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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:07 PM   #1
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Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

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.
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.
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 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, and the University of Arizona.
"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."
Some of the census data the team used date from the 19th century
Dr Wiener continued: "In a large number of modern secular democracies, there's been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%."
The team then applied their nonlinear dynamics model, adjusting parameters for the relative social and utilitarian merits of membership of the "non-religious" category.
They found, in a study published online, that those parameters were similar across all the countries studied, suggesting that similar behaviour drives the mathematics in all of them.
And in all the countries, the indications were that religion was headed toward extinction.
However, Dr Wiener told the conference that the team was working to update the model with a "network structure" more representative of the one at work in the world.
"Obviously we don't really believe this is the network structure of a modern society, where each person is influenced equally by all the other people in society," he said.
However, he told BBC News that he thought it was "a suggestive result".
"It's interesting that a fairly simple model captures the data, and if those simple ideas are correct, it suggests where this might be going.
"Obviously much more complicated things are going on with any one individual, but maybe a lot of that averages out."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12811197
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Thank god for that.

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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Christianity will become extinct yes, but Islam will only continue to grow. They are by far the most reproductive.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:25 PM   #4
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Amen.


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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:31 PM   #5
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Quote:
Originally Posted by reetard View Post
Thank god for that.
hell yeah

more seriously, i expected to see the check republic there, but not austria. to be fair though, when i was at school they had crosses there, but the pupils would turn them upside down (which would be a satanist symbol or something) and even the teachers didn't care. and nearly 50% of the people here are unbelievers, so i guess it makes sense.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

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Originally Posted by Kworb View Post
Christianity will become extinct yes, but Islam will only continue to grow. They are by far the most reproductive.
So you just assume anyone being born of islamic parents instantly become an islam too?
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

I'm pretty sure Christians have always been reproducing more than non-religious people and that didn't prevent their decline in those countries. That's the whole point of the study. It only uses two variables to explain and predict the data. Even though of course in a more segregated society those parameters will apply less.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:00 PM   #8
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Don't have time to read but need to move to those places because I've just about had it with religious nuts here in the US.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

This is great news for women and gays, and for humanity in general.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 11:36 PM   #10
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

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Originally Posted by Annie R U OK? View Post
This is great news for women and gays
Why? Everyone I know who is a woman, or who is gay - I don't see how Religion disappearing from my country would alter their day to day lives one bit. Other than those of them who are in fact religious, they would have lost a great deal in that hypothetical scenario.

That said, the only religious people I know are either Christians or Jewish. So perhaps in other religions its cessation would have more of a positive impact.

Of course, religio-cultural impact is a different thing altogether. That is something that can't be made extinct. It is something that could at best fade...very, very gradually.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:36 AM   #11
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

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Originally Posted by Olórin View Post
Why? Everyone I know who is a woman, or who is gay - I don't see how Religion disappearing from my country would alter their day to day lives one bit. Other than those of them who are in fact religious, they would have lost a great deal in that hypothetical scenario.

That said, the only religious people I know are either Christians or Jewish. So perhaps in other religions its cessation would have more of a positive impact.

Of course, religio-cultural impact is a different thing altogether. That is something that can't be made extinct. It is something that could at best fade...very, very gradually.
Because where I live, religion heavily influences decisions that negatively affect the lives of women and gays(socially & politically).

Last edited by Annie. : Mar 23rd, 2011 at 01:09 AM.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 12:56 AM   #12
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

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Originally Posted by Matías. View Post
So you just assume anyone being born of islamic parents instantly become an islam too?
It's not an assumption, that's how it is. In Muslim families, if you give up your religion, you no longer have a family. But my hope is that Islam will follow the other theistic religions into extinction as our society progresses. Unfortunately it will take a very long time.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:14 AM   #13
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kworb View Post
It's not an assumption, that's how it is. In Muslim families, if you give up your religion, you no longer have a family. But my hope is that Islam will follow the other theistic religions into extinction as our society progresses. Unfortunately it will take a very long time.
I think this might be a difference in the types of Muslim communities we have interacted with, but I know plenty of young people who were raised Muslim but simply don't practice their religion, just like my Jewish and Christian friends who were raised in the religion but never attend religious services anymore or abide by religious scripture
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Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:40 AM   #14
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Ireland? Really? That's quite surprising given the massive Protestant/Catholic conflict!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2011, 01:41 AM   #15
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Re: Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

I don't think Religion is the problem, Religious people who judge others and think they are mini gods that are allowed to control other peoples lives are the problem.
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