This has been all over the news recently, and because it’s related to creationism we think it’s worth mentioning. According to the Pew Research Center, a public opinion polling organization, they’ve found that “Christians Decline Sharply as Share of Population.” That’s the sub-title of this article at their website: America’s Changing Religious Landscape. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing, according to an extensive new survey by the Pew Research Center. Moreover, these changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting all regions of the country and many demographic groups.
Many demographic groups? Apparently so. They say:
While the drop in Christian affiliation is particularly pronounced among young adults, it is occurring among Americans of all ages. The same trends are seen among whites, blacks and Latinos; among both college graduates and adults with only a high school education; and among women as well as men.
What do the numbers look like? Let’s read on:
To be sure, the United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world, and a large majority of Americans – roughly seven-in-ten – continue to identify with some branch of the Christian faith. But the major new survey of more than 35,000 Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that the percentage of adults (ages 18 and older) who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4% in an equally massive Pew Research survey in 2007 to 70.6% in 2014. Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated – describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – has jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%.
That’s a big change. What’s going on? We continue:
The drop in the Christian share of the population has been driven mainly by declines among mainline Protestants and Catholics. Each of those large religious traditions has shrunk by approximately three percentage points since 2007. The evangelical Protestant share of the U.S. population also has dipped, but at a slower rate, falling by about one percentage point since 2007.
Interesting. The denominations most likely to be involved with science-denial are declining too, but they aren’t dropping like the mainline denominations.
The article has charts and a lot more numbers. We can’t summarize all of it, so we’ll just give you a few more excerpts:
Meanwhile, the number of religiously unaffiliated adults has increased by roughly 19 million since 2007. There are now approximately 56 million religiously unaffiliated adults in the U.S., and this group – sometimes called religious “nones” – is more numerous than either Catholics or mainline Protestants, according to the new survey. Indeed, the unaffiliated are now second in size only to evangelical Protestants among major religious groups in the U.S.
Hey, this is big! Here’s more:
One of the most important factors in the declining share of Christians and the growth of the “nones” is generational replacement. As the Millennial generation enters adulthood, its members display much lower levels of religious affiliation, including less connection with Christian churches, than older generations. Fully 36% of young Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 24) are religiously unaffiliated, as are 34% of older Millennials (ages 25-33). And fewer than six-in-ten Millennials identify with any branch of Christianity …
This is an ominous portent for the future of Ken Ham’s creationist operation. He’s written about it recently — see Yes, We Are Losing the Millennials. Hambo’s solution — more creationism!
Maybe Hambo knows what he’s doing. Or maybe he’s a clueless as the others, but he’s sticking with what has worked for him in the past. We can’t predict the future, but the statistics are telling us something. What is it?
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