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of the week

IS THE INTERNET BAD FOR RELIGION?

A new paper draws an intriguing conclusion to a question scholars have wrestled with for several decades: Why are Americans dropping out of church?
One reason? They’re logging on to the Internet.
Allen Downey, a professor of computer science at Massachusetts’ Olin College of Engineering, found that between 1990 and 2010 the share of Americans claiming no religious affiliation grew from 8 percent to 18 percent while the number of Americans connected to the Internet rose from almost nothing to 80 percent.
Downey cautions — as do his critics — that correlation does not equal causation.
“We can’t know for sure that Internet use causes religious disaffiliation,” Downey said. “It is alw >>

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