Researchers have adapted to religion a model used to forecast and explain the deaths of languages, and are predicting that in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland, religion is destined for extinction.
The basic principle is that there are advantages to being part of one social group or another. As nonbelievers expand their ranks in these mostly secular countries, the advantages to joining them also multiply.
The scientists involved in this study concede that their findings are overly simplistic and say they are working to create a more complex formula. —PZS
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.