believe that those who answered “Yes” and listed “Holy texts” as their reason are probably thinking of Genesis 6:4 or other well-known accounts of giants in the Bible (such as the story of David and Goliath). Here is the Genesis 6:4 passage:
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.”
There are obvious limitations to this survey. If I designed a survey to follow up on this on this one, I would like to reach a larger audience (and review their answers.) I would like to find more sites to post my survey. I should include sites that are dedicated to the discussion of giants, as well as those that are not. I would also ask my questions more carefully and include more questions to get a clearer idea of the demographics (age, sex, education, etc.). I would probably include questions that ask if the survey taker is familiar with particular TV shows (such as Search for the Lost Giants), Biblical stories, and theories about giants.
These blog posts were written by students in Forbidden Archaeology (Fall 2016)