Will atheists win the fight?
KJV

United States

#102 Apr 17, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>The most recent worldwide study comes from WIN-Gallup International:

http://www.wingia.com/web/files/news/14/file/...

It also has the the best historical data for evaluating recent trends because the polls were conducted in the same way across the globe and in two studies seven years apart. The table on page 12 shows the trends in the 39 countries that were surveyed in both "waves." Those countries, on the average experience a 9% drop in religiosity from 77% to 68%(Table 3). In those same countries, atheism nearly doubled from 4% to 7%(Table 4). Religiosity correlated negatively to both education and income (table 5).

The statistics cited by KJV have several problems. For one thing, much of the data is quite old and for another, there is not sufficient consistency in the way the data was collected an analyzed to use the data together with any validity. Some of the data has no accompanying metadata, so its origins have to be inferred, perhaps incorrectly.

The WIN-Gallup studies suffer from none of these flaws, and it is clear that religion is still declining while irreligion and atheism rise. The picture that KJV paints with his cherry-picked data is clearly wrong.
Lets see I quoted the CIA (The United States of America's Central Intelligent agency).

Then I quoted: "Encyclopedia Britannica". Ya real bad source here. LOL

Then it was: "Pew Research Center"

Yes sir looks like I'm trying to slip one past you!

You've got to be kidding me?

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#104 Apr 17, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
Lets see I quoted the CIA (The United States of America's Central Intelligent agency).
Then I quoted: "Encyclopedia Britannica". Ya real bad source here. LOL
Then it was: "Pew Research Center"
Yes sir looks like I'm trying to slip one past you!
You've got to be kidding me?
None of those sources are bad, per se--Pew, in fact, is one of my favorites--but their data can't be combined with any validity because they weren't collected and analyzed using the same procedures, and of the three, only Pew actually collects and analyzes their own religious statistics. The CIA doesn't even say where they got theirs (no metadata), but it can be inferred from the data itself. Each comes from the best source they can find for the country in question, but those sources vary hugely in quality and age. Pew's international data has some of the same flaws, but at least they list their sources, many of which are obviously the same ones that the CIA seems to have used. It wouldn't surprise me to learn , in fact, that Pew compiles religious data for the CIA.

That doesn't change the fact that to figure for many of those countries is suspiciously "even," which is one of the things statisticians see as a red flag indicating data that has been estimated by nonprofessionals rather than based on statistical sampling of any sort.

I don't think that you're trying to slip one past me. I think you probably believe what you write. that you do indicates that you don't know or care about how statistics are generated or how to tell whether they are any good or not. Your shallow approach to the subject allows you to remain smugly ignorant. that's okay for you, I suppose, but don't expect people with any statistical savvy to buy your tripe.
Paul WV

Beckley, WV

#105 Apr 17, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
Both. The wave function describes the probabilities as changing in time. It is a real thing that can be measured by looking at those probabilities. Yes, there is, ultimately, only the appearance of collapse. The whole idea of 'collapse of the wave function' is an old one that has been replaced by the concept of decoherence.
Ultimately, the problem is that many people want a classical understanding of a quantum level phenomenon and that isn't possible. If you want to think of quantum particles as little balls with definite properties, then you will get into many paradoxes. That simply isn't how the quantum world works.
Can you give a reference to an experiment performed to prove the set of probabilities of a wave function is real?

Can you supply a reference saying definitively the wave function is not collapsed by an observer as has been held by physicists since the inception of quantum mechanics? Can you say the physics relied upon by authors, such as the one who wrote the Biocentric universe, has been revised to where the author can no longer support his hypotheses with science?
KJV

United States

#106 Apr 17, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>None of those sources are bad, per se--Pew, in fact, is one of my favorites--but their data can't be combined with any validity because they weren't collected and analyzed using the same procedures, and of the three, only Pew actually collects and analyzes their own religious statistics. The CIA doesn't even say where they got theirs (no metadata), but it can be inferred from the data itself. Each comes from the best source they can find for the country in question, but those sources vary hugely in quality and age. Pew's international data has some of the same flaws, but at least they list their sources, many of which are obviously the same ones that the CIA seems to have used. It wouldn't surprise me to learn , in fact, that Pew compiles religious data for the CIA.

That doesn't change the fact that to figure for many of those countries is suspiciously "even," which is one of the things statisticians see as a red flag indicating data that has been estimated by nonprofessionals rather than based on statistical sampling of any sort.

I don't think that you're trying to slip one past me. I think you probably believe what you write. that you do indicates that you don't know or care about how statistics are generated or how to tell whether they are any good or not. Your shallow approach to the subject allows you to remain smugly ignorant. that's okay for you, I suppose, but don't expect people with any statistical savvy to buy your tripe.
Shallow approach?

Listing more then 12 sources that all ballpark atheist numbers at or around 2%. And no need to go over the top quality sources that I used.

You don't like the numbers so you try and find some, any fault or rules that you created to try and over come the numbers that are what they are 2%.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#107 Apr 17, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
Shallow approach?
Listing more then 12 sources that all ballpark atheist numbers at or around 2%. And no need to go over the top quality sources that I used.
You don't like the numbers so you try and find some, any fault or rules that you created to try and over come the numbers that are what they are 2%.
This is just an appeal to authority on steroids. There's a reason that that is at the top of the list of classic fallacies. It is, in fact, a substitute for real intellectual activity, which involves delving into those sources and examining them closely, not trying to use them as a weapon against those with whom you disagree. Yes, indeed, that is an extremely shallow approach to understanding statistics.

Old statistics are always subsumed by new ones, but you have to look at the metadata to be sure that the new data is valid. I've done that with the WIN-Gallup International 'Religiosity and Atheism Index' that came out last year. Its headline asserts that '... atheists are a small minority in the early years of 21st century', and that's true, but they are nowhere near as small as they were seven years ago, and they are especially numerous in the developed nations. The study found the 13% of the world's population self-identifies as atheistic and another 23% call themselves nonreligious. That's partly because China's huge population is 47% atheistic, but among the 40 countries that were surveyed in both years, religiosity fell for 77% to 68% while atheism rose from 4% to 7%.

There were, for me, a few surprises. The least religious age group was not the young, but the 51-65 group, indicating that people may tend to become less religious as the age. That's not what Pew found in its most recent survey of the U.S. population, but then the U.S. is atypical in other ways as well. I was also surprised at the percentages of people affiliated with religious categories but consider themselves to be nonreligious or even atheistic.

Needless to say, I will be waiting to see other new surveys as they come out. I'm expecting new ones this year from both Pew and ARIS that focus on the U.S. population. That's the difference between me and KJV: his only interest in statistics is their use as debating points, but I use them to inform myself about societies as they change.

And yes, the former approach is shallow indeed.
KJV

United States

#108 Apr 17, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>This is just an appeal to authority on steroids. There's a reason that that is at the top of the list of classic fallacies. It is, in fact, a substitute for real intellectual activity, which involves delving into those sources and examining them closely, not trying to use them as a weapon against those with whom you disagree. Yes, indeed, that is an extremely shallow approach to understanding statistics.

Old statistics are always subsumed by new ones, but you have to look at the metadata to be sure that the new data is valid. I've done that with the WIN-Gallup International 'Religiosity and Atheism Index' that came out last year. Its headline asserts that '... atheists are a small minority in the early years of 21st century', and that's true, but they are nowhere near as small as they were seven years ago, and they are especially numerous in the developed nations. The study found the 13% of the world's population self-identifies as atheistic and another 23% call themselves nonreligious. That's partly because China's huge population is 47% atheistic, but among the 40 countries that were surveyed in both years, religiosity fell for 77% to 68% while atheism rose from 4% to 7%.

There were, for me, a few surprises. The least religious age group was not the young, but the 51-65 group, indicating that people may tend to become less religious as the age. That's not what Pew found in its most recent survey of the U.S. population, but then the U.S. is atypical in other ways as well. I was also surprised at the percentages of people affiliated with religious categories but consider themselves to be nonreligious or even atheistic.

Needless to say, I will be waiting to see other new surveys as they come out. I'm expecting new ones this year from both Pew and ARIS that focus on the U.S. population. That's the difference between me and KJV: his only interest in statistics is their use as debating points, but I use them to inform myself about societies as they change.

And yes, the former approach is shallow indeed.
One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure.
And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study.
No more than 15 percent of adults in the world's most populous country are "real atheists." 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey.
Members of the Chinese Communist Party and Youth League are required to be atheists, yet 17 percent of them self-identified with a religion and 65 percent indicated they had engaged in religious practices in the last year, reported sociologist Fenggang Yang of Purdue University, a lead researcher in the project.
The notion of China as a secular nation with little or no religion is "silly," said sociologist Rodney Stark of Baylor University, another principal investigator.
"It's a pretty religious bunch of folks if you follow what they're doing," he said.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/david...

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#109 Apr 17, 2013
Lincoln wrote:
Evangelistic atheists, when presented with contrasting ideas, often attempt to put down their opponent's religion
not realizing that their atheistic mama drama,
is no more or less valid or provable than the other guy's belief that there is one.
:-)
You do know, that you are allowed to speak your mind* here.

* If you have one, that is ...... otherwise ..... Nevermind, carry on as before.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#110 Apr 17, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
Shallow approach?
Listing more then 12 sources that all ballpark atheist numbers at or around 2%. And no need to go over the top quality sources that I used.
You don't like the numbers so you try and find some, any fault or rules that you created to try and over come the numbers that are what they are 2%.
Amazing that there are so few atheist, and yet somehow all the churches are emptier than ever.

Tonight, Wednesday night, at a big Baptist church in small town Texas, out in a parking lot that would hold about two hundred cars, there were 13, total 13, and that included the two church vans.

I doubt they generate enough green to pay the electric bill anymore. Maybe you should hand over 20%, to help make up the shortage.

“Citizen_Patriot_ Voter_Atheist!”

Since: May 09

Earth,TX

#111 Apr 17, 2013
^ add to the above.
.. the front parking lot, was the one with 13 vehicles. The back and side parking lots are smaller and both were empty.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#112 Apr 17, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
One of the last great efforts at state-sponsored atheism is a failure.
And not just any kind of failure. China has enforced its anti-religion policy through decades of repression, coercion and persecution, but the lack of success is spectacular, according to a major new study.
No more than 15 percent of adults in the world's most populous country are "real atheists." 85 percent of the Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion, according to the Chinese Spiritual Life Survey.
Members of the Chinese Communist Party and Youth League are required to be atheists, yet 17 percent of them self-identified with a religion and 65 percent indicated they had engaged in religious practices in the last year, reported sociologist Fenggang Yang of Purdue University, a lead researcher in the project.
The notion of China as a secular nation with little or no religion is "silly," said sociologist Rodney Stark of Baylor University, another principal investigator.
"It's a pretty religious bunch of folks if you follow what they're doing," he said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/david...
That doesn't surprise me much. It's always a mistake for governments to tell people what to believe. It may cause them to lie about it publicly, but that's hardly healthy, now, is it? More importantly, it promotes disdain, contempt, even, for that government, and encourages a certain apathy for public affairs. government oppression sickens society in so many ways that the topic could occupy a forum of its own.

That some governments include enforced atheism in that oppression says more about their failed politics, though, than it does about atheism in the larger sense, and it has absolutely no relation to the atheism seen in countries that the promote freedom of religion, thought, and conscience as a matter of constitutional policy. Countries with modern secular governments enjoy a healthy mix of religious identities, and even though I believe religions to be without any foundations in reality, I celebrate that diversity.

Vive la Liberté!
Amused

Burlington, MA

#113 Apr 18, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
Lets see I quoted the CIA (The United States of America's Central Intelligent agency).
Then I quoted: "Encyclopedia Britannica". Ya real bad source here. LOL
Then it was: "Pew Research Center"
Yes sir looks like I'm trying to slip one past you!
You've got to be kidding me?
Of what relevance is the percentage of people who do or do not believe? At one point in human history, the belief that the earth was a flat disk which the sun revolved around, just below the "firmament" where small stars were embedded was nearly universal. Did the earth only become round and in heliocentric orbit once enough people believed that, or was it always round and in orbit whether humans believed it or not?

No doubt, fairly early on in the evolution of science, those who believed in a round, orbiting earth comprised only 2% of those with an opinion about the nature of the cosmos. Were they less right because they were a small minority?

At one time, slavery was a nearly universal institution. Was it wrong when it was universally accepted, or did it only become wrong when enough people thought it wrong?

Conversely, if you could convince everyone on earth that flying pink unicorns were real, would that cause them to poof into existence?
KJV

United States

#114 Apr 18, 2013
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>That doesn't surprise me much. It's always a mistake for governments to tell people what to believe. It may cause them to lie about it publicly, but that's hardly healthy, now, is it? More importantly, it promotes disdain, contempt, even, for that government, and encourages a certain apathy for public affairs. government oppression sickens society in so many ways that the topic could occupy a forum of its own.

That some governments include enforced atheism in that oppression says more about their failed politics, though, than it does about atheism in the larger sense, and it has absolutely no relation to the atheism seen in countries that the promote freedom of religion, thought, and conscience as a matter of constitutional policy. Countries with modern secular governments enjoy a healthy mix of religious identities, and even though I believe religions to be without any foundations in reality, I celebrate that diversity.

Vive la Liberté!
Agreed.
KJV

United States

#115 Apr 18, 2013
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>Of what relevance is the percentage of people who do or do not believe? At one point in human history, the belief that the earth was a flat disk which the sun revolved around, just below the "firmament" where small stars were embedded was nearly universal. Did the earth only become round and in heliocentric orbit once enough people believed that, or was it always round and in orbit whether humans believed it or not?

No doubt, fairly early on in the evolution of science, those who believed in a round, orbiting earth comprised only 2% of those with an opinion about the nature of the cosmos. Were they less right because they were a small minority?

At one time, slavery was a nearly universal institution. Was it wrong when it was universally accepted, or did it only become wrong when enough people thought it wrong?

Conversely, if you could convince everyone on earth that flying pink unicorns were real, would that cause them to poof into existence?
This is a dumb post.
Amused

Burlington, MA

#116 Apr 18, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
This is a dumb post.
Shorter KJV: I got nothing
KJV

United States

#117 Apr 18, 2013
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>Shorter KJV: I got nothing
I know.
Mr Smartypants

Minneapolis, MN

#118 Apr 19, 2013
Reason Personified wrote:
<quoted text>Amazing that there are so few atheist, and yet somehow all the churches are emptier than ever.
Tonight, Wednesday night, at a big Baptist church in small town Texas, out in a parking lot that would hold about two hundred cars, there were 13, total 13, and that included the two church vans.
I doubt they generate enough green to pay the electric bill anymore. Maybe you should hand over 20%, to help make up the shortage.
Wow, I must live in a statistical anomaly. I'm in an artists' commune with 52 units. From informal chats, I'd guesstimate that 40-70% of us are atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, or the like. Almost as if organized religions are artificially inflating their numbers or something...
Mr Smartypants

Minneapolis, MN

#119 Apr 19, 2013
KJV wrote:
<quoted text>
This is a dumb post.
Self-referential, but true.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Knoxville, TN

#120 Apr 20, 2013
Mr Smartypants wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, I must live in a statistical anomaly. I'm in an artists' commune with 52 units. From informal chats, I'd guesstimate that 40-70% of us are atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, or the like. Almost as if organized religions are artificially inflating their numbers or something...
I think that may be a fairly common phenomenon, i.e., living among like minded people to such an extent that one can think its numbers are higher in the general population than they really are. I live in the very conservative South, for instance, yet most of the people I hang with are fairly liberal. Like seeks like...
KJV

United States

#121 Apr 20, 2013
Mr Smartypants wrote:
<quoted text> true.
See even your team mates agree with me.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#122 Apr 20, 2013
Paul WV wrote:
<quoted text>
Can you give a reference to an experiment performed to prove the set of probabilities of a wave function is real?
Pretty much *every* experiment at the quantum level shows this: double slit experiment, Aspects experiment, and experiment dealing with entanglement.
Can you supply a reference saying definitively the wave function is not collapsed by an observer as has been held by physicists since the inception of quantum mechanics? Can you say the physics relied upon by authors, such as the one who wrote the Biocentric universe, has been revised to where the author can no longer support his hypotheses with science?
http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.2404

Quote:
"Thus, the suggested link between human consciousness and collapse of wave function does not seem viable."

http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0101077

Quote:
"We argue that modern experiments and the discovery of decoherence have have shifted prevailing quantum interpretations away from wave function collapse towards unitary physics"

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