Monday, June 09, 2014

Demographics favor the faithful

June 6, 2014

Every spring for the past 27 years, writers and other intellectuals have gathered in the Welsh town of Hay “to think about the world as it is,” “to imagine how it might be,” and to have a “big conversation about discovery and intellectual adventure.”

This year, one of the featured speakers was Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College, London. Jones, who is an atheist, made headlines around Britain when he said that while “we atheists sometimes congratulate ourselves that the incidence of religious belief is going down,” atheism’s future is in doubt.

That’s because “religious people have more children.” By way of explanation, he asked and answered the question: “Where are people having the most children?” The answer is “in the tropics and in Africa,” the part of the world where, not-coincidentally, Christianity is growing explosively.

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