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Are atheists a dying breed?

Across the board, the religious have more children than the atheists.


For atheists it is the ultimate irony. Evolution, the process they believe is solely responsible for creating humanity, actually weeds out non-believers while favouring the religious, new research has shown.

It suggests that, over evolutionary timescales of hundreds or thousands of years, people with strong religious beliefs tend to have more children, whereas atheists have fewer children and the societies they belong to inevitably disappear.

“It is a great irony but evolution appears to discriminate against atheists and favour those with religious beliefs,” said Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany who carried out the study. “Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century.”

The idea that being religious is an evolutionary advantage is in direct contradiction to theories developed and promoted by atheists like Richard Dawkins who have suggested that religions are like viruses of the mind which infect people and impose great costs in terms of money, time and health risks.