19th-century positivism – or "Comtean positivism" – included the outline of a proposed development. This would lead from primitive explanations, through religious thought and monotheism , to positivism as the universal theory and scientific practice. The theory was very influential among cultural historians. It led Comte to the creation a "religion of humanity" as a secular substitute for all religions. This caused an outcry among scientists, who were ready to adopt the scientific premises but not interested in creating a substitute religion.
1) the decline of religious practice: the strongest evidence for secularisation in the UK comes from the church attendance statistic - according to the 1851 census, aproximately 40% of the population attended church, whereas by 2005 this had reduced to % (2006 English Church census). Attenance at religious ceremonies such as baptisms, communiion and conformation have also dramatically fallen - Wilson holds a similar view to the New Right in arguing that the decline in church marragies (down to 33% in 2005), the rising divorce rate and the increase in cohabitation and the number of children born outside marriage is evidence that religion and its moral value system exerts little influence today. Gills et all conducted 100 national surveys and found that the number of people describing themselves as a part of religion had halved between 1950 and 1996.