October 14, 2012
Irreligious people on the rise? Or just suspicious polling practices?
Once again, the Pew Foundation has brought forth a report on religion in America. In the past they claimed that atheists know more about religion than religious people do, a conclusion not supported by their data. This time the media headlines based on Pew's latest survey declare that the number of people with no religion is dramatically increasing. The way the survey is being pitched by the media is that America is becoming less religious. In reality, Americans are not becoming significantly less religious. The Pew data show that those who declare that there is no God -- i.e., atheists -- have gone from 1.6% of the population to 2.4% in the last five years -- hardly a tidal wave, and within the survey margin of error. An interesting aside is that nearly as many people in the poll didn't know their religious affiliation as declared themselves atheists. The media is distorting the survey by an odd use of the word "religion" -- a use facilitated by Pew lumping people...(Read Full Article)