The blog of Dr Glenn Andrew Peoples on Theology, Philosophy, and Social Issues

Science Says: We're heading for a revival!


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?


Ethical (super)naturalism


Hanegraaf on Annihilationism


  1. Hmm, I’m still suspicious, but dang it, the science is sound and the emails stack up.

    But what about the medieval prayer period? I don’t see the hockey stick go back that far. Are you just going to ignore it?

    And I looked into the figures you used, that so-called “raw data” to discover that all the automated religion detection stations you used in the series are from locations within 10 metres of a Church and always taken on Sunday morning at around 10am.

    What about the religion detection stations at abortion clinics, at the Richard Dawkins Evolutionary Centres, and strip clubs? Why have you ignored that data? You seem to assume there is no such thing as the Urban Church effect.

    But I guess I might be overly paranoid, because I note that the whole study was peer reviewed, and aside from the irreligious comments of Lloyd Geering, the rest of the hand selected peer review team seem to have given you the thumbs up.

  2. Firstly, there is absolutely no dissent within the scientific community, and if you disagree then you’re outside of the scientific community.

    Secondly, medieval prayer period? Everyone knows that that only occurred in one tiny village in England, stopping at the gates. Ignore any historical reference to prayer anywhere else in the world. They didn’t get their studies peer reviewed now did they?

    And yes, we may have ignored data from religion detection units in some areas, but shut up and go away.

  3. Fair enough. Just a hint though: If you add in Catholics as Christians (something hotly debated in certain circles), you can probably get a small local rise in the numbers caused by the World Youth Day event in Sydney.

    And there is this other data trend you can use, called the “Dan Brown Effect” where the number of Christians must be higher than the reported numbers due to the well documented (by Scientist Dan Brown) inherent danger they represent to society.

  4. Anon

    Would you happen to be available for an interview with Lord Munckton, Glenn?

  5. Anon – no. In fact if he tries, I’ll have him arrested and thrown out of the building. This is not a controversy to be discussed. It’s unanimously settled.

  6. Roy Pearson

    Glen, Please let me be the first to congratulate you, and your graph, no one with any serious intelligence can argue against such a well thought out and obviously correct finding.

  7. These numbers prove that there is a terrifying rise in temperance and consequences could be drastic. I propose a global governing body to prevent future emissions of grace from those christian-factories!

  8. Ropata, we already have such a body: Liberal Anglicanism. 😉

  9. That’s 10 extra years in purgatory Glenn. You can use that time to make friends with the AGW campers who are there recruiting for a very warm, toasty some say, location.

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