Voodoo God Killers
Much is being made, and will be made of this article in the coming weeks. I first heard about it at another site and then read more detail at TV On The Fritz.
The paper, published in the Journal of Religion and Society, a US academic journal, reports: “Many Americans agree that their churchgoing nation is an exceptional, God-blessed, shining city on the hill that stands as an impressive example for an increasingly sceptical world.
“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.
The original study, authored by Gregory S. Paul further conforms to that author's preconceptions. Paul is a noted expert on paleontology, and is available for speaking engagements to refute young-earth creationists. He is also noted for authoring such works as "The Great Scandal: Christianity Role in the Rise of the Nazi Scandal”, Free Inquiry, Vol. 23 No. 4, Pg. 22
Needless to say, when it comes to Christianity, Paul is --while ironically named--not necessarily its biggest fan. He goes to great length in this article to show that religion as it stands in enmity with evolution is a negative societal factor.
Yet he himself admits
This is not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health
Good thing, too. There are too many causal factors within any society to draw a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument such as the one Paul flirts with in this document. (Rejection of secular humanism gives your kids gonorrhea!!!) Without any pretense toward a true controlled study there is no way to reconcile the pudding of data points Paul provides into any cohesive conclusion.
Why do I care? Because this is the kind of thing that walks and quacks like the duck of science and gets everyone repeating snatches of it as fact. The London Times portrays this as a scientific study which reaches a conclusion. To the average reader it appears as though this is real science, conducted according to the scientific method and reaching a definitively provable conclusion. In truth this is one man working from a bias (as I indeed would be were I to write such a paper) to publish a collection of data points from which he has drawn a decidedly biased conclusion. He has not subjected this information to the rigorous standards of scientific method. Therefore it is as much to be taken on faith as anything in the Bible.
Secular Humanism is its own religion. They just tend to use bigger words and elevate themselves to the position of god.