[This will be a multiple part theme, and the Zuckerman connection I'll divide into at least two posts. Part 1 is already up on Atheistwatch.]
Over the last few years many amateur sociologists from the atheist camp have tried to produce would-be social science studies to demonstrate their ideological contention that atheism is the product of rational thought and religion is the product of superstition and stupidity.
One of the major contributors is a sociologist named Zuckerman. The "study" he contributes is badly done and makes a lot of bad assumptions. His study is not well thought of in the academy, but atheists on the net cling to it as though it proves all.
I've seen over half a dozen attempts to do sociological studies that supposedly prove that religion is bad for society. The two major one's are the so-called studies by Zuckerman and Paul. These two studies are linked as Zuckerman acknowledges Paul's "study" as foundational for his own.
The Edge Foundation describes Zuckerman's study this way:
A sociologist at Pitzer, Phil Zuckerman is the author of Invitation to the Sociology of Religion, Du Bois on Religion, Sex and Religion, and Society Without God. His Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006) verifies the inability of popular religiosity to thrive in modern, egalitarian democracies.
But this is nothing more than a lie and Zuckerman's superficial data confirms nothing of the sort.
Zukerman has a Skeptical Enquirer article that someone has tried to use against me and my religious experience studies, but it didn't apply. This trend is making me very angry because it has spawned many of the lies and half truths that are fueling the new Atheism.