In particular, without seeing the details of the study, it seems that drawing such a specific conclusion is beyond the scope of the data, especially when one considers that only 5 states were common to both lists (1) (each consisting of 10 states).
Admittedly the study has several caveats, but it seems that the correlation being alluded to is not particularly strong and seems more like picking a fight with religious groups than scientific reasoning. More importantly, even if the study is correct, I'm not sure what point is being made from a scientific perspective, beyond suggesting that religion is detrimental to the issue of contraception.
It seems that studies like this will do more to widen the divide between religion and science than anything constructive. In addition, this will play directly into the notion that science is "attacking" religious people.
While I can appreciate how such studies might be useful and even important, it seems that when controversial data and/or conclusions are being examined, then the results need to be tight and overwhelming. If not, then the opportunity to suggest bias and pushing agendas is too easy and does no one any good.
I can also understand that there may be a fair amount of uncertainty in results and that even with warnings, conclusions can be misinterpreted. However, in this case, I have to question what the scientific result is supposed to determine beyond playing to an existing prejudice.
(1) The two lists were Top 10 states with highest teen birth rates, and Top 10 most conservatively religious states.
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