Here is a brief summary of some studies, which I am sure will interest no one on this thre
Here is a brief summary of some studies, which I am sure will interest
no one on this thread. For every study there is the counterargument
that it proves nothing.
1. Thomas Howells, 1927
Study of 461 students showed religiously conversative students "are,
in general, relatively inferior in intellectual ability."
2. Hilding Carlsojn, 1933
Study of 215 students showed that "there is a tendency for the more
intelligent undergraduate to be sympathetic toward ... atheism."
3. Abraham Franzblau, 1934
Confirming Howells and Carlson, tested 354 Jewish children, 10-16.
Negative correlation between religiosity and Terman intelligence test.
4. Thomas Symington, 1935
Tested 400 young people in colleges and church groups. He reported,
"there is a constant positive relation in all the groups between
liberal religious thinking and mental ability...There is also a
constant positive relation between liberal scores and intelligence..."
5. Vernon Jones, 1938
Tested 381 stydents, concluding "a slight tendency for intelligence
and liberal attitudes to go together."
6. A. R. Gilliland, 1940
At variance with all other studies, found "little or no relationship
between intelligence and attitude toward god."
7. Donald Gragg, 1942
Reported an inverse correlation between 100 ACE freshman test scores
and Thurstone "reality of god" scores.
8. Brown and Love, 1951
At U. of Denver, tested 613 male and female students. Mean test scores
of non-believers = 119, believers = 100. Percentile NBs = 80, BBs = 50.
Their findings "strongly corroborate those of Howells."
9. Michael Argyle, 1958
Concluded that "although intelligent children grasp religious concepts
earlier, they are also the first to doubt the truth of religion, and
intelligent students are much less likely to accept orthodox beliefs."
10. Jeffrey Hadden, 1963
Found no correlation between intelligence and grades. This was an
anomalous finding, since GPA corresponds closely with intelligence.
Other factors may have influenced the results at the U. of Wisconsin.
11. Young, Dustin and Holtzman, 1966
Average religiosity decreased as GPA rose.
12. James Trent, 1967
Polled 1400 college seniors. Found little difference, but
high-ability students in his sample group were over-represented.
13. C. Plant and E. Minium, 1967
The more intelligent students were less religious, both before entering
college and after 2 years of college.
14. Robert Wuthnow, 1978
Of 532 students, 37% of christians, 58% of apostates, and 53 percent of
non-religious scored above average on SATs.
15. Hastings and Hoge, 1967, 1974
Polled 200 college students and found no significant correlations.
16. Norman Poythress, 1975
Mean SATs for strongly antireligious (1148), moderately anti-
religious (1119), slightly antireligious (1108), and religious (1022).
17. Wiebe and Fleck, 1980
Studied 158 male and female Canadian university students. The reported
"nonreligious S's tended to be strongly intelligent" and "more
intelligent than religious S's.
Student Body Comparisons-
1. Rose Goldsen, Student belief in a divine god, percentages 1952.
Harvard 30; UCLA 32; Dartmouth 35; Yale 36; Cornell 42; Wayne 43;
Weslyan 43; Michigan 45; Fisk 60; Texas 62; N. Carolina 68.
2. National Review Study, 1970 Students Belief in Spirit or Divine God.
Reed 15; Brandeis 25; Sarah Lawrence 28; Williams 36; Stanford 41;
Boston U. 41; Yale 42; Howard 47; Indiana 57; Davidson 59; S. Carolina 65;
3. Caplovitz and Sherrow, 1977
Apostasy rates rose continuously from 5% in "low" ranked schools to 17%
in "high" ranked schools.
Niemi, Ross, and Alexander, 1978
In elite schools, organized religion was judged important by only 26%,
compared with 44% of all students.
Studies of Very-High-IQ groups.
1. Terman, 1959
Studied group with IQ > 140. Of men, 10% held strong religious belief,
of women 18%. 62% of men and 57% if women claimed "little religious
inclination" while 28% men and 23% of women claimed it was "not at all
2. Warren and Heist, 1960
Found no differences among National Merit Scholars. Results may have
been effected 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
42 male and 30 female members of Mensa. Mensa members were much less
religious in belief than the typical American college alumnis or adult.
There's more, but I'm tired of typing. If you want more, including
extensive bibliographies, see _Free Inquiry_, Spring '86. And just
my opinion: four broad categories of people profess strong religious
convictions - 1. Exploitive sociopaths: The Pope, Billy Graham, Jerry
Falwell, etc. 2. The abysmally ignorant. 3. Those with low intelligence.
4. The delusional.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank