ANIM a boGdpgrowt biEDP b2POPF e

Here we are attempting to determine the statistical impact of GDP growth, primary educational level, and the number of females in a population on the presence of high degrees of animism in a society (over 50 percent). We posit a behavioral model, common to the social sciences, where all of the independent variables are shifters to the extent that GDP growth proxies industrial development, a capital/labor ratio, and some "state of science.'' Note that GDP growth also provides a rough measure of the value of time in a given society as a part of full price. On both counts we expect a negative relation between GDPGROWT and the degree of animism and "magic" in a society. The higher the income growth rate, the higher the full price of time-consuming animistic religions and the fewer of them we expect. Likewise, as the levels of science and technology rise, less primitive forms of religion are chosen. The level of primary education, EDP, is expected to be negatively related to the degree of animism. Ritual and more magical forms of religion are expected to be chosen when lower levels of education are present. Finally, the number of females in a given population, POPF, is expected to be positively related to the selection of animistic religions. Since, in most of the societies represented in our test (table 4A.1), the level of female education is quite low and participation in market work is minimal, lower time costs and the role of women in religious education of children suggest the selection of more animistic forms of religion will vary directly with the number of females in the population. Further, virtually all Western studies consistently show female participation in all religious activities to be higher than that of males.

The statistical results, shown in table 4A.2, are encouraging. In this one-tailed test, typical of testing social science data of this kind, all variables are significant at reasonable levels. A one-tailed test is a statistical procedure for determining the confidence with which one can view a particular statistical result. It is based on a specific cause-and-effect relationship between two variables. From this test, it appears that the selection of animist forms of religion is inversely related to GDP growth, even when those societies are all low-income societies. Further, if this measure of income is viewed as a proxy for the value of time, it would appear that highly time-intensive religions are related to a low value of time.

Table 4A.2

Impact of income, education and female population on degree of animism, thirty-six countries (see table 4.1)

Table 4A.2

Impact of income, education and female population on degree of animism, thirty-six countries (see table 4.1)

Dependent variable

= ANIM

Independent

Statistical

variables

Coefficient

error

T-value

Constant

19.10497

7.0099

-2.725

GDPGROWT

-0.17144-01

0.1403

-1.222***

EDP

-0.10735-06

0.7383

-1.454**

POPF

0.37616

0.1381

2.722*

* = significant at 1 percent level; ** = significant at 7 percent level; *** = significant at 11 percent level (one-tailed test statistics).

* = significant at 1 percent level; ** = significant at 7 percent level; *** = significant at 11 percent level (one-tailed test statistics).

The level of primary education, as expected, is negatively related to the selection of animistic forms of worship. Since survival of the race is perhaps more closely linked to females than to males, given biological imperatives (which might also explain higher participation rates generally among women), the higher the number of women in a population of tribal cultures, the higher the level of animism expected. Finally, since religious participation rates are highest among women, lower levels of female education signal more ritualistic religious participation.

Animism and more primitive forms of magic and religion are suggested by more agrarian (less urban) cultures. On this basis we would expect virtually all of these countries to be animistic. Obviously this is not the case, which suggests that other factors, such as those found in our simple regression, help explain the form of religion chosen.51 It is also worth noting that in most of these countries, the level of governmental stability, property rights security, and age distributions of the population would also be supportive of animistic forms of religion. While many other specifications of our theory are testable in principle, we regard these results as broadly supportive.

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