From Europe, Evidence That More Schooling Leads to Less Religiosity… and a Reduction in Superstitious Beliefs

There is a deep anti-intellectual streak that runs through much of religious America, and it’s entirely justified. No, I’m not saying that we ought to give the thumbs-up to poor thinking skills and the inability to distinguish facts from fiction. I’m saying, rather, that fundamentalists are right about academic learning: the more of it you do, the less likely you are to attend church or to talk to God.

New research by economists at Louisiana State University offers some tantalizing evidence:

The study finds that more education, in the form of more years of formal schooling, has “consistently large negative effects” on an individual’s likelihood of attending religious services, as well as their likelihood of praying frequently. More schooling also makes people less likely to harbor superstitious beliefs, like belief in the protective power of lucky charms (rabbit’s feet, four leaf clovers), or a tendency to take horoscopes seriously.



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 23: Juhem Navarro-Rivera, Research Associate with PRRI

Our latest podcast guest is Juhem Navarro-Rivera, research associate at the Public Religion Research Institute. PRRI publishes some of the most important and credible surveys when it comes to tracking religious demographics in the United States.

This episode is sponsored by Be Secular. Readers of this site can get a 10% discount on products by using the promo code “Friendly”!



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New Study Shows Atheists Are More Prolific on Twitter Than Any Religious Group

According to new research published on arXiv.org, atheists are more prolific on Twitter than any major religious group:



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The Good News is That Fewer Americans Than Ever Before Want Daily Prayer in Public Schools…

… The bad news is that 61% of Americans still want daily prayer in public schools.

That’s according to a new poll from Gallup:



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New Survey Says Americans Equally Split Between Those Who Think Government Gets in the Way of Religion and Vice Versa

According to the 2014 American Values Survey just released by the Public Religion Research Institute, Americans are equally divided between those who worry about religious groups turning their beliefs into law (e.g. Hobby Lobby) and those who worry that government is interfering with their faith (e.g. Hobby Lobby):

Of course, when you break it down by religious group, that split varies widely. 66% of White Evangelicals see their religious freedom under attack (the Fox News Channel crowd) while only 31% of the religiously Unaffiliated feel the same way (see below):

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