|jpg via GetReligion.org|
Religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies, a team of mathematicians predict in a new paper based on census data stretching back 100 years.Because the U.S. Census doesn't survey religion, numbers could not be adequately compared, but seeing data from university and think tank polls inspired the trend analysis.
It won't die out completely, but "religion will be driven toward extinction" in countries including Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, they say.
The mathematicians say it will also wither away in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland.
Studies suggest that "unaffiliated" is the fastest-growing religious group in the United States, with about 15% of the population falling into a category experts call the "nones."
They're not necessarily atheists or non-believers, experts say, just people who do not associate themselves with a particular religion or house of worship at the time of the survey.The root of the trend analysis comes from the human propensity for people to move toward the opinions the majority and the universal, long-term trend (in one case back to 1860) of people moving from affiliated to unaffiliated.