The Paper here has some interesting conclusions. In addition to a table of the Top 50 atheist countries, it also claims the following:
In sum, countries marked by high rates of organic atheism are among the most societally healthy on earth, while societies characterized by non-existent rates of organic atheism are among the most destitute. Nations marked by high degrees of organic atheism tend to have among the lowest homicide rates, infant mortality rates, poverty rates, and illiteracy rates, and among the highest levels of wealth, life expectancy, educational attainment, and gender equality in the world.
Of course, the next sentence is interesting as well.
The only indicator of societal health mentioned above in which religious countries fared better than irreligious countries was suicide.
Of course, quotes taken out of context can sometimes be bad. You should read the entire paper. Otherwise one might jump to a correlation equals causation fallacy. The paper even warns of this.
Of course, it is essential to clearly state that I am in no way arguing that high levels of organic atheism cause societal health or that low levels of organic atheism cause societal ills such as poverty or illiteracy. If anything, the opposite argument should be made: societal health causes widespread atheism, and societal insecurity causes widespread belief in God, as discussed by Norris and Inglehart (2004) above.
Also, here's the list of the top 50 atheist countries, in case you want to holiday somewhere a little less religious than your current locale.
|Country||Total Pop.(2004)||% Atheist/actual # Agnostic/Nonbeliever in God||(minimum - maximum)|
|33||North Korea||22,698,000||15% ( ? )||3,404,700|
|36||China||1,298,848,000||8-14% ( ? )||103,907,840-181,838,720|
|49||Cuba||11,309,000||7% ( ? )||791,630|
You can read all about it here:
Bill Nye in Waco
Note: It's under the digg effect at the moment, hopefully it'll come back up soon.
The Emmy-winning scientist angered a few audience members when he criticized literal interpretation of the biblical verse Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”
He pointed out that the sun, the “greater light,” is but one of countless stars and that the “lesser light” is the moon, which really is not a light at all, rather a reflector of light.
A number of audience members left the room at that point, visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence.
“We believe in a God!” exclaimed one woman as she left the room with three young children.