Don’t Believe the New Study About Irish College Students’ Attitudes About Religion… Yet

In Ireland, where atheism is already on the rise as are godless funerals, a new study — being touted on multiple websites and by Richard Dawkins — seems to show that the percentage of young Irish atheists is pretty high, too:

A student survey has uncovered some very interesting statistics regarding Irish students and their changing attitudes towards religion.

Shockingly, while less than 60% of respondents considered themselves Catholic; the second group to top the scale were Atheists at 20%.

That’s not the only shocker: Only a third of Irish Catholic students said they believe communion wafers are the physical body of Christ. Which I thought was one of the items on the Catholic Checklist.

And there’s this:

According to the survey, students regard ‘looking good’ (5th) as being more important than ‘religious beliefs’ (6th), with friends and family topping the list of importance.

Lots of interesting stuff.

But I’m not accepting any of it yet. Neither should you.

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Researchers Aggregate 63 Studies and Find ‘Significant Negative Association Between Intelligence and Religiosity’

It’s the age-old question: Are atheists smarter than the religious?

Let’s get the major caveats out of the way: There are brilliant religious people. There are really dumb atheists. “Smarter” is a vague term. And IQ is only one of many ways to measure it.

Anyway, psychologists Miron Zuckerman and Jordan Silberman of the University of Rochester and Judith Hall of Northeastern University have published a paper in Personality and Social Psychology Review that aggregates the results from 63 studies on the issue done between 1928 and 2012.

What did they find?

Turns out the data supports the idea that religion and intelligence don’t always go hand-in-hand — and the researchers have some suggestions as to why that is:

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Only 17% of Georgia Republicans Accept Evolution

A new poll just released by Public Policy Polling shows that only 17% of Republicans in Georgia accept evolution — including, I presume, theistic evolution. 70% of Republicans, unfortunately, embrace Creationism.

Stop smiling, Democrats. Only 29% of you accept evolution while Creation fans hover at 53%.

Independents can quit smirking, too. Nearly half of them are Creationists.

So, really, it’s just a problem with the state. What the hell, Georgia?! You can see the full results here (PDF):

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Author Behind ‘Religion to Disappear By 2041′ Headlines: That’s Not What I Said

I swear, I saw this headline and story all over the Internet last week:

Author and noted biopsychologist Nigel Barber has completed a new study that shows Atheism is most prevalent in developed countries, and, according to his projections, religion will completely disappear by 2041. His findings are discussed in his new book “Why Atheism Will Replace Religion.” A new study that clarifies his earlier research will be published in August. His findings focus on studying trends within countries around the world and the fact that “Atheists are heavily concentrated in economically developed countries”-

Turns out the story’s not-at-all accurate. What Barber actually said is that, according to his calculations, religious people will be in the minority by 2041. The Nones will have come into the majority.

In other words, the headlines are only a few billion people off the mark.

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Which Group Supports Gay Marriage More Than the Non-Religious?

Gallup released a poll yesterday regarding nationwide support for same-sex marriage and the headlines are all about how 52% of Americans would support it on election day, given the chance. It’s more than half?! Wow!

But there was something else notable when you looked at the demographic breakdown:

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