Study: atheists may die out due to contraception usage

A new study in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science has made a bold claim about the future of atheists.

The report, called The Future of Secularism, says that these people are doomed because religious people procreate more. While a report by the Pew Research Center in 2015 said that American citizens are becoming less religious, those who practice a faith are not at risk.

The Future of Secularism studied over 4,000 students in both the United States and Malaysia. Malaysian atheists had 1.5 fewer siblings than the average. This number was smaller for American atheists: 0.16 fewer siblings than the average.

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Apparently, there are both hereditary and behavioral reasons for this. Before the 1800s, there wasn't much of a difference in reproduction between atheists and religious people, authors of the study believe. "By the mid-19th century," they note, "scientific discoveries had moved to a point that human reproduction was sufficiently well understood that fertility rates began to be impacted, especially in the emerging industrial countries."

There is a supposed gene that makes people more inclined to be religious, and that gene became advantageous in terms of being able to reproduce. That's the hereditary part -- but, as birth control methods became more widespread, atheists were more likely to use them and decrease their reproduction.

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