The Death of Atheism — Because Atheists Will Die Off

The Death of Atheism — Because Atheists Will Die Off, by Lance Welton.

Atheism is on the rise and the new secularists may believe their triumph is inevitable. But new research indicates the collapse of faith is simply a phase. The future, in short, belongs to those who show up for it. And those who show up tend to be those who believe.

This may seem counter-intuitive because on the surface, it seems more and more people claim not to believe in God. Especially in Britain, the collapse of religion since the 1960s has been staggering. Books with titles like The Death of Christian Britain and God is Dead: Secularization in the West, trumpet the emergence of a secular, post-Christian society. …

It’s now normal to not believe in God. …

The secularization thesis assumes that modernization will make us less religious, and in turn, that modernization explains why we’re becoming less religious. However, like so many theories in sociology, it never incorporates biology and assumes everything is caused by environmental factors. …

A team led by Lee Ellis, a psychologist at the University of Malaya, conducted their study on “The Future of Secularism: a Biologically Informed Theory Supplemented with Cross-Cultural Evidence” because they were skeptical of the “secularization thesis.” … Ellis and his colleagues compared large samples of college students both in Malaysia and in the USA. …

They found the more religious you are, the more siblings you have. And Muslim students have the most siblings of all. …

Based on twin studies, it has been found that about 40% of the variance in how religious we are is explained by genes. We have been selected to be religious over thousands of years of evolution, because, among other things, religiousness reduces stress, and makes us more pro-social, meaning we’d be less likely to be cast out or killed by the prehistoric band. So it makes sense that how religious we are is significantly genetic.

Based on these findings, the team argues, we would expect the religious to eventually outbreed the non-religious and we would expect Muslims to eventually outbreed other kinds of religious people. We would expect the future to be more religious. …

The more intelligent you are, the less religious you tend to be. However, as Ellis and his colleagues note, the more intelligent you are the fewer children you tend to have. Western countries are suffering from “dysgenic fertility”: the smarter people don’t have many children, meaning that their genes, which tend to be associated with atheism, are simply dying out.

Based on all this, the researchers conclude that secularization must inevitably go into reverse and may well already be doing so. Atheists don’t have many children, meaning that they must eventually go the way of the dinosaurs. …

So why didn’t society become ever more and more religious throughout human history?

Research has shown that people become more religious when they are stressed. For most of human history, we have been extremely stressed and, for this reason, we all believed in God. Until the Industrial Revolution, life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Child mortality was roughly 40% and there was no reliable medicine or understanding of disease, so death could strike at any time. We were always a couple of bad harvests away from starvation. In other words, there were a lot of things to be stressed about.

With the turning point of the Industrial Revolution, the sources of our fears were gradually removed. Most obviously, child mortality in Western countries is now at negligible levels. The terrible fear which once possessed all parents that their beautiful little child would sicken and die has all but vanished.

Religiousness is about 60% a matter of environment. So all it would take for society to become less religious would be for the magnitude of the de-stressing effects of the Industrial Revolution to be stronger than the genetic effect of religious people having more children.

This is very likely what happened. The Industrial Revolution made life much more comfortable and did so at such breakneck speed. The anti-religious implications of this sweeping social change far outweighed the impact of breeding patterns that would make us more religious.

The “progressives” believe that society evolves from paganism to a monotheistic religion, then religion fades away in the face of science. Nope, they have got it wrong. It seems non-religious phases are passing, and the non-religious phases tend to be unsustainable — ending either in society’s moral decline and conquest, or becoming more religious again.

Strikingly, Islam is out-breeding and out-competing the much more advanced west.

Further, a lot of the progressive conceit is based on fake science. They have so corrupted the scientific process to suit their ideological purposes (largely via big government funding) that they no longer know what is true and what is fake (i.e. just politically correct). Examples include the blank slate hypothesis, the assumed statistical equivalence of different races and the two sexes, favoring environmental explanations over genetic, and of course the carbon dioxide theory of global warming.