Breeding For God

A fascinating article in the Telegraph UK points out that outside of age and marital status, religiosity is the greatest predictor of how many children a European woman will produce. Since the power of Christ isn’t compelling atheists to breed, they crank out relatively fewer refusniks.

Data is rare in this area, but what they do have suggests that atheists are a dying breed. Austria is the only country which records the religious belief of parents but their figure, of 0.85 children per atheist woman, is far below replacement rate (2.1) and below even the most barren European country’s average rate, which is about 1.2. And since most people inherit their parents’ political and religious world views, this is bad news for Team Dawkins.

The article cites this gem from philosopher Julian Baggini.

I have one, and only one, firm and sincere desire about what quality my grandchildren should possess: non-existence. The issue for me is rather one about the possible forms of the good life. I just cannot understand why it is that the vast majority of people seem to think breeding is a vital component of a flourishing existence.

We’ll make it up by recruiting.