I must admit to seeing this first at WEIT. At first I thought maybe Jesus was too stupid to realize that this result is bad for religion. Then I thought, wait… maybe because the analysis indicates that people who follow religion might be a little dense, they can’t realize they are being scammed. Either way works for the chuckle I suppose.
So being the what I am, and curious about this analysis, I followed a link here:
Now I briefly looked at DL -ing the PDF there, but it looks like it might be a pay to view thing, so I’m not going to go quite that far. However there is a very interesting abstract, or summary if you will. I will share that with you, note that this was back in 2013:
“A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.”
Note the word significant in that first sentence. Fascinating 🙂
And moving along: Intelligent people are less likely to conform? Maybe, maybe every inmate in prison has an intelligence problem? I don’t know, but I know I do have issues sucking up what religion has to offer with no supporting evidence for their claims. It all goes way beyond reason and slips into the realm of complete absurdity very quickly for me, and frankly I am somewhat surprised that a great number of people have no issues at all with talking snakes, virgin births, and massive floods that if happened would have left ample evidence for, which we do not see. It is just a fine and dandy fantasy for them. For us, it’s just wacky…
I find it intriguing that an analytic vs. an intuitive thinking style was brought up. I believe that may be a huge factor in the differences between the them and us, and a significant reason in the why, we can’t really seem to communicate across the divide very well. We find the way they arrive at their world view completely alien to how we understand things, and I figure (from what I have seen) their side is just too damn stubborn to bother learning or thinking about the how and why they wound up where they are at in the first place.
Being self sufficient, and dealing with reality on realities terms, which is how I am interpreting this: “several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence.” That is we deal with our emotions, our control, our inner selves, on our own. We need no outside influence to keep us on the straight and narrow path. We need no imaginary friends to keep us in line. We just manage with no need of some social construct to supposedly make us better. We find we have no need of some mysterious godly excuse for all of the bad things that happen in life. Also I can’t even imagine what sort of person needs an outside influence to keep them straight so badly that church every damn Wednesday and twice on Sunday is a must experience situation for them. Doesn’t even compute for me. Just suck it up people and do what needs doing, reason will help you get there! Sheesh.
I suppose we all sort of already knew this was what we were bucking up against. Only thing I can figure is, we may never fully understand what drives the religious to adamantly oppose reality, and avoid analytical thinking at any cost. Even to the point of not sending their children to a public school. The fantasy must be maintained!
All we can really do is keep on keeping on and deal with our own realities the best we can. Of course pecking away at the stone of ridiculousness every now and then can keep us happily occupied. Just thinking out loud, I hope this finds you all well.
This is one of those “duh” studies. (They are necessary because we should not assume anything.) Consider that religious indoctrination occurs mostly in childhood (unless you are on a Mormon mission, etc.). Younger students will be closer to their instruction and will have read and thought less than older students (consequently …).
Colleges and universities teach people to think and question and argue; religions, not so much. “Intelligence,” whatever it is, is very closely associated with learning (in both quantity and rate) and the more you learn and question, etc. the more intelligent you become. Learning about scripture does not involve questioning, etc. which is why going to seminary can result in a loss of faith, just like going to a real college.
As intelligence is difficult to measure, I don’t know how much stock I’d put in any study, even if it confirms my biases lol. I have literally seen folks that at first glance you would not think they had the capacity to figure out how to get out of a wet bag, but then get blown away when I had time to get to know them better. You don’t have to be college edumacated to have useful intelligence. (I myself might be a fair example of that)
I did find the analysis interesting, and thought provoking, and I’d love to lump all religiots into one category of stupid, but I know it isn’t that simple.
That said, what you just posted, and the studies themselves, coupled with what we already know from our personal experiences seem to be indicating a trend.
The obvious issue does seem to be indoctrination and the curbing of critical thought at a young age. And that tends to stick through adulthood, where by then they are just stuck in their ways and rarely unwilling to budge. You can lead a creationist to the facts but you can’t make them think…
Same thing with denialists. They seem to correlate strongly in the way they use their brains to understand the world. Once entrenched in their non reality based perceptions they are tough nuts to crack. Literally and figuratively.