Right on the socionomic schedule, the growth of the irreligious population begins to slow:
After years of marked growth, the size of Americans who identify with no religion slowed in 2012, according to a study released Thursday. Since 2008, the percentage of Americans who identify as religious “nones” has grown from 14.6% to 17.8% in 2012, according to the Gallup survey. That number, which grew nearly one percentage point every year from 2008 to 2011, grew only 0.3% last year – from 17.5% in 2011 to 17.8% in 2012 – making it the smallest increase over the past five years….
Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup, says these results suggest “that religion may be maintaining itself or even increasing in the years ahead.” “Our current ability to look at it over five years with these big surveys suggests the possibility that the growth [of the nones] may not be inexorable,” Newport says….
Atheist and humanist activists disagree and pushed back against the Gallup study.
Given that the vast economic depression that began in 2008 still hasn’t even been officially recognized, it should be no surprise that the pendulum has merely slowed, and not turned entirely. I find it amusing that the atheists and humanists are so openly anti-science; one wonders what, precisely, their argument for the continued decline of religion might be founded upon.
What should actually concern the atheist and humanist activists is not the socionomic prediction that non-religious identification will decline as economic conditions continue to worsen. What should bother them is that the growth in religious “nones” considerably outpaces the growth of those willing to identify themselves as atheism. Not only do Low Church Atheists not identify with High Church Atheists, they often have a more favorable view of the religious than they do of their “fellow” atheists.
As for the inevitable appeal to “the youth”, the linear projections never pan out for the obvious reason that young people are stupid, inexperienced, and clueless. Eventually, most of them grow out of it.