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New Science of 'Culturomics' Tracks Disappearance of God

Google has digitized 30 million unique books. According to author Christian Rudder, "This body of data has created a new field of quantitative cultural studies called culturomics; its primary method is to track changes in word use through time. The long reach of the data (it goes back to 1800) allows an unusual look at people and what's important to them."

For example, "'Ice cream' took off in the 1910s—right when GE introduced the powered home icebox," while the word 'pasta' nosedived in the late 1990s when the Adkins diet became popular.

But culturomics also reveals what's deeply important to us. "The data shows that with each passing year, we're getting more wrapped up in the present." And what does it show for the word "God"? That word "has been in steady decline for decades and is now used only about a third as much in American writing as it was in the early 1800s."

Possible Preaching Angles: Trust; Trusting in God—This is a cultural phenomenon, but perhaps it is also a personal reality—in our daily lives, calling on the name of God has been in steady decline for weeks, months, or years.

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