My two posts on religion & IQ/education are getting a lot of attention. I didn’t spend more than 30 minutes on both entries combined, so the attention to unit time invested ratio is rather out of wack. Doing some digging it’s funny how interested people are in this topic, while at the same time being totally disinclined to do their own leg work. Multiple message boards have also pointed to another similar survey which shows the relationship between religiosity and IQs in international comparisons. You might be amused to find out that I wrote that up in 30 minutes 5 years ago as a joke! All the data is real, I didn’t make it up, but in all honesty I connect these particular dots to see peoples’ prejudices slam up against their anti-prejudices. Most atheists are Good Enlightened people who are often skeptical of IQ tests because Good Enlightened people know that standardized tests are false (except of course in the cases where they make sure everyone knows their really high standardized test score while at the same time admitting that it “doesn’t mean anything….”). But atheists also generally believe that religious people, especially fundamentalists, are stupid and lacking in reasoning capabilities. So how about pointing out that religious fundamentalists don’t do as well on tests which supposedly measure reasoning ability? If you track some of the reaction on the message boards you see repeated instances of excitement and glee before someone pipes up to remind the assembled godless that “IQ isn’t a valid measure of intelligence.” Gosh darnit!
For the record, I believe IQ and standardized tests in general have predictive power. I also don’t believe in God.
In any case, a few people have questioned the relationship between education & Biblical literalism. I’ve pointed out that that’s a pretty robust trend over many decades, but I’ll offer some quick “proof.” Then I’ll repost some data I found in regards to elites and their religious affiliations and views which might interest.
So, One-Third of Americans Believe the Bible is Literally True, High inverse correlation between education and belief in a literal Bible:
Straightforward, no? Those who take the Bible literally comprise more than 40% of those who have only a high school education or less, and about 10% of those with postgraduate educations. The proportion drops monotonically as the level of education increases.
But now to something more interesting. I got this table from Public Attitudes Toward Church and State, a book published in 1995 that seems to have survey data from the Washington D.C. area….
|Table 2.2 Religion and Religiosity among Elites|
|Religion Very Important||11||49||43||31|
|Religion Not Important||46||12||23||19|
|Attend Church Weekly||12||32||36||34|
|Never Attend Church||33||9||12||17|
|Bible Literally True||1||11||12||11|
This being D.C., I wouldn’t be surprised if the respondents who were in government would later be found in business and vice versa, so that might explain the similarity of the numbers for these two groups. They’re basically the same pool. Of course the academics are the most clearly secular, while the journalists are more religious, but not as much as the government or business sector. Note the low representation of belief in Biblical literality in terms of interpretation even among the more religious segments of the elite. 90% of the business elite adhere to religions which hold the Bible to be their central text, but only 12% of these take it literally. Remember that this is in a nation where 1/3 do take the Bible literally.