Atheism: Bringing the Sexy Back

By Sean Carroll | September 24, 2009 11:34 am

It would be amusing to just have a contest asking people to guess what the vertical axis on this chart is supposed to represent.

god-chart

The answer is, “reply rate to first-contact messages on an online dating site, as a function of words appearing in the message.” In particular, the site OkCupid, which has a handy rundown of which words and phrases are most likely to garner a reply to an initial contact. (Via FlowingData.) The average response rate is 32%, so you can see how using some specific word increases or decreases your chances of success. Apparently mentioning “God” is a big turn-off, although calling Him by a proper name is slightly helpful. But nothing works at turning a stranger’s head quite like bringing up His complete lack of existence.

Other useful hints: real words good, fake internet words bad. Complimenting personality/intellect good, complimenting looks bad. Being specific is good, especially if it involves physics, heavy metal, vegetarianism, or zombies. Hey, I’m just the messenger here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Humor
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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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