Sunday, June 15, 2008

Higher IQ = Less Belief in God

We need more studies like this:
People with higher IQs are less likely to believe in God, according to a new study.

A survey of Royal Society fellows found that only 3.3 per cent believed in God - at a time when 68.5 per cent of the general UK population described themselves as believers.

A separate poll in the 90s found only seven per cent of members of the American National Academy of Sciences believed in God.

He told Times Higher Education magazine: "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God."

He said religious belief had declined across 137 developed nations in the 20th century at the same time as people became more intelligent.

The best part of the article is this bit from a true believer:

Professor Gordon Lynch, director of the Centre for Religion and Contemporary Society at Birkbeck College, London, said: "Linking religious belief and intelligence in this way could reflect a dangerous trend, developing a simplistic characterisation of religion as primitive, which - while we are trying to deal with very complex issues of religious and cultural pluralism - is perhaps not the most helpful response," he said.

I think a simplistic characterization of religion as "primitive" is indeed warranted. Funny how he says it as if that would be a bad thing.

1 comment:

Anna said...

This IS a wildly simplistic correlation. To make implication towards the intellectual inferiority of those with religious conviction shows you are as guilty of harbouring prejudice as those whose faith you seek to quash. Certainly, an enquiring mind is often hard to square with faith, yet the fact that a lot of the most beautiful art and literature - markers of human intellect that go beyond simplistic IQ tests - were created by believers, and that Oxford and Cambridge, which were, and continue to be yardsticks of British intellectualism were founded and firmly established as academic AND spiritual powerhouses suggests that intellect and faith are by no means as mutually exclusive as you seem to think, or indeed wish.