An article claiming that “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.” (Via David Byrne’s Journal)

One point (to start you all off): note that “correlate with” does not mean “cause.” That is, without further analysis (which the author, Gregory Paul, asks for), it is impossible to establish whether religious beliefs tend to foster dysfunctional societies, or whether dysfunctional societies tend to foster religious beliefs.



Filed under thinky

2 responses to “discuss

  1. Paula

    note that “correlate with” does not mean “cause.”

    And that sums up why this article is just another example of “statistics don’t lie, but people who write articles like this are fuckwits.”

  2. 2fs

    Hmm: did you read the article? Because it seemed that Paul emphasized the same thing I pointed out, that correlation is not causation – particularly with issues as broad and variables as tangled as religious belief and the health of society.

    Anyway, what maybe ought to be truly eye-opening is how poorly the US is doing in social health relative to other nations of comparable wealth and (broadly speaking) sociopolitical orientation. What’s our problem?

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