Saturday, January 28, 2006

No Mention of Intelligence or Poverty

Although many people are quick to point out the supposed benefits to religion, few people mention its relation to intelligence, or at least, lack thereof. Generally, the highly intelligent are not religious, and I have heard from some religious spokespeople, that their ranks are coming from the least intelligent. Considering America's dismal performance on international comparisons of academic abilities, i.e., TIMSS- 12th grade (near adult, when it really matters), one could wonder if the swing to the right had more to do with ignorance than with any supposed benefit.

From my own, non-academic, statistical analysis, educational performance seems to be related to levels of economic inequality, such that countries with higher Gini coefficients, measures of economic inequality, have lower TIMSS performance and lower IQ. The US has the highest Gini coefficient in the developed world. Additionally, you could recognize that religion is seemingly the salve to poverty. China's rural poor are turning to Falun Gong, and in some ways, something similar is happening here, such that the rural and economically disenfranchised are turning to god.

I have not vetted the following for veracity, but following are links supporting the the IQ correlation:

IQ by Religiosity (Country)

Intelligence and Religious beliefs - Studies (redundant)

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