Saturday, October 24, 2009

American religious allegiances diversify, jumble

Among the new findings of the National Opinion Research Center, Americans are in an illogical jumble:
Nonetheless, belief in God has slipped a little, and more Americans, though still believing, acknowledge some uncertainty about God’s existence. A growing number of Americans no longer identify themselves with any particular religious group. Those who do belong are less likely to say they are strong members. Regular attendance at religious services has declined, and the numbers never worshiping have increased.

Yet more Americans believe in a life after death and pray daily than in the 1970s. And to complicate things, most of these trends have had their ups and downs, leaving open the possibility of future spurts or reversals.

The NORC also claims there's only a weak correlation between science knowledge/study and irreligion:
“In sum,” the report says, “the proposition that science leads people in general and scientists in particular away from religion is only weakly supported by the available evidence.”

Problem here, though. It appears the study did NOT differentiate between Ph.D. scientists and those at a lower level. Many, many other studies have indicated Ph.D. achievement DOES correlate pretty strongly with lessened religious belief.

In other interesting findings, in post-Communist Eastern Europe, belief levels are dramatically different from country to country.

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