Some Thoughts About Surveys (A “Soul Searching” Caveat)

As I’ve been blogging through Christian Smith’s “Soul Searching,” I’ve had this recurring thought that the data in this research is now 10 years old. How much has changed in 10 years?

I suspect that with the rise of the New Atheism, and the increased numbers in the religious “nones” category, that some of the data we’re looking in at in this series is becoming dated. This doesn’t mean that the research has become worthless. It certainly is still very helpful. The research is probably is still accurate on the whole, but I also suspect that a great many of those 75% of teens who identified as Christian 10 years ago, would likely identify as a “none” right now.

In case you’re wondering, the “nones” represent a category of people who self-identify as having no religious affiliation. Smith’s research indicates that the “spiritual but not religious” category was almost non-existent among teens 10 years ago, but what about now? I wouldn’t be surprised if that number were significantly higher now, but I have no facts to back that up.

Anyway, I just thought I would put that out there. More Soul Searching data to come a little later today.