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AP

A new study published in Nature Human Behaviour found that people around the world are predisposed to believe that atheists are more likely to be serial killers than religious believers — a bias even held by atheists themselves.

  • By the numbers: The study included 3,256 participants across 13 diverse countries that included highly secular nations like Finland and the Netherlands as well as highly religious ones like the United Arab Emirates and India.
  • The test: Participants answered a survey question regarding the religious beliefs of a hypothetical sociopathic serial killer, and 60% tagged the killer as not believing in any gods, compared to 30 percent who branded him a religious believer.

Why it matters: Even as the world becomes increasingly secular, people in very diverse societies across the globe still generally view belief in a god as preventative of extremely immoral actions. Though humanity's core moral norms tend to largely be universal and independent from religious convictions, centuries of overwhelming religious belief still impact our collective view on morality.

Go deeper

Lawmakers reach deal on bipartisan commission to investigate Jan. 6

Speaker Pelosi outside the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House negotiators have reached an agreement on the parameters of a 9/11-style commission to investigate the "facts and circumstances" surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the House Homeland Security Committee announced Friday.

Why it matters: The formation of a bipartisan Jan. 6 commission had been delayed for months, after some Republicans insisted that the scope of the investigation be expanded to include violence by far-left protesters last summer.

Elise Stefanik elected No. 3 House Republican after Liz Cheney ouster

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) on May 12. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

House Republicans voted 134-46 in a secret ballot Friday to appoint Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as the chair of the GOP conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

Why it matters: Stefanik's appointment underscores how important loyalty to former President Trump remains to the Republican Party.

Retail sales flat in April after huge surge in March

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

April retail sales in the U.S. were unchanged from March, which saw a surge revised up to 10.7%, according to the latest Commerce Department report published Friday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has been entering a period of growing optimism in the wake of the vaccine rollout, falling new COVID-19 cases and deaths, and a slowly recovering labor market. Retail sales were up 51% year-over-year compared to April 2020.