October 1, 2014
Organized religion will all but vanish from nine Western-style democracies in the future. That's according to a group of mathematicians who analyzed census data over the past century.
They found it won't completely die out-- but will be rare in Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland and Switzerland.
They didn't make any predictions about the U-S -- the census here does not ask about religion.
But one reason they say it will decline in other countries is that it's more attractive to be part of the majority than the minority. So, as religious affiliation declines -- it becomes more popular *not* to be a churchgoer.
The study is called "A mathematical model of social group competition with application to the growth of religious non-affiliation."
It was presented this week at the Dallas meeting of the American Physical Society.