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Featured religiosity and/or strength of religious belief is associated with less intelligence

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by charlie sc, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. charlie sc

    charlie sc Active Member

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    The general scientific consensus(1) shows religiosity and the strength of religious belief is associated with less IQ. The procedure and and materials needed for these studies seem fairly simple to perform. Gather a bunch of people, have them do an IQ test, or similar, and then ask how religious they are or the intensity of their belief. Consistently, participants that score higher on the religious scale will rank lower in IQ. However, it's not just limited to IQ; more recent research demonstrates less analytic cognition and less scientific and mathematical knowledge. So, as an example for this topic, Kanazawa(2) performed a study with 15,197 Americans. He found, on a 1-4 scale(1 = not religious, 4 = very religious) that IQ decreased, on average 6 points, per scale.

    This question is for theists, but atheists may respond.
    Why do you think religiosity and/or strength of religious belief negatively correlates with IQ?


    References

    (1) http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-cont...a-Analysis-and-Some-Proposed-Explanations.pdf

    (2) http://personal.lse.ac.uk/kanazawa/pdfs/spq2010.pdf
     
  2. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    This thread is trolling and hateful.

    People speak in any language they know. People living in poverty in this country often speak in religious overtones because it is the only language they know. People living in poverty in Muslim countries speak in the language they know best which gives Islam a bad reputation. People are just people. Some well-read. Some not well-read. Some have practiced doing lots of problems in math and logic. Other's are better taking care of other people. I don't think we can judge the value of any one person based on some prejudice or bigotry.

    Most people pretty much fall into a range of behaviors and capabilities which are plenty good enough in the eyes of God. Besides, it's now how well you do on an IQ test that matters. It's how calm you are in the face of highly stressful circumstances. It's how calm and loving you are to the people around when you are ripped apart inside and hurting that matters. There are a lot of considerations to take into account with what it means to be a human being. I'm not sure IQ is the best one. I'm not sure IQ is even in the top 5. I think having wisdom might be important. But maybe it's just me thinking this way.
     
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  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    IQ is not a very good way of measuring intelligence. It's more a measure of how well a person will do in a public school setting. Some people just have a different set of skills. Doesn't make them less intelligent, just different.
     
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  4. charlie sc

    charlie sc Active Member

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    You haven't explained why it's trolling or hateful. I'm citing and discussing scientific literature and I'm curious how truthful statements are hateful? For instance, if I say redheads have different kinds of pain receptors, am I being a bigot or hateful?Or, if I say men, generally, have more upper body strength but women have demonstrated more emotional intelligence, am I being a sexist or hateful?
    The answer is no. I'm understanding science in a non-derogatory manner. Differences in people do exist, like it or not. It appears that you don't like what I'm saying, so you'll call it hateful so you don't have to listen to it or even consider it. This, I find, is extremely intellectually dishonest.

    I don't see what your reply has anything to do with what I said. These studies aren't based off prejudice or bigotry.

    I never said that other qualities aren't just as important if not more important than IQ. This was specifically about IQ.
    So, I appreciate you mentioning other qualities like being placid under stress, being loving and empathetic, but the manner you avoided the question and then retorted says more about your response.
     
    #4 charlie sc, Mar 4, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  5. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Being religious in a way that contradicts reality is obviously a sign of a person who doesn't like problem solving. I suppose the researchers felt that these are the people with "strength of belief" who knows?
     
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  6. charlie sc

    charlie sc Active Member

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    What you said is an assertion. I know that the cut off point for special needs, as I recall 70, is an arbitrary number, but saying it's not a good measure is inaccurate. IQ is properly measured by comparing your score to others. The most robust IQ tests have massive norms and is not reliant on general knowledge or some specific knowledge.
    There is a difference between emotional intelligence and IQ. These studies don't measure emotional intelligence.
     
  7. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    As I recall, it's also known to be biased in terms of race, background, socioeconomic status, and a few other factors... isn't it?

    In any case, there's far too much heterogeneity in "religious beliefs" to demonstrate much beyond loose correlations. While perhaps interesting, I find those things less interesting than doing a deep dive into which religious beliefs are correlated... especially given any belief can be considered religious. Which beliefs, regardless of whether or not humans label them as religious, are having the relationship here? Do these persist after controlling for other factors?
     
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  8. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, they don't directly test any skill. Well not anything normal people would train. i still felt the math courses at uni helping me when I did my mensa test. It had no verbal, just pattern recognition. So supposedly it was "fair"
     
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  9. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson
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    Less intelligence than what?
     
  10. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Boy, he must have really hit you where you live. In any case, his evidence does back up his assertion, or didn't you read it?

    The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations

    Miron Zuckerman1, Jordan Silberman1, and Judith A. Hall2
    Abstract
    A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity.
    Of course you didn't read it, which is why you replied with irrelevancies:

    But read it dfnj. Even if you don't like its conclusions it's still has some interesting stuff in it---as well as a lot of boring stuff. :)

    .
     
    #10 Skwim, Mar 4, 2019
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  11. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I'm familiar with the studies- they are not new. The comments from those who cite them reflect the value judgement that IQ is a more important measurement than say one's level of empathy.

    I do not in the least question the value of a background in science. We see too much ignorance of basic principles from climate change denial to anti-vaxxers and beyond to flat-earthers etc. Children should learn what science truly is, the value of experimentation as well as theory, the importance of peer review and what constitutes proof, especially concepts like confidence intervals when the proof is statistical.

    But beyond a solid grounding in science, education in becoming more thoughtful, helpful, compassionate is also vital given what we see in evidence in the world today.

    So if the basics are covered in the sciences, I'm not troubled with emphasis being given to being a better human being.
     
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  12. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    I'll have to take a closer look at the papers later, but taking a glance, it seems to suffer from many of the problems I tend to notice in studies like this. Limited demographics (roughly half of more from college students in the United States) that make extrapolation to the global population a no-go, for example. Very coarse interpretations of what "religious" means that are biased towards rather outdated conceptions thereof given the rise in "spiritual but not religious" in the United States are present too (albeit unsurprisingly).

    In any case, I ask myself what is there to be gained from such claims or studies. I can't see much value to it beyond having an axe to grind. I feel the same way about the studies that attempt to correlate race or ethnic groups to intelligence. In that sense, I fully agree with @dfnj 's reaction. The studies are basically the academic equivalent of trolling. It serves no productive purpose whatsoever.
     
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  13. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    I hope there is something out there that is smarter than me.
    I've reported this post as assaultive and needlessly abusive.
     
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  14. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Nor does it necessarily measure creativity.

    Being able to come up with creative ideas isn’t something you need an overly-high IQ to accomplish.Once you’ve got a level of knowledge gathering and utilization that’s about average, you’re well on your way to having the creative potential of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs even stated this himself while he was alive by saying;

    “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.”
    The relationship between creativity and intelligence


    Me, I figure it takes all kinds of folks to get the things done that need doing. I knew a guy who claimed to have a 180 IQ. The guy was a mess. I mean he was smart but had trouble relating his ideas to other people. Many of his ideas weren't wrong, just impractical. He had a couple of patents even. However implementation he wasn't very strong on. When it came around to getting things done, I had to ignore him for the most part.

    I'm not saying there is nothing to it, but IMO it's far from everything. 100 average, nothing wrong with being average. 120 I heard you can pretty much accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

    Anything in there about the actual range of the IQs between the two groups? Religious vs non-religious. A point or two, five ten points?
     
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  15. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Sorry I see you mentioned this in your OP. 6 per scale point so maybe 18 points max?

    I don't know, I'm sure there are folks with higher IQs than me and probably some with lower IQs. I don't see that as making anyone better or worse off than myself.

    Sorry, didn't actually answer your question.

    I like the analytical vs intuitive thought explanation. I suspect analytical folks tend to end up questioning everything, including religious beliefs. Intuitive folks tend to rely on their feelings more. Religion, IMO relies mostly on feelings.
     
    #15 Nakosis, Mar 4, 2019
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  16. charlie sc

    charlie sc Active Member

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    If there is a problem with the methodology, I'd be keenly interested.

    I'd like to think that anything truthful has some merit. Correlation is always tricky and that's why special care should always be used. For instance, the first post was about health and the association with religiosity, which funnily enough was not called trolling.

    This is somewhat a good point but it has been proven false. Fairly soon after those studies, that do actually show a difference, other studies have shown that difference races or ethnicity groups that grow up in different families have similar IQs.
    Therefore, there was no traction at all. Correlation, yes, causation, no.

    I don't think so. The purpose is either to accept it and understand why and the possible reasons why or find if there is a fault in the methodology or reasoning.
    If people don't want to, that's fine. However, correlations are important in the social sciences and can be a good step to promote experiments. I didn't get a trolling stamp in my last post, but I don't think that hurt as many feelings.
     
  17. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    I don't, my IQ is 163, and I'm still religious. :D

    Religion and high IQ can be equally present in any individual, it's just as someones IQ increases their requirements for religion evolve to direct experiences rather than what others have told them. So, you will find that as you reach the top of that curve the smarter folks aren't so much believing their religion as much as they know it directly via some mechanism. You will also find as the IQ increases someone's religious views are also much more individualized and are probably slightly non-conventional, even if it appears they are a part of a much larger congregation.

    Most of the people writing these sorts of studies are somewhere in the 100-120 range tops of IQ and in that range I feel they're smart enough to not believe much on faith, but perhaps aren't as good at out-of-the-box or visionary-type thinking. They will have a valid analysis of what is in front of them, so to speak, but very limited capacities to build models or utilize information beyond that. Essentially, what you have here is a bunch of those types writing reports that confirm their biases. (Mind you, someone with beyond 120 IQ is exceptionally rare -- you aren't going to be able to gather an adequate sample size to refute their claim. A fact which requires more IQ, lol, to even consider. Someone with a higher IQ just simply wouldn't even try to make their case.)
     
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  18. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'd answer with a counter question...
    Why does this matter? Does it tell me anything about the religious or non-religious person standing before me?
    IQ has never been a particularly convincing method for measuring intelligence, but is increasingly also being discredited as somewhat outdated when more 'modern' intelligences are considered.
     
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  19. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Most people would think high IQ is a blessing, but often it is a curse... If my own life is an example... School is boring because it doesn't move fast enough, dropping out is common. Communication is more difficult because you often seen situations in vastly different ways that the population or the supposed "experts" -- you have to make deliberate efforts to "cross that divide" simply ignoring it is not enough. You are flooded with ideas, so it becomes challenging to pick one to develop so that something can be complete to deal with that requires a lot of discipline. That discipline is something that you certainly don't have in your youth, so it causes a lot of wreckage. :D Beyond that, talking like an alien to most people does wonders for your social life -- you have to work on that too. In lieu of that, I must say that I completely understand your friends problems. But, he can get out of that if he works on it, and should.
     
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  20. charlie sc

    charlie sc Active Member

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    This doesn't matter that much. The person may be the antithesis of what was expect. However, correlations may tell you about the likelihood or probability of a characteristic or a prediction of that person.
    For instance, if someone is a heavy smoker, it's likely, not necessary, that person will get lung cancer comparing to someone who does not smoke. So, it's likely someone who is highly religious(more intrinsic belief for crime as I recall) won't commit crimes and are healthy, according to the studies.
    Correlation does not mean causation.

    Mind giving some sources?
     
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