Evolutionary Studies of Religion spreading via German Media

Let me start by apologizing for not having texted that much in English these last months. Besides the fact that English is not my first language (as you have probably noticed already) I have been busy writing and answering to a lot of German media covering evolutionary studies of religion and my field of research, religious demography. The new peak of interest started with coverage in main print media such as the "liberal" SPIEGEL or the "conservative" WELT.

Increasingly, television took notice. My personal peak has been the scientific format "Quarks & Co." with Ranga Yogeshwar, a science commentator I am a great fan of. In the first issue ever on Religion & Faith, evolutionary studies of religion have been covered from minute 8:30 to 19:40.

Regional stations such as the BR (Bavarian Broadcast) contributed pieces, too:

Finally, I was able to publish "Religion und Demografie. Warum es ohne Glauben an Kinder mangelt" presenting my main thesis borne out of ten years of empirical research: Religions, and only religions, are able to motivate human populations to have more than two children per woman on average (especially if the people are educated and wealthy). Wherever religious faith is thinning out, fertility levels are plummeting below replacement level.

Of course, there are now various places to discuss these topics, such as this interview by Dr. Heinz-Hermann Peitz in the Academy of the (Catholic) Diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

It's an exciting time to explore and discuss the evolution of religiosity and religions in various nations and languages. Although it is hard work right now, I am enjoying every single day of it.

7 Responses to “Evolutionary Studies of Religion spreading via German Media”

  1. John Wheeler Reply | Permalink

    One of the great scientific chances of the Web is the possibility of intercultural and international dialogue. Understanding diverse perspectives concerning religious affiliations, beliefs and practices is mandatory in German Religionswissenschaft (the scientific study of religion). That's the reason we are combining multiple qualitative and quantitative approaches and databases for testing and refining respective hypotheses. This is a good article.

  2. Art Thompson Reply | Permalink

    Is it available anywhere in English?
    I wish I could communicate in German. That's a major part of my ancestry.

  3. David Marjanović Reply | Permalink

    Wherever religious faith is thinning out, fertility levels are plummeting below replacement level.

    Was ist dann mit Frankreich, wo die Geburtenrate bei 2.1 liegt? Liegt das nicht an den finanziellen und sozialen Maßnahmen wie dem Gratiskindergarten für alle ab 3 Jahren?

    What's going on in France, then, where the birth rate is at 2.1? Isn't it caused by the financial and social measures like the free kindergarten for all from the age of 3 onwards?

  4. Regina Reply | Permalink

    Absolutely wrong and misleading to believe that the decline in religiosity explains the childlessness of the Germans. Atheists and non-religious are still a minority (ca. 20%) while the childlessness could be found within the religious community too. Additionally, it's morally wrong to fool people struggling to secure jobs and economy to procreate in despair. I would say the problem lies rather in the step prior to the decision to procreate, namely, finding someone to make that happen. And religion can only be blamed for the sex-avoidance and the over-moralistic trend found in German culture.

    • Michael Blume Reply | Permalink


      It's not very helpful to mix empirical and emotional findings. That the religious tend to have (far) more children on average is an empirical finding, which I would recommend to evaluate on a case-by-case basis. And I've never argued that people "should" be living in bad conditions in order to get more religious experiences. Again, the strong relation between existential security and secularization (followed by declining birth rates, among other aspects) is an empirical observation, not a commandment...

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