The Economist carries two stories that may or may not be related to each other. First, in a story about beer consumption in Asia, we find a nifty map showing the levels of beer-drinking per capita for several countries around the world. Second, in an article on Europe’s irreligious, there is a bar graph showing for each European country the proportion of the population that never attends religious services.

Reading these prompts me to wonder whether there might be a correlation between beer-drinking and the level of religious observance in these countries. For example, the Czech Republic has the highest percentage (60% plus) of people who never attend religious services, and it also boasts a whopping 161 litres per person in beer consumption, by far the highest among the countries surveyed. On this basis might one be justified in speculating that those specializing in spirits tend to spurn spirituality?

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