Religion Journalist Offers Lazy Criticism of Richard Dawkins

I’m not opposed to people criticizing Richard Dawkins when I feel it’s deserved. And I’ll be the first to admit he can be careless with his words on Twitter, when he doesn’t have the luxury of explaining himself the way he does in his books.

But this essay by Jacob Lupfer of Religion News Service makes little sense, and it starts right at the headline: “Why Richard Dawkins’ new book won’t win him many converts.”

Who knew that Dawkins’ autobiography was supposed to function like a sequel of The God Delusion?



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Do a Lot of Nonreligious Americans Really See Evidence of a Creator?

Anytime you look at surveys about the religious beliefs of people in the U.S., people like me get lumped into this nebulous group known as the “Nones” (or the “Unaffiliated”). We’re the people who don’t belong to any organized religion. We’re atheists and Agnostics… and a whole bunch of people who believe in God but don’t like religious labels for whatever reason.

While the Nones make up 22.8% of the country, the proportion of Nones who believe in a Higher Power is about 70%. In other words, most of the Nones actually believe in God and the supernatural and other forms of nonsense.

That’s why it’s annoying to see confusing headlines like this one from LifeWay Research: “Nonreligious Americans See Evidence of Creator“:



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In Norway, An App That Makes Leaving Faith Easier Has Led to a Massive Decline in Church Membership

In Norway, where the Catholic Church currently owes the government more than $5 million for “fraudulently registering thousands of people on its membership lists,” it appears that thousands of people are breaking free from religion.

More than 11,000 people have resigned from church membership this year, a new record. And it’s not just because the Catholic Church is shooting itself in the foot.



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Religion, Politics, and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of the “Likely Voter”

Listening to the political circus unfolding today, you hear frequent allusions to God/faith/religion/fairy tales on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter that faith ought to be divorced from political action; candidates throughout history have made it a point to pander to the believers. It’s seen as a function of electability. It’s been about appealing to the “likely voter.”

What is a “likely voter” in U.S. polling? That depends on what poll you’re looking at. A company like Gallup attempts to ascertain whether an individual is likely to vote based on voter registration and a series of questions about political awareness and engagement. Others rely on voter registration alone. Still others look at only those who were willing to vote in the past or rely on trends in terms of voter turnout according to demographics.



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For Harvard Freshmen, Non-Religious Students Outnumber Christians

For the past few years, Harvard University’s newspaper, The Crimson, has asked incoming freshman to fill out a survey in order to assess various demographic trends.

It’s not scientific (70% of freshmen responded and it was all voluntary), but it’s still fascinating for anyone who loves to crunch numbers. Last year, they reported that a third of the incoming class were atheists (16.4%) or Agnostic (19.2%).

This year, it got a little more godless:



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