Disappointingly, he devotes virtually nothing to the contemporary Darwinian successes of religious states and groups within states relative to the low fertility of their secular counterparts. The reasons he identifies for religion's evolutionary advantages--that of altruism, loyalty, and sense of duty on behalf of co-religionists, social cohesion, and shared morality--may be why he chooses not to do so. These factors are likely not as important today in determining genetic prosperity as they were 50,000 years ago. In downplaying the theological and philosophical precepts of religion and focusing instead on the the practical benefits it bestowed on the community, he locks himself out of a potential explanation for the fecundity of fundamentalists today, generally some variation of a religious imperative to multiply and spread across the earth.
That's a digression from what I wanted to look at in this post, though. In contemplating the viability of morality without religion, Wade asks (p207):
Was Locke correct that atheists cannot be trusted?The best I can come up with is the GSS item on extramarital activity. The table below shows the percentages for each group who report having cheated on a spouse at some point in their lives:
As we've established previously, if you're looking to minimize the chance of being cuckolded, marry a conservative girl who loves Jesus.
That said, it's difficult to gauge whether or not atheists are trustworthy relative to theists, but the GSS also offers insight into how trusting atheists and theists are of people generally. The following table shows the percentage of respondents in each group who say that in general most people can be trusted (as opposed to thinking one "can never be too careful"):
The differences are modest, but atheists do appear to be more trusting (and possibly less deserving of trust!) than firm believers are. This could be interpreted as suggesting that religiosity does not lead to higher levels of trust in society or alternatively that religion offers a way for people to build trust who are not naturally inclined towards it. That's reading a lot into a little, though--it could also be that firm believers have greater in-group trust than atheists do, but lower levels of trust for outsiders.
GSS variables used: GOD(1)(2)(3-5)(6), EVSTRAY, TRUST