The Skeptic article by Michael Shermer in the April 2018 edition of Scientific American is titled: “Silent no more. The rise of the atheists.”
He estimates that there are currently about 64 million American atheists and that the number is increasing. He concludes, “…if these trends continue, we should be thinking about the deeper implications for how people will find meaning as the traditional source of it wanes in influence. And we should continue working on grounding our morals and values on viable secular sources such as reason and science.”
Here at Atheist Republic we already discuss these two latter issues. Hopefully his article will also raise awareness and stimulate thought among his many readers.
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64 million? I find that hard to believe. How did he arrive at that estimation?
I too find 64 million hard to believe.
“The Pew Religious Landscape survey reported that as of 2014, 22.8% of the U.S. population is religiously unaffiliated, atheists made up 3.1% and agnostics made up 4% of the U.S. population. The 2014 General Social Survey reported that 21% of Americans had no religion with 3% being atheist and 5% being agnostic.”
So, according to my calculator, if Shermer figures the religiously unaffiliated are atheist, then his number is on the short side since there are about 325.7 million peeps in the USA. If however, you figure on just the 3.1%, then it’s closer to 10million.
His article is not available electronically yet and I left out a lot of his data analysis.
He quotes the following article in the Jan 2018 Social Psychological and Personality Science:
How Many Atheists Are There? Will M. Gervais, Maxine B. Najle. See abstract at:
He takes their figure of 26% (93% certainty between 17% and 35%) atheists to come up with the 64 million.