Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IQ and religion

I regularly browse Science Blogs and find all sorts of interesting things, many of which I refer to here. This morning I ran across an extremely interesting post on Gene Expression (that's a blog named Gene Expression, not a blog about gene expression) that briefly refers to a study showing that people who believe the Bible is the word of God have lower verbal skills than those who do not. The Gene Expression post also points to a series of previous posts on IQ, education levels, SAT scores, and type of religion.

Depending on the particular question, Unitarians, Episcopalians, Jews, and Atheists come out on top, and evangelicals and Pentecostals are at the bottom.

There are several immediately obvious questions:
  • Does pentecostalism make you dumb, or are dumb people attracted to pentecostalism? 
  • Same with education.
  • Is the fact that 15% of people change religions related to this?. 
  • Is the heritability of religiosity related to the heritability of IQ?
  • Are there public policy implications? (It sure argues for the continued separation of church and state.)
  • Why in the world would Baha'i score so low in their SATs?
I'd like to go into this more deeply, but I have to get ready for work now; all day meeting today, so no posting during the day. I'd recommend anyone interested in this stuff read the articles at the links above.

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