Through The Static

June 13, 2008

Intelligent people ‘less likely to believe in God’

Filed under: Miss Cleo,Randomness,Religion — disciplepete @ 12:20 am

As an atheist, I’m all over this story like curry on rice. From the Telegraph:

Professor Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at Ulster University, said many more members of the “intellectual elite” considered themselves atheists than the national average.

A decline in religious observance over the last century was directly linked to a rise in average intelligence, he claimed.

But the conclusions – in a paper for the academic journal Intelligence – have been branded “simplistic” by critics…

…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.

Professor Lynn said most primary school children believed in God, but as they entered adolescence – and their intelligence increased – many started to have doubts.

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.”

Hmmz, I’m not really buying it. I’m not completely sold on the intelligence measuring capacity of IQ tests to begin with, but that’s a story for different day. I also think religious belief is motivated more by emotion than intelligence. I know plenty of religious people who are very intelligent. Maybe an intelligent person will question religion more. Maybe.  And damn, there’s like a billion comments people left to the article…definitely stirred up folks.

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1 Comment »

  1. I personally feel that more the person understands biological systems, his appreciation for Nature and for a supreme consciousness, what we call, for operational purposes, as – God, shall increase. I know so many eminent scientists personally who are strong believers and mind it they have done some marvellous piece of research in cancer biology throughout their lives. Perhaps you shall like to go through this post which attempts to integrate scientific facts and religious ideas: http://hotbacteria.wordpress.com

    -Tarun

    Comment by Tarun — June 13, 2008 @ 1:33 am | Reply


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