Prophecies of the extinction of religion, or its triumph, fall prey to the weaknesses of linear prediction
Conservative commentator Mark Steyn declares that Europe will soon be dominated by Muslims. The polemicist Sam Harris observes that half of Swedes are atheists, portending a godless future. They can’t both be right, but they are both making the same mistake.
While Harris’ fellow travellers exult over the fact that the number of Americans affirming that they have “no religion” has doubled in less than a generation, others point out that individual fertility in the west is directly proportional to personal religiosity. American women with a religious affiliation bear nearly a third more children than those without, and this, as much as changing beliefs, will influence the religious makeup of future generations.