Looking over recent census based statitstics on religion, I note that there are some deniers out there. Those deniers at statistics new Zealand claim that affiliation with Christian demoninations is on the decline, and there is a rise in numbers of those willing to change their identification from “other” to “no religion.” What a pack of deniers. Clearly they are anti-science.
But my say-so isn’t going to cut it I fear. I need… a graph! People believe graphs. But there’s one problem… all this pesky data lying around. What if people find it? They might become diners too, and we can’t have that. Then I struck on a brilliant idea. I gathered up all this data and emailed it off to East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre. I hear they’re great at making stuff up number crunching.
Before the final result was produced, there were a number of emails sent around between collaborators who were to produce the final version of the graph. I liked what I heard. Mick Kelly said:
Hmmm, I’m concerned by the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable numbers beyond what you might expect from temporary backsliding as people go through University etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also. Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the curve before I give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent “heathen-esqe” years.
Smooth move! I was hoping that some of the others might come to the party to massage the data and make sure that it gives the result that I want people to believe right result. I was not disappointed. Phil Jones had just the thing, right before the final diagram was produced:
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that off to Glenn either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s trick of adding in the real number of Christians to each series for the last 10 years (ie from 2000 onwards) to hide the decline. We wouldn’t want anyone to notice the decline. That would be bad.
Bad indeed! Now instead of a decline in the Christian percentage, we have scientific proof that we’re heading for a revival! Oh, I suppose you’ll want to see the graph. After all, there’s no proof without a graph. So here it is:
Where are the deniers now?