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02 July 2007 @ 01:12 pm
Fox "News"  

Mmmm... fair & unbiased.

Turns out I'm the victim of a "fad".
Current Music: ABC Science Online - the Lab - 2007-06-28 Ozone Smell at the Seaside
Outlier Manlukeii on July 2nd, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)
What is that 90% stat based on, I wonder?
Jacob: atheistyak_boy on July 2nd, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
From a brief scan of online resources, discarding those that are obviously skewed (like one whose commentary on their stats included the revelation that the US is not "amoral like Mikel Jackson or Prince or Madonna or Larry Flint"), I can find you stats for those that don't believe in god in America as being anywhere between 4% - 17%, depending on which study you believe and how broadly you define "not believing in god".

The study that seems to be the most credible is the American Religious Identification Survey which puts the figure at 14.1%, which breaks down as: 0.4% atheist, 0.5% agnostic, <0.1% humanist, <0.1% secular and 13.2% "no religion".

I think you could easily classify this entire group as not believing in god, and if you wanted to skew the facts, you'd surely be trumpeting the 0.4% atheist stat.

These stats are from the latest study from 2001. Interestingly enough, the previous study seems to conform to their 90% figure with that many identifying with a particular religion. However, the previous study is from 1990, meaning that belief in god is pretty clearly in decline.

Or, to put it another way, the percentage of people who don't believe in god grew by almost 50% in just 11 years, a pretty staggering statistic. If those trends have continued, the number of people in the US today who don't believe in god could well be approaching 20% - but that's pure speculation. Still, speculation is better than the outright fabrication you get on Fox News.
Jacobyak_boy on July 2nd, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Looking at the results of the 1990 study, and the 10% actually includes those that refused to answer. By that logic the number of non-believers has actually close to doubled. But, that's obviously misrepresenting the numbers, so what we're left with is:

1990: 8.2% non-religious
2001: 14.1% non-religious

Which is an increase of about 72% over 11 years.

My totally unscientific extrapolation of that makes it 24.25% of the US godless by 2012. :)
Robet Éivaayvah on July 3rd, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
Depends very much on whether it's linear, exponential or even a bell curve...

But what about buddhists? They're also atheists, aren't they? And Hindus -- they don't believe in "a god", they believe in a group of gods.

Their statistic didn't say 90% "non-religious", it said 90% monotheistic. And THAT definitely seems unrealistic.

It was biased the moment they brought on a Christian priest to talk about atheism. If they wanted fairness, they could have used an atheist (especially considering the anchors were clearly pro-Christian), maybe a religious figure from a minority religion, or perhaps just brought on an atheist to debate with the Christian (though I'm sure they'd twist it somehow).