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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Images of people in moments of prayer
Images of people in moments of prayer
FCA prays for our school this morning on National Day of Prayer #thankyou http://t.co/bWrSPoy9pC
Ministering at National Day of Prayer Breakfast. #MtGileadFGIM hosted the event. God has given us authority in #RVA! http://t.co/VGUjT6M5xb
Join us as we observe National Day of Prayer at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel, services at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. http://t.co/CsA2HZDAi6
Great hanging out with these guys at the National Day of Prayer event in DC today! @ronniefloyd @jackngraham #NDOP http://t.co/0CY7TszTcn
A family that prays together, stays together! Mark your calendars National Day of Prayer is this Thursday! #Savelle http://t.co/lugHmwFWWq
Honored to be with our military during today's National Day of Prayer Celebration in Texas. #vets #txlege http://t.co/cOPZHeJOv7
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: Attendees pray during the opening session of the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2015 in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 28: Strong safety Brandian Ross #29 of the Oakland Raiders looks up after saying a prayer in the end zone before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 28, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
FONTANA, CA - MARCH 21: The pit crew of Brendan Gaughan (not pictured), driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, prays before the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive4Clots.com 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 21, 2015 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
People pray over a makeshift cross during a rally in front of City Hall in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 3, 2015 calling for peace following widespread riots. The riots stemmed from protests over the death of Freddie Gray, 25, who suffered a serious spinal injury while in the back of a police van on April 12. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 03: A man prays during a song at Kingdom Fellowship Cathedral two days after Baltimore authorities released a report on the death of Freddie Gray on May 3, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. Maryland Gov., Larry Hogan called for a statewide ÃDay of Prayer and PeaceÃ on Sunday. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Protesters pray outside the Baltimore Police Central Booking and Intake Center for prisoners in Baltimore, Maryland on May 1, 2015. Six Baltimore police officers were charged Friday over the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American whose spine was snapped in custody, in a surprise announcement after days of riots and protests in the US city. The charges -- ranging from second-degree murder and manslaughter to misconduct -- were set out by Maryland state prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, with all six officers taken into custody during the day. AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)
Participants in the March For Marriage pray outside the US Supreme Court on April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court meets on April 28 to hear arguments on whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed in the United States, with a final decision expected in June. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J.RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 07: Christian ministers, clergy and lay leaders pray during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House April 7, 2015 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, President Barack Obama hosted the event to bring Christian religious leaders together at the White House to 'pray and reflect on Holy Week and Easter.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MARCH 31: U.S. Army generals bow their heads in prayer during the commencement ceremony for the Army's annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in the Pentagon Center Courtyard March 31, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. In conjunction with the national campaign against sexual assault, The Army announced this year's theme, 'Not in My Squad. Not in Our Army. We are Trusted Professionals,' during the ceremony.Ã According to the Pentagon, the initative 'is a grassroots approach meant to reinforce a climate of dignity and respect founded on good order and discipline.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
People pray during a service in a soccer field near the Islamic Association of Raleigh February 12, 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Community members and loved ones gathered to mourn the murders of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha who were shot Tuesday afternoon. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Thinking of everyone in Paris.
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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.