From Clay Routledge at New York Times:
Furthermore, evidence suggests that the religious mind persists even when we lose faith in traditional religious beliefs and institutions. Consider that roughly 30 percent of Americans report they have felt in contact with someone who has died. Nearly 20 percent believe they have been in the presence of a ghost. About one-third of Americans believe that ghosts exist and can interact with and harm humans; around two-thirds hold supernatural or paranormal beliefs of some kind, including beliefs in reincarnation, spiritual energy and psychic powers.
These numbers are much higher than they were in previous decades, when more people reported being highly religious. People who do not frequently attend church are twice as likely to believe in ghosts as those who are regular churchgoers. The less religious people are, the more likely they are to endorse empirically unsupported ideas about U.F.O.s, intelligent aliens monitoring the lives of humans and related conspiracies about a government cover-up of these phenomena. More.
We thought everyone knew that. For many people, there is no God but UFO (or Darwin or spooks or something). When someone dies, they lose touch with rationality. But if systematic thinking were their strength, they wouldn’t believe what they do anyway.
See also: If naturalism can explain religion, why does it get so many basic facts wrong?
What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness