Do atheists beget atheists?

Sign: there's probably no God

I find statistics on religion to be interesting, and helpful in understanding what is going on in the world. In previous posts I have outlined:

  • The major religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) are growing in numbers worldwide, but (Religion statistics), but only Islam and Pentecostal Christianity are growing in percentage terms.
  • Almost half of christians today are converts, with high growth rates in countries in Asia, Africa and South America that are not traditionally christian, but declining numbers in the once-christian west (Are many christians converts?).
  • The current view of sociologists of religion is that religion is unlikely to die out or even decline greatly worldwide (Is religion dying out? Is this inevitable in the modern world?).

Belief is one side of the coin. How is unbelief going? Some survey information from the US is interesting.

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Arguments about universal fine tuning: Carrier vs Barnes

Two people discussing

Last post I discussed The science of universal fine-tuning, a topic that is much argued over these days.

Of course we know one of the reasons behind the arguments is that the science of fine tuning forms a basis for an argument for the existence of God. So the stakes are high for both theists and atheists.

In this post, I am again only discussing the science, not making any argument about God, although I have examined this elsewhere – see Was the universe designed for us? and The Teleological argument.

You would think, and hope, that those who claim to base their views on rational inference from evidence would accept the science, but it doesn’t always work that way.

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The science of universal fine-tuning

Graphs of cosmological variables

Graphs of cosmological variables, with life-permitting regions shown in white. From The Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Intelligent Life by Luke Barnes. Don’t worry – you don’t have to understand these graphs to understand this post!

Recently I was a participant in a discussion on the science of fine-tuning, on Howie’s blog, Truth is Elusive. The discussion got into some questions that I thought were worth looking at in more detail.

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