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Essay:Dumbingdown of mankind

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Well to start this off I plan to write my hypothesis about the lowing of intelligence of mankind based on the Theory of Evolution as it is affected but population growth of holy rollers.

Background[edit]

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." King James Version, Genesis 1:28

"Scientists and Religion in America"[edit]

"Whereas 90% of the general population has a distinct belief in a personal god and a life after death, only 40% of scientists on the B.S. level favor this belief in religion and merely 10 % of those who are considered 'eminent' scientists believe in a personal god or in an afterlife."[1]

Contrary to the notion fostered by so-called 'creation-scientists', Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal god.

"Leading Scientists Still Reject God"[edit]

A recent survey of members of the National Academy of Sciences showed that 72% are outright atheists, 21% are agnostic and only 7% admit to belief in a personal God.[2]

Do You Believe in God?"[edit]

In multiple studies, there is a negative correlation between theism and morality. By Franzblau's 1934 study, there's a negative correlation between religiosity and honesty. Ross 1950 shows atheists and agnostics are more likely to express their willingness to help the poor than the deeply religious. 1969 Hirschi and Stark found no correlation in lawbreaking by churchgoing children and non-churchgoing children.

This same Skeptic published the results of another study that compared professions and likelihood of believing in God. The general public was just over 90% likely to believe in God. Scientists in general were just under 40% likely. Mathematicians were just over 40% likely, biologists just under 30%, and physicists were barely over 20% likely to believe in God.[3]

Studies of very high IQ groups[edit]

1. Terman, 1959 Studied group with IQ's over 140. Of men, 10 percent held strong religious belief, of women 18 percent. Sixty-two percent of men and 57 percent of women claimed "little religious inclination" while 28 percent of the men and 23 percent of the women claimed it was "not at all important."

2. Warren and Heist, 1960 Found no differences among National Merit Scholars. Results may have been affected by the fact that NM scholars are not selected on the basis of intelligence or grades alone, but also on "leadership" and such like.

3. Southern and Plant, 1968 Studied 42 male and 30 female members of Mensa. Mensa members were much less religious in belief than the typical American college alumnus or adult.

Studies of Scientists[edit]

1. William S. Ament, 1927 C. C. Little, president of the University of Michigan, checked persons listed in Who's Who in America: "Unitarians, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Universalists, and Presbyterians [who are less religious] are… far more numerous in Who's Who than would be expected on the basis of the population which they form. Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics are distinctly less numerous."

Ament confirmed Little's conclusion. He noted that Unitarians, the least religious, were more than 40 times as numerous in Who's Who as in the U.S. population.

2. Lehman and Witty, 1931 Identified 1189 scientists found in both Who's Who (1927) and American Men of Science (1927). Only 25 percent of those listed in the latter and 50 percent of those in the former reported their religious denomination, despite the specific request to do so, under the heading of "religious denomination (if any)." Well over 90 percent of the general population claims religious affiliation. The figure of 25 percent suggests far less religiosity among scientists.

Unitarians were 81.4 times as numerous among eminent scientists as non-Unitarians.

3. Kelley and Fisk, 1951 Found a negative (-.39) correlation between the strength of religious values and research competence. [How these were measured is unknown.]

4. Ann Roe, 1953 Interviewed 64 "eminent scientists, nearly all members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences or the American Philosophical Society. She reported that, while nearly all of them had religious parents and had attended Sunday school, 'now only three of these men are seriously active in church. A few others attend upon occasion, or even give some financial support to a church which they do not attend… All the others have long since dismissed religion as any guide to them, and the church plays no part in their lives… A few are militantly atheistic, but most are just not interested.'"

5. Francis Bello, 1954 Interviewed or questionnaired 107 nonindustrial scientists under the age of 40 judged by senior colleagues to be outstanding. Of the 87 responses, 45 percent claimed to be "agnostic or atheistic" and an additional 22 percent claimed no religious affiliation. For 20 most eminent, "the proportion who are now a-religious is considerably higher than in the entire survey group."

6. Jack Chambers, 1964 Questionnaired 740 US psychologists and chemists. He reported, "The highly creative men… significantly more often show either no preference for a particular religion or little or no interest in religion." Found that the most eminent psychologists showed 40 percent no preference, 16 percent for the most eminent chemists.

7. Vaughan, Smith, and Sjoberg, 1965 Polled 850 US physicists, zoologists, chemical engineers, and geologists listed in American Men of Science (1955) on church membership, and attendance patterns, and belief in afterlife. Of the 642 replies, 38.5 percent did not believe in an afterlife, whereas 31.8 percent did. Belief in immortality was less common among major university staff than among those employed by business, government, or minor universities. The Gallup poll taken about this time showed that two-thirds of the U.S. population believed in an afterlife, so scientists were far less religious than the typical adult.

Conclusion[edit]

The consensus here is clear: more intelligent people tend not to believe in religion. And this observation is given added force when you consider that the above studies span a broad range of time, subjects and methodologies, and yet arrive at the same conclusion.

This is the result even when the researchers are Christian conservatives themselves. One such researcher is George Gallup. Here are the results of a Fall 1995 Gallup poll:

Percentage of respondents who agreed with the following statements:

Respondents Religion is Very Important in their life" Religion can answer all or most of today's problems"
Attended college 53% 58%
No college 63% 65%
Income over $50,000 48% 56%
$30,000 - $50,000 56% 62%
$20,000 - $30,000 56% 60%
Under $20,000 66% 66%

Why does this correlation exist? The first answer that comes to mind is that religious beliefs tend to be more illogical or incoherent than secular beliefs, and intelligent people tend to recognize that more quickly. But this explanation will surely be rejected by religious people, who will seek other explanations and rationalizations.

A possible counter-argument is that intelligent people tend to be more successful than others. The lure of worldly success and materialism draws many of these intellectually gifted individuals away from God. After all, who needs God when you (apparently) are making it on your own?

However, this argument does not withstand closer scrutiny. Most of the studies outlined above describe the religious attitudes of students, who have yet to enter the working world, much less succeed in it. Some might then argue that the most intelligent students are nonetheless succeeding in school. But "success" in school (for those who may have forgotten!) is more measured in terms of popularity, sports, physical attractiveness, personality, clothes, etc. Grades are but one of many measures of success in a young person's life -- one that is increasingly becoming less important, as many social critics point out.

The simplest and most parsimonious explanation is that religion is a set of logical and factual claims, and those with the most logic and facts at their disposal are rejecting it largely on those grounds.

IQ Religiosity Redux[edit]

Here's the graph of religiosity is taken from the Pew PollCite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag </ref>, and IQ.

Country % who say religion important (Pew survey) IQ (per GDP)
Angola 80 69
Argentina 39 96
Bangladesh 88 81
Bolivia 66 85
Brazil 77 87
Bulgaria 13 93
Canada 30 97
Czech Republic 11 97
France 11 98
Germany 21 102
Ghana 84 71
Great Britain 33 100
Guatemala 80 79
Honduras 72 84
India 92 81
Indonesia 95 89
Italy 27 102
Ivory Coast 91 71
Japan 12 105
Kenya 85 72
Mali 90 68
Mexico 57 87
Nigeria 92 67
Pakistan 91 81
Peru 69 90
Philipines 88 86
Poland 36 99
Russia 14 96
Senegal 97 64
Slovakia 29 95
South Africa 87 72
South Korea 25 106
Tanzania 83 72
Turkey 65 90
U.S. 59 98
Uganda 85 73
Ukraine 35 96
Uzbekistan 35 87
Venezuela 61 88
Vietnam 24 96

Note that while the IQ data for each individual country needs to be taken with a grain of salt, overall the trends correlate well with independent measures like the Third International Mathematics and Science Survey as well as GDP-per-capita. To reiterate religion and IQ are strongly negatively correlated (-.886), even more so than GDP-per-capita and IQ are strongly positively correlated (.757 w 1998 per-capita stats).

Iqreligiosity.jpg

America is an outlier: the only country that couples a high mean IQ (98) & GDP-per-capita with a relatively high level of religiosity (59%).

Normal1.gif

IQ Standard Deviation Units Uniform Interval Units
115 +1SD .84
100 0SD .50
85 -1SD .16

IQ and Class[edit]

The children of low IQ parents are likely themselves to have low IQs, and they are being treated like an endangered species, which must be removed from the family nest and carefully brought to breeding age under careful supervision, before being released into the wild to contribute to the breeding population of their species. This program may already be having some effect on the situation. Phillippa Russell, the Commissioner for Disability Rights, is quoted as saying: ' … there are far more people with learning disabilities living in the community now, having ordinary relationships and having children'. Meanwhile, the hated 'middle class', which is likely to be endowed with above average IQ, forethought, etc. in a society which is heavily geared against them, is already contributing proportionately less to the breeding populations of the future. The trend to smaller middle class families looks set to continue, as, under the influence of debts incurred in paying for university courses and rising taxes on property, apart from other factors, their sense of responsibility and forethought lead them to put off starting their families until an ever later age, and to curtail their numbers on account (among other things) of their wish to provide adequately for their education.

See Also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Scientific American, September 1999
  2. Nature, 394(6691):313, 23 July 1998
  3. Skeptic, vol.6 #2 1998