Monday, August 2, 2010

What "Cult" Size Fits You?

I came across the following slide of a presentation at the Faculty of Philosophy lecture by Robin Dunbar, Director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford.,_tolerance_and_intolerance

Using 19th century 'utopian cult data' (whatever that is), he determined the optimum group sizes for both religious and secular communities. Not surprisingly, for religious communities the number is about 150. The group size that is considered to be that throughout the majority of human evolution. But for secular communities, that number drops to about 50. It seems that a supernatural component to a group (whether it's true or not) provides increased social adhesion.

What we can deduce from that is to not worry so much when you see attendance at your secular events in onesie-twosie numbers while people are pouring into churches by the dozens. It's natural. Secular organizations should be more numerous, but smaller in size. From a membership of one, (like me), to around 50.

1 comment:

  1. What I can't understand is how anyone can consider anything that Doug Stewart expresses or concocts as reason? Doug is a miserable,chronic alcoholic who uses atheism as his justification for his lack of morals and values.
    He feels that atheism justifies him not being a good father who is a part and not being a positive influence in his children's lives; on his third divorce, he feels that it justifies his infidelity and promiscuity;not being able to tell the truth about anything, he feels that it justifies his lying.
    Simple put, he gives atheism a "real" bad name.