Saturday, May 8, 2010

Religious Market Saturation

Epiphenom is a fan-frickin-tastic blog, bringing to bear demographic methods on religious populations. Reason is one side of the approach to an improved world, but we also need to see exactly how religious ideologies spread if we're going to be effective.

The post I linked to points to a study looking at America's home-grown branches of Christianity (Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.) and their patterns of export to the rest of the world. Epiphenom focuses on the Mormons. Contrary to expectations, a) it's not bottom-income countries where Mormonism has been most successful, but middle income and b) to quote the post:

"What's intriguing, however, is that there doesn't seem to be competition between groups. In other words, the growth rate of Mormons is slower if there are already a
lot of Mormons in the country, but it's unaffected by the numbers of Jehovah's Witnesses. That suggests that these groups appeal to different kinds of people – although an alternative explanation is simply that the hotspots of each group is separated geographically within a country."

Another hypothesis could be that people develop an "immune response" after a long enough period, but it's specific to the appearance and sound bites of one religion.

These are exactly the kinds of investigations we need in order to understand how best to spread critical thinking and reason. Epiphenom gets my vote for coolest blog ever.

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