Entry 649: They Haven’t Got a Prayer

Well, with Good Friday and Easter upon us, and Passover well under way, it’s only natural that I do a post about atheism.

Atheists in America have been flying pretty high since the presidential election, when their main theory seemed to be confirmed.

But lately, there’s also been some bad news for the Godless set. For instance, atheists may soon become extinct.

This, according to a study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science (in the same issue as the cover story “Kim Kardashian, and How We Got Here”*), in which researchers give two reasons for the coming shortage of nonbelievers. (Continued below cover shot)

Obviously, one reason is that religious folks have more babies because they screw around more. This is because places of worship are excellent places to meet eligible singles, and folks are always hooking up after Sunday mass and Friday night Sabbath services.

Wait! I’ve just been informed that the previous paragraph is only half right. The faithful do have more children, but not necessarily because they screw around more (although everyone knows they do). Of course, they have more babies because they’re less inclined to use contraceptives. And also because atheists don’t know what to say during sex since they can’t scream “Oh god, oh god, oh god!”

As subscribers to Evolutionary Psychological Science can tell you, a lower birth rate ultimately leads to extinction, although perhaps not as quickly as a catastrophic asteroid impact. But the interesting thing about this study is that birth control isn’t the only reason atheists have fewer kids. The other is that atheists may be missing Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2, the highly touted sequel to Vesicular Monoamine Transporter. This is the “God-gene” that supposedly makes humans predisposed toward believing in the supernatural. That may be advantageous from an evolutionary point of view, possibly because early hominid women actually believed early hominid men when the men told them they should have sex because the gods were coming to end the world in a few days.

Anyway, I think you’ll agree that becoming extinct is pretty bad news for any group, but especially those who have no one to ask for help. But there’s even worse news for atheists:

Americans hate them.

According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, the only group of people Americans hate more than atheists are Muslims, possibly because our President isn’t always ranting about radical extremist atheists.

The survey asked people to rate a variety of groups on a 1-100 “feeling thermometer” (with 0 as the coldest and 100 as the warmest). Pew has created the helpful graphic at right to show us how various groups rate in the eyes of the American public. I’d like to point out three things about this:

  1. Note that one of the choices was not telemarketers. Otherwise atheists and Muslims might have been ranked even lower.
  2. No group was ranked over 67, which essentially means Americans don’t feel all that warmly toward anybody.
  3. Jews won!

Yes, that’s right: We actually are the chosen ones! You love us, America. You really love us.

(Of course, there exists the possibility that Pew conducted its survey outside of synagogues. And, yes, if that was the case, 67 degrees would be just about right.)

But getting back to atheists, there are slightly positive sides to these two stories. Regarding the whole ceasing to exist thing, the low birth rate among atheists may end up being balanced out because Americans as a whole are becoming less religious. So while atheists may not be having babies, perhaps they can count on millennials to carry on their traditions…especially now that atheism has taken steps to overcome one of its biggest shortcomings: a lack of jewelry.

And regarding the Pew Survey, although Americans don’t much care for Muslims and atheists, they like both groups a little more than they did three years ago.

So, congratulations on that and, I really can’t emphasize this enough: The Jews won!

See you soon.

*The study and the journal are real.  The cover, not so much.

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