042314 New Study in ReligionI often tell folk I’m more spiritual than religious. That’s partly because I give the uber-religious the side eye, not because I have a degree and spend excessive amounts of time online. But computer scientist Allen Downey at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts seeks to prove a link between college education, internet usage, and religious disaffiliation.

Per Downey’s logistic regression analysis (damn statistics!), all three factors combined explain about 50 percent of the drop in religious affiliation; increased internet usage alone can account for about 20 percent of the decline.

What about other factors, you ask?

Downey ran a regression controlling for all other possible explanations of the religious drop like income and home region and still found strong associations among upbringing, education, and internet usage.

“So far I haven’t seen anything that is a serious contradiction,” Downey says. “So the challenge now is, great, show me the data to prove other associations.”

Downey predicts the most likely changes between now and 2040 are that the percentage of people without a religious preference will reach 25 percent.

Eh, I still don’t buy it.

Clutchettes and Gents, do you think there is a direct correlation between religion, education, and the net?


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