Adventus

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Morning Fun with Numbers

So Jeffrey Tayler takes on David Brooks and notes:


Brooks starts out by noting that those with no religious affiliation now account for a fifth of all Americans and a third of young American adults (a development that, in my view, is to be celebrated).  
Which is funny because in 1906 only 41% of Americans identified themselves with any religious affiliation.  By 1998, that number had risen to 70%,  which was roughly the high point of the 20th century.  Now if 1/5th of Americans are declaring "no religious affiliation," that would still mean the number declaring one is higher than it was in 1998.

Well, give or take.  It may be 10% is within the margin of error, or is of only slight statistical significance.  Either way, a precipitous crash in religious affiliation would not seem to be in the offing.  And only 1/3rd of "young Americans" declare a religious affiliation?  What else is new?

You know, there's a level on which this "discussion" is taking place that is just plain ignorant.

4 Comments:

Blogger ntodd said...

There was a fun thread at Kevin Drum's 10 years ago when some dude I was arguing with about nonviolence claimed that I belonged to a dying cult (which apparently made my arguments invalid). I noted:

"Wow, so the fact that the number of Quakers grew from 87k to 217k from 1990 to 2001 and is now 300k shows that my cult is dying? Interesting math analysis you've got."

There ain't many Friends, that's for certain, but affiliation has gone up. Probably just because so many people got tired of the UUs,..

https://web.archive.org/web/20050316074445/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_01/005471.php

12:54 PM  
Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

The Friends a cult? Had he ever been to a Friend's Meeting for Business? I know of a meeting that had an item pending for years because the clerk of the meeting had bought and donated something for the meeting house kitchen without asking the meeting if they'd agree to take it.

The Friends are a cult in the same sense that absolute randomness is determinate.

On the other hand, this makes me feel like I should join a church.

7:07 PM  
Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

The Friends a cult? Had he ever been to a Friend's Meeting for Business? I know of a meeting that had an item pending for years because the clerk of the meeting had bought and donated something for the meeting house kitchen without asking the meeting if they'd agree to take it.

The Friends are a cult in the same sense that absolute randomness is determinate.

On the other hand, this makes me feel like I should join a church.

7:15 PM  
Blogger ntodd said...

He was...misinformed on many things.

7:41 PM  

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