The death of religion may come sooner than we were expecting.
Religion has been on the decline in many places for several decades now, but some experts think it could be completely wiped out in nine nations.
Data collected from nine countries show that religion is in steady decline, and will come to be non-existent in the trends continue.
Results were collected from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland which all showed the same trend – that secularism is becoming the norm.
The results were shared at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US after the data was collected using nonlinear dynamics to establish a link between the social motive of being part of a religious organisation.
Nonlinear dynamics has been used in the past to record other social phenomenon, such as Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University who used it to study the reduction in the speaking of certain rare languages.
Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the University of Arizona spoke of the model and how it has helped to record these events. He said “The idea is pretty simple,”
“It posits that social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join, and it posits that social groups have a social status or utility.
“For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there’s some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not.”
The fast rate of decline in religion in certain areas was also touched upon by Dr. Wiener, saying “In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%.”
The team have noted how the study was only conducted in nine countries, and so cannot be used as a definitive model for the rest of the world, but that the result does suggest a larger trend happening throughout the rest of the world.