RE: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 07:22:34 MDT

J. R. Molloy wrote,
> > Take one criticism of the above statistic: the really sick, the
> > generally unhealthy, the depressed---all will have a tendency to
> > both skip church and die early. Duh!
> >
> > Lee Corbin
> Thanks for pointing that out, Lee. Although it should be obvious,
> people who
> attend church are more likely to believe bogus statistical
> analyses which tend
> to support their belief system. Double Duh!!

This is a typical example of bad statistical analysis. Without positing a
cause and effect, it is invalid to conclude that church going makes people
live longer. A more likely analysis is that people who live longer (i.e.,
older) tend to go to church more than younger people.

Older people grew up in earlier times which were more church oriented. The
older people get, the closer they are to death, and the more interested they
are in an afterlife. Many activities that are contrary to church-going,
such as sex or busy weekends, tend to decrease as one gets older. People
who died already could not participate in the survey.

In other words, this survey doesn't show anything except that the average
church goer is older than the average nonchurch goer!

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