Friday, October 14, 2005

Christian Fundamentalism and Anti-Evolutionism Leads to: Homicide, STDs, Teen Pregnancy?!

This is not from The Onion, but from an article by Gregory Paul in Journal of Religion and Society. George Monbiot discusses the findings on AlterNet. Here are a few of the conclusions (from Monbiot's discussion; quotes are from the original article):

"In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion ... None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction."

Within the United States "the strongly theistic, anti-evolution South and Midwest" have "markedly worse homicide, mortality, STD, youth pregnancy, marital and related problems than the Northeast where ... secularization, and acceptance of evolution approach European norms."

Three sets of findings stand out: the associations between religion -- especially absolute belief -- and juvenile mortality, venereal disease and adolescent abortion. Paul's graphs show far higher rates of death among the under-5s in Portugal, the U.S and Ireland and put the U.S. -- the most religious country in his survey -- in a league of its own for gonorrhea and syphilis.

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