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wow, something interesting in USA Today? FIrst time for everything.

Cool graph from USA today showing poll results about religious affiliation. The poll question was not published...irritating. There's a link to a more in-depth article (at least by USA Today standards) and multimedia images, but the eye-catching graph is the thing to see.
PA ranks in a tie for 14th for the number of people identifying as "no religion." The northeast is highest in this category. It makes me wonder if there's a link between socioeconomic status and religious affiliation. I suspect there's an inverse relationship between median income by state and those identifying as religious. With more time I'll investigate. Anyone know if this has already been done?



Terrific! 50 proofs that gawd does not exist

Read them here. My favorite?
Prayer is rank superstition, nothing more. People who believe in the power of prayer are no different than people who believe in the power of crystal balls, horoscopes or lucky rabbits feet. Prayer is scientifically proven to be meaningless.


Score one (more) for evolution

Discovery of puijila darwini in northern Canada, a seal with legs instead of flippers, supports the theory of evolution as a transitional fossil.

Watch this about transitional fossils and creationism:

Theory is not defined as "something somebody thinks is true," as opponents of evolution and magical thinkers would have you believe. Visit this site for a nice description of what a theory is.

Incidentally, Miriam-Webster's dictionary site gets it wrong. Okay, maybe they get it wrong on purpose because of its popular use. But it helps explain how theories, though solid, thoroughly debated and tested, and/or capable of explaining phenomena, can be thought of as "an ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances."

Here's a nice site from National Geographic which lists seven transitional fossils.
And now a bigger list, just the vertebrates.
Finally, transitional fossils from all flavors of animal.


Fantastic video. Get in and comment!

Watch it and giggle...

Fantastic video. Get in and comment!


Watch it and giggle...


Gallup poll: fewer identify themselves as Christian in US than in past

A positive sign for the nonreligious: this Gallup Poll (sample size: slightly over 17k) shows a decline in Americans identifying themselves as Christian. I grabbed a chart from the original site, but be sure to follow the link above -- there's more there.

This made me wonder: given that the fastest-growing ethnic group in the US is the latino community, which identifies itself heavily as Catholic, will these gains be short-lived as the large adolescent latino population ages and become voters? With some research I discovered that:
a) almost 25% of latinos are Protestant, more that my prejudices would allow me to believe.
b) that about 70 % of latinos are Catholic. I assumed it was more like 80 to 90 percent.
c) less than 1 % of latinos are atheist/agnostic.
I'm not trying to single out latinos because of their religious beliefs. I'm just thinking that this data makes it likely that the gains in population of nontheists comes probably from caucasian protestants. That's my guess.

For more good news, listen to this. It's an NPR report from their show, Faith Matters, that say that latinos are leaving the Catholic church...