Friday, January 14, 2011

Christians Will Flourish Demographically, Academic Says

Cambridge University economics professor Robert Rowthorn suggests that a "believers' gene," coupled with the higher birth rate among the religious, points to the inevitable spread of religion. New mathematical models show how "a religious group that makes up only 0.5 percent of a population could make up 50 percent within 10 generations."

In contrast with liberals, the religious tend to procreate, rather than kill their offspring.

UPDATE 3/9/12: Kids are Hazardous to Marriage, Say Liberal Studies

UPDATE 1/9/14: Where Liberalism Flourishes, Population Diminishes

-- From "'Believers' gene' will spread religion, says academic" by Stephen Adams, London Telegraph 1/12/11

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the The Royal Society B, [Rowthorn] cited a worldwide study showing that the more religious had more children.

The World Values Survey, which covered 82 nations from 1981 to 2004, found that adults who attended religious services more than once a week had 2.5 children on average; while those who went once a month had two; and those who never attended had 1.67.

Prof Rowthorn wrote: "The more devout people are, the more children they are likely to have."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Predisposition for Religion Can Spread Quickly" by Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer 1/11/11

"All people who work in this area know there is a genetic basis to being religious, in the sense there is a genetic basis to all human behavior," said Robert Rowthorn, a professor emeritus of economics at Kings College in Cambridge, who developed the models.

Even controlling for income and education, religious people have more children than secular people do, according to others' research that Rowthorn cited. In some cases, such as with mainstream churches, the difference is small, while others, such as the Amish and ultra-Orthodox Jews, the total fertility rates are three or four times higher than the secular population.

The transition to lower birth rates was driven, in part, by individualistic values of self-fulfillment that run against traditional religious teaching, Rowthorn wrote in his study, which will be published in the Jan. 12 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

It is possible that by depressing birth rates, secularism could ultimately lead to the human population becoming more religiously inclined, although this would depend on the balance between fertility and defection from the religious group, according to Rowthorn.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 1/19/11: From "Scientist: Religion gene spreads the word" By Electa Draper, The Denver Post 01/19/11

Rowthorn contended that scientists widely agree that religion has biological foundations. Belief in the supernatural, obedience to authority, and affinity for ceremony and ritual depend on genetically based features of the human brain, he wrote, citing several influential studies.

And, in modern times, religious people — of all income and education levels — on average reproduce more.

Global birth rates have fallen dramatically in modern times. In Japan and most of Europe, where societies are increasingly secular, rates are now well below parent-replacement levels. But the transition to lower fertility rates has been much slower and less complete among the religious.

Even if most of the children from high-fertility groups leave their faith traditions because of its demands or because of competing cultural values, their defections will only serve to spread the group's genes into the surrounding population, Rowthorn said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 4/24/15: From "The world is expected to become more religious — not less" by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post

By 2050, the number of Muslims around the world will nearly equal the number of Christians. Pew [Research Center] projections suggest that Muslims will make up nearly one-third of the world’s population of about 9 billion people.

In six countries with large [religious] unaffiliated populations (Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Germany, France and Britain), the number of those with no religion is expected to increase in the coming decades. But those countries also have populations that are shrinking as a share of the world’s population.

Pew demographer Conrad Hackett said an estimated 5 percent of Chinese are Christians. Purdue University sociologist Fenggang Yang estimates that the annual growth rate of Protestant Christians will continue at 10 percent, suggesting that China could become the largest Protestant country by 2021 and the largest Christian country by 2025. If growth continues, two-thirds of China could be Christian in 2050.

There has been a significant shift in where Christians are located globally. In 1910, two out of three Christians lived in Europe. By 2050, only 16 percent of the world’s Christians will be in Europe.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.