Now we know why irrational ideas, like religious belief, can spread through a population.
Maybe knowledge of this could help us spread rationality for a change.
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.
The interesting question to me is if its 10% Atheists vs 10% Christians who is going to win!! Maybe the Atheists just aren't outspoken enough!
Although this study could show how political attitudes and the like could be changed by a strong minded 10% of people, it specifically states that in the models they used that the other 90% are open minded - Most Christians aren't open minded about there religion even if they are about other things like politics.
If Christians were open minded there wouldn't be many left by now!! lol.
Thanks for the article, an interesting study.
Have some skepticism.
First, it was a computer model. Tweak the right constant and it will reach any desired conclusion.
Second, every belief starts with under 10% support. This model says such a belief must die.
Third, how long does a belief take to get from 10% support to 50% plus one support? Let's do a study.
Fourth, how long does a study take to get funding for real world testing? Let's do a study.
Who will bring a fifth?
I think that we can help get the word out by supporting young atheists who've found a voice on YouTube.
They need more views, supportive comments, and thumbs-up on their uploaded videos. Suggestions:
(That second link is also a one-click poll on whether prayer works or not.)
A third video, which is a supportive motivator for young atheists who are a bit shy: