Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Mine that Data, Mr. Data

The data nerds at OK Cupid (a popular, non-Christian dating web site) have harvested data from over half a million of their users and compiled some illuminating statistics. They aggregated data from personal essays written by the users (“Get to Know You” blurbs, I would assume) and matched common keywords to the demographic information volunteered by those users. It’s actually a good read and full of surprising (some stereotypical, some obvious) infoporn mostly about traits common between group of users of the same self-described ethnicity.

The real fun is when they start to correlate reading/writing level by running these essays through the Coleman-Liau Index, a readability test designed to measure the grade level of the author. Near the bottom of the article, they cross-reference the score for this index next to the stated religious preference of the users. Can you guess what it shows?!


Let’s not jump to conclusions here, correlation is not causation, but is it surprising?

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Leo Buzalsky

For those who want to see all the data, I found this link: I also noticed more interesting information on the graph below the one posted here. It showed that those who were more serious about their religious belief scored lower than those who were not very serious about their religious belief. On the other hand, those who are serious about their lack of belief (us atheists and agnostics) tended to score better than those who were less serious about it. I really don’t find that surprising, either, but I do find it nice to have data points that… Read more »

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