Postgrad education vs. literalism: update

By Razib Khan | June 23, 2008 6:35 pm

Last month my posts Biblical literalism or low IQ: which came first? and Educational levels & denomination got a lot of play around the blogosphere. I used the US Religious Landscape Survey to get demographic data for denominations, but I had to cobble together numbers on Biblical literalism, etc. But with a further release of data I can now flesh out almost all the denominations plotting postgrad education % vs. belief that the Bible is the literal word of god.
Clarification: Y axis = % with postgrad education. X axis = % who believe the Bible is the literal word of god.
postgradvswordsmall.jpg
As you can see, the trend still holds with more denominations. I decided to do this since people were curious about denomination X, and I didn’t have that included. Click the image or here for a larger version so you can see the labels. And here is a chart with all religious affiliations included (e.g., includes non-orthodox Christians such as Mormons as well as non-Christians). Below the fold I’ve put the raw data I used, but if you want to snatch it for yourself, here it is as a CSV file (if you do some statistical analysis of the data post a link in the comments and I’ll link next week).

Word of God to be taken literally % Graduate Ed
African Methodist Episcopal (Black) 57 9
American Baptist 52 5
Anglican 13 24
Assembles of God 70 4
Church of Christ 50 6
Church of God Cleveland 75 4
Church of God in Christ (Black) 75 3
Church of the Nazarene 63 5
Disciples of Christ 35 17
Episcopal Church 9 27
Evangelical Lutheran Church 23 11
Free Methodist Church 50 7
Independent Baptist 61 5
Independent Baptist (Black) 68 3
Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod 42 9
National Baptist Convention 68 6
Nondenom. Charismatic 56 11
Nondenom. Evangelical 61 15
Nondenom. Fund Church 63 11
Presbyterian Church in America 35 13
Presbyterian Church USA 23 24
Seventh Day Adventist 48 5
Southern Baptist 63 7
United Church of Christ 15 21
United Methodist 25 14
Mormon 35 10
Jehovah’s Witness 48 3
Orthodox 26 18
Jewish 10 35
Muslim 50 10
Buddhist 8 26
Hindu 12 48
Unitarian & Liberal 5 29
New Age 4 11
Atheist 3 21
Agnostic 0 20
Secular Unaffiliated 4 13
Religious Unaffiliated 25 6
CATEGORIZED UNDER: Religion
  • peter

    I’m a little confused about the value represented by the y-axis.
    percent of those surveyed who have completed a post-graduate degree? (side question, 3% of athiests believe that the ‘word of god’ should be taken literally?)
    just looking for clarification, the linked-to graph has no axis labels.

  • http://www.scienceblogs.com/gnxp razib

    percent of those surveyed who have completed a post-graduate degree? (side question, 3% of athiests believe that the ‘word of god’ should be taken literally?)
    yeah.
    y = postgraduate degree proportion
    x = believe bible is literal word of god

  • Benja

    Peter,
    I think that basically means that 3% of self-professing atheists misunderstood the question during the survey. Just because IQ is correlated with atheism does not mean that all atheists have high IQs.

  • John Emerson

    Nondenominational fundamentalist, charismatic, and evangelical score pretty high on education level (ahead of or on a par with Methodists, Evangelical Lutherans, and Presbyterians).
    This strikes me as a misunderstood demographic: educated, prosperous conservative Christians. CCs tend to be caricatured as hillbillies, but they’re not, or not always anyway. I suspect that this demographic mostly lives in the exurbs, and that their education tends to be technical and practical.

  • John Emerson

    WTF? Catholics?!??!?

  • http://www.scienceblogs.com/gnxp razib

    WTF? Catholics?!??!?
    LOL. you’re right. left them out of the some reason (i think i switched over from protestant denominations to all religious traditions starting with mormons, and catholics were up top).
    This strikes me as a misunderstood demographic: educated, prosperous conservative Christians. CCs tend to be caricatured as hillbillies
    i’m assuming nondenom. evangelicals are exurban megachurch/seeker types. e.g., saddleback or something.

  • http://leherensuge.blogspot.com/ Luis

    3% of athiests believe that the ‘word of god’ should be taken literally?
    I’m surprised they are not more: it’s even easier to demonize “God” if you take “his word” literally. Some atheists are “evil”, you know. ;)

  • bioIgnoramus

    Episcopalian AND Anglican – the US religious scene is more complicated than I’d have guessed.

  • http://www.scienceblogs.com/gnxp razib

    Episcopalian AND Anglican – the US religious scene is more complicated than I’d have guessed.
    i don’t get that either. anglicans seem somewhat (very somewhat) more conservative though, so i suspect these are conservative episcopalians who now identify as anglican cuz of the leftward shift that denomination.

  • Neziha

    The best way to explain this is that the Episcopal church in the US (and world-wide) is mid-schism right now and trying to keep it quiet. I would actually expect people who identify as Anglicans in the States to be more conservative than that – perhaps there’s some overlap with CoE immigrants.
    The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin has more or less seceded at this point over a lot of stuff, including an athiest bishop, not taking the bible seriously, and the whole gay married bishop in New Hampshire business, and joined the Argentinian Anglicans. Pittsburgh will shortly follow. Several African Anglican churches have missions in the States, and some more conservative Episcopal churches have joined them. There are numerous ongoing legal battles.
    For a look at this one the liberal side, check out http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/ , for the conservative side http://www.standfirminfaith.com/ is a good source. It’s actually quite fascinating.

  • Stagyar zil Doggo

    Believers in the literal word of god include -
    12% of Hindus ?
    8% of Buddhists?
    What’s dis literal word de talking about? Da Baable?

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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com

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