More huffing and puffing for the anti-God crusade
Here’s yet another item, by Anthony Gottlieb, promoting the new "atheists with attitude", in the New Yorker. This one claims that there are 500 million of them worldwide:
After making allowances for countries that have, or recently have had, an officially imposed atheist ideology, in which there might be some social pressure to deny belief in God, one can venture conservative estimates of the number of unbelievers in the world today. Reviewing a large number of studies among some fifty countries, Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California, puts the figure at between five hundred million and seven hundred and fifty million. This excludes such highly populated places as Brazil, Iran, Indonesia, and Nigeria, for which information is lacking or patchy. Even the low estimate of five hundred million would make unbelief the fourth-largest persuasion in the world, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
Dude, what you smoke? Change your brand. The vast majority of the world's atheists are probably non-materialist atheists, which means that they are of little use to the current Ivy League-Oxbridge anti-God squad.
There are so few materialist atheists of any type, outside faculty lounges, that they are dead last in likely future belief systems.
Incidentally, I would be curious to know why editors of legacy media don't catch on and get tired of all this hot air. Do they attend special seminars that tell them, "Don't ask around. Just believe this is hot!"?
My other blog is the Post-Darwinist, detailing events of interest in the intelligent design controversy.
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), anoverview of the intelligent design controversy, and of Faith@Science. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).