View Full Version : Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

03-22-2011, 05:49 AM

A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.
The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.
The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one.
The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.
Nonlinear dynamics is invoked to explain a wide range of physical phenomena in which a number of factors play a part.
One of the team, Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University, put forth a similar model in 2003 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v424/n6951/abs/424900a.html) to put a numerical basis behind the decline of lesser-spoken world languages.
At its heart is the competition between speakers of different languages, and the "utility" of speaking one instead of another.
"The idea is pretty simple," said Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.
"It posits that social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join, and it posits that social groups have a social status or utility.
"For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there's some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not."
The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.

There, that should put the cat amongst the pigeons.

03-22-2011, 05:50 AM
I blame the un-holy fascination with League.

03-22-2011, 06:00 AM
Humans seem to need something, hence the rise in oddball sects, charlatans, tarot adherents, wicken etc. Nature abhors a vacuum. Let's hope it's not accompanied by the persecutions that often presage the development of a new belief.

03-22-2011, 06:07 AM
I blame the un-holy fascination with League.

You're too subtle by far for our global audience mate!
Marngrook for me.