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Religion and IQ – There's a correlation and religion does not score well

Religion and IQ – There's a correlation and religion does not score well

David PakmanIn his Midwest Politics show yesterday, host David Pakman pointed out that there is a correlation between religion and intelligence.  The higher the IQ a person has, the less inclined he or she is to be deeply religious.  How income affected this correlation was reported in 2008 in research publish by a retired Danish professor of psychology, Helmuth Nyborg.

As Pakman points out, there are a lot of factors that play into this, such as poverty, lack of education (which tends to be a product of poverty), and how people think (i.e., whether they are intuitive thinkers or critical thinkers).  He also points out that if people are taught a certain way about religion and they do not have the resources or education to question those beliefs, they will remain religious.  Religion serves as a "beacon of hope" for people struggling with poverty.

The correlation between IQ and religiosity is clear, Pakman observed, but the causation is not very clear.

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About D.

  • I don't think people who are religious are necessarily less intelligent. I do think that religion suppresses intellect, causing IQs to drop, but when individuals shake superstition, their IQs starts to increase due to more information and more exposure to the real world, thereby stimulated more brain cells causing their IQs to rise to the level they would be if not suppressed by religious superstition. However, this rise in IQ after leaving religion would not be substantial. It would be more like going from 96 to 100 or 113 to 115 or what have you. Hopefully that made sense, but keep in mind, IQ is just a score based on cultural and other forms of knowledge, with other factors, such as amount of sleep, a good meal beforehand, health, socio-economic levels, culture, etc, increasing or decreasing it besides religion. Remove barriers that are possible to remove and the person eventually does a few points better than before the barriers were removed.

    • colourmegone

      You are putting the cart before the horse, leaving religion doesn't increase intelligence, you need a higher level of intelligence, or at least education, to leave religion. Poverty also plays a role. Those trapped in abject poverty seldom move away from their foundational beliefs.

      • I didn't exactly say that leaving religion increases intelligence. If you had read what I wrote, you have read I don't necessarily think that, but other factors to come into play.

  • colourmegone

    So if you want to promote religion attack public education and social welfare programs, then denigrate science while promoting poverty and ignorance. Does this program sound familiar to anyone?

    • You've nailed it, ColourMeGone.

      Quite frankly, the rise in religious extremism with the bad economy seems to be running parallel, and the attacks on science, education, civil rights and social welfare programs are its fruit. It's a vicious cycle.


    • livingamoungarrogants

      Yes. The believers that big government should be worshiped instead of a creator is apparent. These same charlatans will have you believe someone's IQ can be used to determine someone's belief in a creator.

  • David Pakman

    Thanks for posting about our clip. FYI our show is called The David Pakman Show, not Midwest Politics.

    • Thanks, Dave. I really enjoy what you have to say.


      • He's good. I listen to him via podcast, when I can.

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