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Are atheists more intelligent than religious believers? Study suggests such a correlation

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posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 02:52 AM
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"The intelligence–religiosity nexus: A representative study of white adolescent Americans:

Helmuth Nyborg

University of Aarhus, Denmark (1968–2007)

Received 25 March 2008;
revised 7 August 2008;
accepted 11 August 2008.

Available online 16 September 2008.

Abstract

The present study examined whether IQ relates systematically to denomination and income within the framework of the g nexus, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY97). 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."

link to study
I find this very interesting, though I am in doubt over it's credibility. If such a correlation exists maybe it has something do with atheists requiring a better answer for their environment and the world around them than "god did it - don't question it because you can't comprehend it". That is my personal opinion ofcourse. Unfortunately you have to pay to access the rest of the study. Has anyone heard or seen something like this before?

It seems that the author of this study - Helmuth Nyborg - is notorious for doing studies in areas that are frowned upon. I guess he thinks there is a genetic difference in intelligence between human sexes and races.
www.au.dk...

"The University of Aarhus would like to advise that the so-called Helmuth Nyborg case – which has given rise to considerable media and public interest – has now been concluded. On 21 September 2006, Mr Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, Rector of the University of Aarhus, summoned Professor Nyborg to a meeting and informed him of his decision regarding the matter of the “Sex-related differences in general intelligence” research project (the Skanderborg project). Mr Holm-Nielsen agrees with the dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences that – in connection with the so-called Skanderborg project – Professor Nyborg prepared the investigation and used its results in a way that must be characterized as grossly negligent behaviour."


Not really sure what to make of this guy. Could be a crackpot loony. Some of his other studies don't seem all that reliable.

Here is a different take that suggests a connection of that sort is much more complex and involves more than one variable:

"It is commonly assumed that religious people are less intelligent than those who aren't religious. Many skeptics think that Christianity and other religions are for people who do not want to think - but will blindly follow what they are told by their church. While it is true that those who have advanced degrees tend to be more atheistic than those who don't, does this correlate with intelligence or just self-sufficiency? Let's look at the data that is purported to show a negative correlation between IQ and religiosity."


www.godandscience.org...

I tried to find more on the study by Nyborg, but without much luck. Wikipedia went into more detail, but again, is it credible?
en.wikipedia.org...


[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]




posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:02 AM
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my link didn't work at first - sorry about that. I will continue with the wikipedia information because that is all I can seem to find:


Studies comparing religious belief and I.Q.

In 2008, intelligence researcher Helmuth Nyborg examined whether IQ relates to denomination and income, using representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, which includes intelligence tests on a representative selection of American youth, where they have also replied to questions about religious belief. His results, published in the scientific journal Intelligence demonstrated that on average, Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions. Atheists were third highest in the study overall, behind Jews and Anglicans. [4] "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor. [5] The relationship between countries' belief in a god and average Intelligence Quotient, measured by Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg.[6] Nyborg also co-authored a study with Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster, which compared religious belief and average national IQs in 137 countries. [6] The study analysed the issue from several viewpoints. Firstly, using data from a U.S. study of 6,825 adolescents, the authors found that atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion. Secondly, the authors investigated the link between religiosity and intelligence on a country level. Among the sample of 137 countries, only 23 (17%) had more than 20% of atheists, which constituted “virtually all the higher IQ countries.” The authors reported a correlation of 0.60 between atheism rates and level of intelligence, which is “highly statistically significant.” This portion of the study uses the same data set as Lynn's work IQ and the Wealth of Nations, which has drawn criticism of accuracy and accusations of statistical manipulation
See main article at IQ and the Wealth of Nations#Criticism

en.wikipedia.org...

I don't know if I agree with some of this guy's work. I also can't find much backing of this particular study anywhere. Oh well. What do you think?

This dude says he actually paid for the study and went through it:


A large-scale analysis of the religious allegiance and measured IQ of a representative sample of 3,742 American adolescents found a clear trend: the more fundamentalist denominations had the more stupid believers, so that the bottom four places were occupied, from the bottom, by Pentecostalists, Baptists, Holiness churches and "Personal Philosophy", which I presume means a new-age-ish syncretism, while the top four places, again in ascending order, were taken by agnostics, atheists, Jews, and Episcopalians (Anglicans). So, atheists are smarter than agnostics, Jews are smarter than atheists, and Anglicans the smartest of the lot ...


That is a different conclusion than the study proposes on the other website. Odd. He quotes Nyborg as well:

" The study begins with two sets of a priori assumptions. First, [intelligent] people have a brain based biological capacity for solving complex problems, and for acting rationally when confronted with fundamental questions about existence, human nature, underlying causes, or the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". Second, [unintelligent] people lack this protection and are therefore unfairly ordained to live in a pre-rational world based on poorly validated evidence and little accumulated insight..."



www.guardian.co.uk...



[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:09 AM
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I don't know if I agree with some of this guy's work. I also can't find much backing of this particular study anywhere. Oh well. What do you think?


If you could find some backing that would be excellent!

Although if religion beliefs, cause us to lose IQ points, wouldn't that be a back step to our evolutionary cycle?

That would mean that evolution would be greatly damaged by religion being a belief.

I like the idea of this test, although, it's always nice to have tons of confirmation, but hey that's life.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:10 AM
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I really don't see how someone who belives in God is any less intelligent then someone who doesn't.

If you can explain how the two go hand in hand then I will be more inclined to acknowledge crap like this.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:19 AM
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Originally posted by jd140
I really don't see how someone who belives in God is any less intelligent then someone who doesn't.

If you can explain how the two go hand in hand then I will be more inclined to acknowledge crap like this.


I would like to think the critical thinking skills recorded in the tests would have something to do with it.

IMHO, someone with a belief it god, tends to not worry about the little things, but have a deep belief that, well "God did it". Or the most common answer i've received, "We cannot know how god works".

Just the little stunts in thinking that IMO Religious people tend to lack.

ATSers I know get the undergarments unbunched, most of you believe in deities or deity, but i'm talking main general public.

I also tend to believe it's an 'easier' thought to believe in a deity, than it is, to believe their isn't one. There is no god, and that corrupts the mind with new ideas and belief systems, which could be very astounding.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:21 AM
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They are more intelligent, up to the point where they are prepared to deny their own existence before acknowleding a creator and the ONE self aware consciousness within which everything is contained in potentia and in actuality.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:32 AM
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reply to post by Republican08
 


They believe in God so they lack critical thinking skills?

I know from your past posts that you believe this, but I don't buy it.

edit to delete an accidental misquote.

[edit on 27-7-2009 by jd140]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:50 AM
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I think it's possible that people who aren't atheists and don't follow a particular religion have the potential to be more intelligent, because they aren't sucked into organised religion yet they keep an open mind that there could be some type of God or higher power, not discounting the possibility completely like atheists do.

But I think comparing people's intelligence levels according to what they believe is a bit stupid. There are probably religious people out there who are more intelligent than some atheists, and vice versa.

[edit on 27/7/09 by dmorgan]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:54 AM
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Think this study is interesting there is a rock solid one out there (don't have time to link) which proves religious belief is a brain abnormality. They have found the 'god region' of the brain. Accident victims with damage to this specific region became frothing evangelical lunatics. That's it in a nutshell. This is good news as it means for most, gene therapy can offer a cure.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 03:54 AM
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Originally posted by jd140
reply to post by Republican08
 


They believe in God so they lack critical thinking skills?

I know from your past posts that you believe this, but I don't buy it.



Lol, creationist, don't necessarily completely lack critical thinking, just don't need it as much.

Me personally, when I converted, or unconverted really. Life took a new hold onto me, I no longer looked at flowers as gifts from god, or his little beauties, but wanted to know there names, there classes, how they got there, why they were there, what purpose does that do to the surroundings.

And i'll tell you that's just from a single flower.

I'm sure creationist, tend to let a lot of things go, without critically attacking, well mainly one thing they've gone after is evolution, but then again the only time before really is when the religions cracked into different sectros, catholic, protestant, whatever.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by Republican08
 


That one flower may show that you enjoy biology and want to know more about it.

I don't follow religion as you know and I could care less what type of flower is growing in a park or how it got there and what purpose it serves. The only thing I want to know about a flower is if it is pretty and will my wife enjoy it.

I enjoy working on my bike and fixing the problems I have with it on my own. If we are both out there working together on the engine and you get frustrated because we can't find the problem and you walk off, I'm not going to assume you lack critical thinking.

That is why I would like to know how he picked his tests subjects. That info could tell alot about the credibility of the test.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 

buddy, you totally messed that up. The first paragraph you quoted is from a religious website - I provided a link
the 2nd paragraph is from a third website where the writer actually bought the study and had quoted a bit of it.
If you aren't even going to look at the information I provide, that tells me that you are the one with a predetermined conclusion - that such a correlation is kaka.
I think I set it up in a pretty accessible manner, so I would think you simply did not want to bother researching it a bit yourself. How then can you debunk it so easily? I never said it was truth either - I provided criticisms to this scientists other works.
Maybe someone thinks they are a little too intelligent eh?
Also, the religious website suggests the link is more closely related to income level - the poor tend to be more religious.
-used external instead of italics
[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]

[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 


I too would like to know the 'test subjects' as you do.

Although, critical thinking imo is something that is lacking in religious folks.

If they do have it, they tend to base it on their personal religion. Stunting.

Building the world around one ideology, is less thinking then building an ideology around the world. Yet Building an ideology on the whole of bizarre, is quite another.

I honestly hate biology! I flunked it in school, I did enjoy the Xx and XX and xx and xX part of it, I found that incredibly fascinating, but I did enjoy Horse over Equestrian. lol

I remember, as a boy, in church, asking other church fellows what there views on aliens were. My main response was either "I believe in the Bible, and I do not believe in aliens". or "I believe in god, and if he thought it was neccesary, he would of put it in the bible". or my favorite, "We do not know what gods other subjects are, and what plans he has for them."

That's ridiculous! None of those answers provided critical thinking skills, none proposed any statistics, or how likely it must be for another 'us' to appear in the myriad of stars and planets out there, no matter how far!

Which really was the start of a turn off from religion.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:20 AM
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Originally posted by makinho21
reply to post by jd140
 

buddy, you totally messed that up. The first paragraph you quoted is from a religious website - I provided a link
the 2nd paragraph is from a third website where the writer actually bought the study and had quoted a bit of it.
If you aren't even going to look at the information I provide,

you
are the one with a predetermined conclusion - that such a correlation is kaka.
I think I set it up in a pretty accessible manner, so I would think you simply did not want to bother researching it a bit yourself. How then can you debunk it so easily? I never said it was truth either - I provided criticisms to this scientists other works.
Maybe someone thinks they are a little too intelligent eh?


Holy crap(pun intended) forgive me for making a mistake at 4am.

And no, I don't think I am to intelligent. If anything, since there is no such thing, I believe I am not intelligent enough.

Now since you so politely
pointed out my mistake I will correct the misquote. I swear atheists are some of the rudest people.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:20 AM
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double post

[edit on 27-7-2009 by jd140]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Republican08
 


You asked about aliens, what did you expect?

Personally I would have told you that they don't exist and to stop asking me stupid questions.

They most likely humored a kid with a short answer to get you to stop asking questions.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:29 AM
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Originally posted by jd140
reply to post by Republican08
 


You asked about aliens, what did you expect?

Personally I would have told you that they don't exist and to stop asking me stupid questions.

They most likely humored a kid with a short answer to get you to stop asking questions.


lol, that kid though, had a ton of more questions though, and as he got older, and older, and older, and older, they still held no answers to any of them.

Before his sister was kicked out of the church, and found another, before his family and him were kicked out of the church, and my family began to hold to certain rules, that religion holds.

I was the one that found no place in a religion, as asking questions became signs of satan influencing me by causing the unthinkable "doubt"!

Doubt was the work of the devil. lol, then I finally gave up and abandoned the faith.



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:31 AM
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reply to post by jd140
 

Well I do apologize - but it just seemed that you arrived at the conclusion pretty fast, and upon realizing you had mixed up the links, I assumed that was merely laziness. I am sorry. I was not being purposely harsh though. Your response suggested to me that you did not bother to even visit the links, so I have to ask myself - why do I even put in an effort to link to off-site info, or find sources for my material. I entirely wish I could just write a bunch of fanciful poetic literature down and proclaim it as true, but I like to try and back up my thoughts. I am sorry if I came across as rude to you though - I hope you understand why I responded in such a way.

-forgot apologize


[edit on 27-7-2009 by makinho21]



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by jd140

Originally posted by makinho21
reply to post by jd140
 

buddy, you totally messed that up. The first paragraph you quoted is from a religious website - I provided a link
the 2nd paragraph is from a third website where the writer actually bought the study and had quoted a bit of it.
If you aren't even going to look at the information I provide,

you
are the one with a predetermined conclusion - that such a correlation is kaka.
I think I set it up in a pretty accessible manner, so I would think you simply did not want to bother researching it a bit yourself. How then can you debunk it so easily? I never said it was truth either - I provided criticisms to this scientists other works.
Maybe someone thinks they are a little too intelligent eh?


Holy crap(pun intended) forgive me for making a mistake at 4am.

And no, I don't think I am to intelligent. If anything, since there is no such thing, I believe I am not intelligent enough.

Now since you so politely
pointed out my mistake I will correct the misquote. I swear atheists are some of the rudest people.


Also I could care less that you misquoted my links - my beef with your comment is that you claimed it was obviously predetermined, and yet it was obvious you didn't really read what I provided. 4am on ATS can be a trying time...



posted on Jul, 27 2009 @ 04:37 AM
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reply to post by Republican08
 


Religion is like college. Its not for everyone.

I see it like this. If you don't like something then you leave it alone. As long as its legal then you should let those who do like it enjoy it.

As far as I can tell Atheists for some reason or another love to talk about God. I really don't understand their fascination in talking about something they think is ignorant.

One of the reason I don't buy into this test is that this is one more way for Atheists to try and prove they are smarter then the rest.

We all know Atheists don't believe in God. You don't have to go around telling people about it and putting those who do believe down.





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