Thursday, May 29, 2008

Proof religious people are stupid! Or at least ignorant. Well, I have a CHART.

I know, divisive title for the blog. Razib at made this post where he correlates IQ and Biblical literalism by religion, hehe. (Which I in turn got from The Friendly Atheist.) And it's not really strong proof - what it is is a simple correlation between IQ values charted to religion. I, myself, don't think that IQ tests for intelligence so much as a particular kind of education . . . so if anything, this is a measure of the education of religious people (which is, itself, of course, very interesting data).

OK, then. Granting that it's not a study, and it's not really measuring intelligence but how well the people took IQ tests, it's still pretty lovely, hehe.

Isn't that lovely? Razib is personally aware at the limitations of the chart. While the data is legitimately gotten from reputable sources, it is, in the end, just a chart, so we should remember that correlation is not causation.

However, correlation suggests causation. What IQ tests were initially intended to do is locate people inside a given society that have special needs. If Pentacostalists as a group are doing poorly on IQ tests, it is legitimate to ask why. At a guess, it isn't the religion, but their education, which is likely bad not because of their religion (tho' that might play a role in it, esp. with science education - Bible literalists are known to have some contempt for science, after all) but because of issues like poverty and social status. Indeed, it isn't precisely news that fundamentalist religion goes hand-in-hand with poor, low status groups whereas non-theism is largely amongst the best educated people with secure careers (y'know, tenured scientists).

But for me the real pleasure is just seeing it charted out how Biblical literalism is heavily correlated to outright stupidity, hehe. I have to admit.

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