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Talk:Percentage of atheists
The stats listed as 'atheist prison statistics' are unreliable and anecdotal. If you research it to try to find the original source, you'll find that there is no way to determine: Who collected the stats or how, whether there is a possibility of bias or not, how the categories were presented to prisoners and other methodological concerns, and whether these numbers are even accurate or official.
All we have is a he said she said type of situation. It does not look good for freethinkers to go around spreading anecdotal evidence. I suggest putting some sort of warning label or something to denote that those stats are not reliable. I'm new to this wiki, so I'm not sure the appropriate procedure to do this. For now I'll try just adding a bit of text at the top of that section. Wonderist 15:12, 8 February 2009 (CST)
I'd like to find out more - I'm sure there must be some study out there on this.--Pile 10:55, 9 February 2009 (CST)
There was no stats that I could find that weren't referenced, but I did find the stats you claim as being unsupported. They were not on this page but I have included them as "undocumented" in an attempt to see if someone can find the proper citations.--Pile 11:08, 9 February 2009 (CST)
It's not a question of whether it's referenced or not. It's a question of where those references lead to. If you dig to find the original research, you will find that it is all anecdotal. I'm talking about the stats referenced as "Denise Golumbaski, Research Analyst, Federal Bureau of Prisons, compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997".
U.S. Federal Freedom of Information Act Requests are a reliable research tool. What motivation would Rod Swift or any other reporter have to mis-represent the results? If you do not believe the results of the various reporters, do your own FOIA request and post your results.
Until you do, live with the facts.
In 2010, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reports that the percentage of atheists in prision is .08%, about 1/20th the number you would expect from the presence of atheists in the general population (Pew forum statistics.
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