- Published on Monday, 18 April 2011 07:12
- Written by John Draper
- Hits: 2341
Religious belief reinforces the tendency to breed - so according to evolution principles, religious people will eventually breed atheists into extinction. This of course makes the false assumption that all else is equal. But first, why would I say that religious people have more children? According to David Yount in his column in The Republic (original article now removed), a recent study of 82 countries conducted by Michael Blume (instead see article about Blume), a social science researcher at Jena University in Germany found that parents who worship at least once a week produce 2.5 children, while those who never do so average just 1.7 offspring. This prompted Jonathan Leake, science editor of the Times of London to predict that "societies dominated by nonbelievers are doomed to die out."
According to Yount, Leake says that Blume's work suggests that evolution favours believers so strongly that, over time, the tendency to be religious has become embedded in our genes. "Other factors come into play such as strong shared religious beliefs that allow people to fit into a community more easily, accept shared tasks and rules of behaviour. This ability to work together further raises the survival chances of children." Put another way, if you are part of a majority, you fit in and survive better. Another source of information is a Swiss census in 2000 which revealed that "nonaffiliated" parents produced only 1.1 children, compared with Hindus with 2.79, Muslims with 2.44, and Jews with 2.06.
But other surveys suggest that in civilized western countries, atheism or at least agnosticism, is growing. The conclusion that it is dying out assumes that all children will follow their parent’s belief system but in fact, if children are taught rational thinking, they are very likely to give up on religion. However, there is a danger that if parents or schools or societies do NOT teach rational thinking, then religions will take over. Muslim countries seems to be like that. It seems that many Muslims think that all truth comes from the Qur’an – and if they teach that idea to their children, they are less likely to question anything. The fact that many Islamic countries are underdeveloped suggests that Islam is holding them back. This in turn tends to confirm that Islam teaches that rational thinking is bad. If you add together the tendency for religious parents to have more children plus the tendency for Muslims to teach irrational thinking, then the result will be large growths in Muslim countries (like Pakistan) and these countries will become closer to being 100% Muslim.
While this is happening, we can expect that western counties (Europe, Canada, Australia) as well as some Asian countries (China, India, Japan, South Korea) will become more secular because they are teaching rational thinking to their children. The U.S. is a big question mark because there are so many religious people who are also anti-science (e.g. anti evolution) and therefore against rational thinking. The jury is still out on the trend there.
So what conclusions can we draw? We better start getting ready for a world where regions of the world are identified by their religious beliefs or belief in a secular society. If you are in a secular region, you are probably safe enough – if you are in a religious region, you’ll be safest if you join the dominant religion.