These statistics do not show a direct correlation between lower I.Q and religion, nor do any of these sites, articles, and researchers say that being religious automatically implies that you are less intelligent than an atheist or agnostic. They simply show and attempt to explain worldwide data on religious trends as they relate to crime, poverty, illiteracy etc. This data is more relevant for the effects of religion than individual characteristics of religious people. If there appears to be any data presented here that generalises in a prejudiced way please note that they are not expressing my opinions, I am simply giving them air-time, though I do not believe that any of these articles can be considered hate speech against any religious community. Please read these statistics in that light. Also consider the scientific difference between I.Q and intelligence, which is discussed in this post.

A graph showing a correlation between statistics from all of the states in the USA.

This is the trend: The lower the level of religiousness, the lower the impoverishment, murder rate, occurrence of theft, divorce rate, percentage of people who identify themselves as conservative, the higher the generosity and, most notably, the higher the IQ.
I would like to add, however, that correlation does not imply causation. It is just an interesting pattern to notice.

Results of polls showing that Americans would not vote for an atheist president.

Some unpredictable (though perhaps somewhat more predictable from an atheistic or historical point of view) statistics about crime in reliigious versus non-religious American states.

Research done to show links between religiousness and I.Q.
Episcopal/Anglican 1: 0 Pentecostal (lol)

Disclaimer: IQ is not the same as intelligence.
"Intelligence Quotient (IQ) - a measure of a person's intelligence as indicated by an intelligence test; the ratio of a person's mental age to their chronological age (multiplied by 100)."
These standardised tests are problematic for a variety of reasons, one of which being that the definition of intellect varies amongst professionals and that the IQ tests are only testing a limited part of a person's character that will change daily according to things such as their environment. E.g has the individual read a book recently? Are they sitting comfortably? etc
These links are here because I find the studies interesting and worth offering an opinion on, not because I agree with the methodology.

Professor Richard Lyn's study has infuriated the church community.
I think his study is interesting, but, disregarding the results which we've seen elsewhere as well, the study is flawed in that it fails to take into account socio-economics, political situations etc.

More statistics.
"Atheists score 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions. Denominations differ significantly in IQ and income. Religiosity declines between ages 12 to 17. It is suggested that IQ makes an individual likely to gravitate toward a denomination and level of achievement that best fit his or hers particular level of cognitive complexity. Ontogenetically speaking this means that contemporary denominations are rank ordered by largely hereditary variations in brain efficiency (i.e. IQ). In terms of evolution, modern Atheists are reacting rationally to cognitive and emotional challenges, whereas Liberals and, in particular Dogmatics, still rely on ancient, pre-rational, supernatural and wishful thinking."

Views: 444

Comment by kelltrill on April 18, 2010 at 8:02pm
That's very interesting, I never knew that. I'll hunt down the post, I'm definitely keen to see more studies on that.
I'm quite intrigued by studies around this issue, hence me just regurgitating a few here. I have a problem with them though because they seem to generally only approach the issue from the perspective that religion and a negative economy are uni-directionally related, or that religion implies a lower I.Q which implies more poverty stricken countries in a very set cause and effect motion. This does not even begin to consider that, presuming that all national socio-economic-political variables have been considered (which is certainly not the case), religion and an increase in faith might be the result of a poor economy rather than the other way around. I remember something Bill Maher said in Religulous about how having no faith is a luxury. I don't agree entirely with his comment but it's worth considering in light of these studies.


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist

© 2019   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service