In a recent article, posted on Atheist Republic, there was a suggestion that fundamentalist religion was positively associated with PNIMRs. However, the analysis seems to be an interpretation, of an interpretation, of maybe even one more level of interpretation before getting to the actual study. Furthemore, the study itself faces significant methodological errors.
The study, “Religion and Infant Mortality in the United States: A Community-Level Investigation of Denominational Variations in Postneonatal Deaths,” conducted by Garcia, Bartkowski, and Xu, and published in May of 2018 attempts to test the following hypotheses.
H1: Counties with a greater proportion of Catholic adherents will exhibit reduced PNIMRs.
H2: Counties with a greater proportion of conservative Protestants will exhibit higher PNIMRs.
H3: The effects of religious ecology on PNIMRs will be more pronounced in 2010 than in 1990 because of medical advancements and public awareness campaigns implemented after 1990.
- Failure to justify the model used, including justification for linearity and independence.
- Weak R-squared
- Dwarfing of the relationship between religiosity and PNIMRs, by control variables
- Apparent reduction in the effect that conservative Protestant affiliation has on PNIMRs, in the years between 2000 and 2010 , along with a lack of use of actual statistical testing for differences, and relying on data which was not statistically significant, there is no reasonable justification for the conclusion that was made.
For these reasons, the study should be thrown out as being incredibly flawed. The conclusion of the paper is not justified based on the actual findings of the paper.
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