Monday, December 22, 2008

Martians, religion, and fertility

Here is an interesting article that you should read (h/t Andrew Sullivan). In this article, Anthony Gottlieb is doing several things. He argues that we generally take the religion of our parents (or about 3/4s of us do), and that there is a strong link, beyond the obvious, between religion and fertility. More conservative religions maintain larger family sizes, and at the macro-level, these conservative religions are outstripping their liberal, secular, and atheistic counterparts in population growth around the world.

All of this to answer why a (male!?) Martian would care about the geographical loci of religions.

1 comment:

Darren Staley said...

This is a very interesting post. I was raised an evengelical Christian in the mold of Hagee, Falwell, Robertson, etc.

Later in life I converted to Judaism but remain agnostic at best.

It begs the question: did I convert out of rebellion or through a rational, spiritual growth?

My guess is that religion fits the same nature/nurture mold as criminology.

While I am in no way comparing religion to crime, the numbers add up. If your father is a Catholic, you are likely to be a Catholic. If your father is a criminal, you are more likely to be a criminal.

I like to look at the exceptions rather than the rule. That is where the interesting data lies, imo.