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Atheists, Agnostics, and Nones: Indicators of the Rise of American Secularity

This is a research data presentation, from 22 different sources, that is primarily concerned to show indicators of the rise in nonreligion, atheism, and secularity in the United States (and with minor and brief references to global rates). Throughout the presentation, I provide statistical and other research data that describes atheists, agnostics, and nones using studies from 1990 to 2014, and I refer to causality and theories on what lies behind this rise in recent decades. However, for the most part, the main thrust here is that a solid statistical and data driven case can be made for a rise in various indicators of secularity, that this rise did happen and is currently happening. This presentation is not meant to suggest that such a rise will continue or that religion is dying out or will become extinct soon. It does not take into account any of the indicators which would demonstrate the increasing strength or revitalization of religion, as there are surely indicators that would point in that direction. (Some scholars argue that the rise of the Nones has been counterbalanced by a corresponding rise in the super-religious).

The presentation will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, followed by a Q & A/discussion.

Joseph Langston has an MA in sociology from UCCS, and bachelor's degrees in both psychology and sociology from Arkansas State University. He specializes in the study of religion and atheism from psychological and sociological approaches, and will teach Sociology of Religion at UCCS this Fall.

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