LSE study: Liberalism, atheism linked to IQ

Political liberalism, atheism and sexual exclusivity among males may be reflections of intelligence, according to a study of Americans by an evolutionary pyschologist at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

CNN reports that the study by Satoshi Kanazawa correlated data on these behaviors with IQ from a large national U.S. sample and found that, on average, people who identified as liberal and atheist had higher IQs. This applied also to sexual exclusivity in men, but not in women. The findings are to be published in the March 2010 issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

From the CNN report:

The IQ differences, while statistically significant, are not stunning -- on the order of 6 to 11 points -- and the data should not be used to stereotype or make assumptions about people, experts say. But they show how certain patterns of identifying with particular ideologies develop, and how some people's behaviors come to be.

The reasoning is that sexual exclusivity in men, liberalism and atheism all go against what would be expected given humans' evolutionary past. In other words, none of these traits would have benefited our early human ancestors, but higher intelligence may be associated with them.

"The adoption of some evolutionarily novel ideas makes some sense in terms of moving the species forward," said George Washington University leadership professor James Bailey, who was not involved in the study. "It also makes perfect sense that more intelligent people -- people with, sort of, more intellectual firepower -- are likely to be the ones to do that."

Bailey also said that these preferences may stem from a desire to show superiority or elitism, which also has to do with IQ. In fact, aligning oneself with "unconventional" philosophies such as liberalism or atheism may be "ways to communicate to everyone that you're pretty smart," he said.

Read the story at cnn.com.

Read more: weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2010/02/lse_study_liberalism_atheism_r.html

It makes me happy when studies of this world seek to vindicate the Wide Road &, by inference, villify the Narrow Road. That shows me I must be on the right road!
CNN: I am more than happy to take my place with poor,pitiable, blind & naked folks who kneel in the back & ask for God’s mercy. The authors of this study can stand in the front & thank God they & their study cohort are not like other men.

That study backs up what I’ve found to be true in my experience with people. Not to say that there aren’t intelligent conservatives or intelligent believers, but as a general characterization, it seems to be correct. IMO.

What I think this shows is that people with higher IQs spend much of their lives at universities in first world countries where the ideological indoctrination is greatest. Also keep in mind that IQ is more a measure of learning than native intelligence, despite its name.

It is actually a sad study, very sad. The higher your IQ, the less hope you have for the future (atheism) in general and the less will you have to reproduce (homosexuality) and also the least hope for mankind (liberalism). It doesnt paint a very good picture of having a good IQ! It really is quite simple though. Many in higher education are Marxists or Marxist sympathizers. Atheism, homosexuality, and liberalism are all characteristics of Marxist thought.

Not “much of their lives,” as I see it, but at least some of their lives being educated at universities. I went to Fordham University in New York City in the early 1960’s and their Catholic ideological indoctrination was certainly parallel to that at the secular universities of the time. My wife was also graduated from Fordham with the same sort of Catholic indoctrination. She also got her Masters degree there, I got mine at a secular university (SIUE).

Your second point is well taken.

You are drawing the wrong conclusions from a higher IQ. Atheists would argue that they have as much hope for the future as any believer, and liberals, like me and as I have experienced, have a great deal of hope for mankind.

Atheism, homosexuality, and liberalism are all characteristics of Marxist thought.

Wrong. Marxists aren’t classic liberals and they aren’t anymore homosexual than anyone else.

This is just utterly ridiculous. There is absolutely no correlation between athiesm and higher IQ. There are many other factors here that must be taken into consideration in order for the statistic to be a valid representative sample. For these types of shaky statistics there can always be counter-stats. First off, over 97% of people that have ever lived have believed in some sort of god(s). Also, most of the greatest and influential minds in history have not been athiests. Aristotle(see prime mover argument), Plato and Socrates believed in god(s) of some sort. Rene Descarte (a catholic) famous for his proof of existence, "Cogito ergo sum" I think therefore i am. Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosophers of all time was a theist.(deontological ethics). Godfried Lebniz, a Christian, was a genius and contributed greatly to many fields and is respected as the father of modern Calculus. I can keep going on and on... St.Augstine, Copernicus, Galileo, Isac Newton, St.Thomas Aquinas(doctor of the church), Spinoza, Voltaire(deist) Albert Einstien (deist) Stephen Hawking(deist) etc....

Science and intellectualism vs Religion is just unfounded. There is no discrepancy (at least with Christianity) between the two.

[quote="VeritasSeeker, post:8, topic:188801"]
First off, over 97% of people have believed in some sort of god(s).

[/quote]

Your percentage is high.

Harris Poll:

•Ten percent of Protestants, 21 percent of Roman Catholics, and 52 percent of Jews do** not** believe in God. (Amazing about the Ps and Cs!)
•84 percent of women believe in God, compared with 73 percent of men.
•91 percent of African Americans believe in God, compared with 81 percent of Hispanics and 78 percent of whites.
•87 percent of Republicans believe in God, compared with 78 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of Independents.
•82 percent of those with no college education believe in God, compared with 73 percent who went to college.
Those are very interesting numbers. Although 79 percent of Americans believe there is a God, only 66 percent are absolutely certain of it - that means that 21 percent of the population are atheists and 34 percent are agnostics. Much, much more than people usually assume!

Well 97% of people that have ever lived. Not just the present day.

[quote="VeritasSeeker, post:10, topic:188801"]
Well 97% of people that have ever lived. Not just the present day.

[/quote]

Well, that might be true, but adding in all the pantheists, the believers in the pagan gods and such (devotees of Hanuman, the Monkey God, e.g.), seems a stretch to number them among believers. :shrug:

Surprise, surprise, academia has leaned away from religion since the Enlightenment.

Not only that, but ‘modern liberals’ aren’t classic liberals either. Classic liberals believe in economic freedom and minimal government. :slight_smile:

I bet if we searched for a correlation between Randian Objectivists and IQ, there’ll be some strong positive results, too. :smiley:

Teh study correlates with the success that institutions of higher learning have had in indoctrinating those intelligent enough to attend into the leftist, godless worldview.

[quote="Prof_K, post:4, topic:188801"]
What I think this shows is that people with higher IQs spend much of their lives at universities in first world countries where the ideological indoctrination is greatest. Also keep in mind that IQ is more a measure of learning than native intelligence, despite its name.

[/quote]

It is a good measure of those who will succeed at school.

[quote="mjs1987, post:5, topic:188801"]
It is actually a sad study, very sad. The higher your IQ, the less hope you have for the future (atheism) in general and the less will you have to reproduce (homosexuality) and also the least hope for mankind (liberalism). It doesnt paint a very good picture of having a good IQ! It really is quite simple though. Many in higher education are Marxists or Marxist sympathizers. Atheism, homosexuality, and liberalism are all characteristics of Marxist thought.

[/quote]

If the study is an accurate one, it would seem that the correlation between modern measurements of intelligence and wisdom is a weak one.

[quote="Darryl1958, post:13, topic:188801"]
Teh study correlates with the success that institutions of higher learning have had in indoctrinating those intelligent enough to attend into the leftist, godless worldview.

[/quote]

That seems to be an overly broad characterization of institutions of higher learning. Are you including schools like Dallas College, Christendom College, and Ave Maria University in that number? :hmmm:

I'm inclined to take what might be called a 'constructivist' approach to this study, as with most "studies" that seek to correlate people's beliefs with their behavior or characteristics. People today are quite heavily influenced by the media (specifically television, the internet, etc.), far more so than any previous generation or in any previous age. We also form are conceptions of who we are from what we see on TV and the internet and so forth to an almost startling degree (read about "coolhunting" if you'd like to confirm this). Television has effectively replaced culture, tradition, and largely education, in telling us how we're "supposed" to behave; for example, it would not be uncommon for, say, a young African American today to learn how to behave like a black person from watching a TV show or listening to song manufactured by a bunch of white producers and marketing psychologists. We are told by our media that people of certain races, backgrounds, or religions behave a certain way. We are also told that smart people and dumb people behave a certain way.

Therefore, i don't think it would be too absurd to speculate that, if, at impressionable ages, one is repeatedly given the impression that to be smart is to wear glasses, to be liberal, to listen to classical music, or to disdain religion, then, should one come to define oneself by one's intelligence (as intelligent people disproportionately do), then one will begin to adopt the characteristics that one has come to believe intelligent people possess. The genius of the atheist publicity campaign (I'm not saying there's a cabal of atheists plotting propaganda, just a general trend within the "atheist subculture") is its ability to associate itself with intelligence in the mind of the public.

I would also point out that, by and large, atheism is something of an esoteric belief (though it is becoming less so). One almost needs to be relatively intelligent to successfully maintain an opinion with which most of the population disagrees; a sort of natural selection of ideas. An atheist usually has to be smart enough to defend his point of view more successfully and more often than the Christian does, because the Christian experiences much less confrontation.

I would also note that there are many mutually exclusive beliefs one will find among intelligent people simply because almost no one of less than average intelligence would even be susceptible to such esoteric beliefs: libertarianism and Marxism; people who believe in string theory and people who don't, Keynesians and Monetarists. And, by the way, most of the anti-Semites I've come across (among the urban youth, that is, unexposed to old-fashioned prejudices) have also been smarter and more well read than the average person in similar circumstances: they too have to be more clever and, in a way, more educated (though miseducated) than the average person for whom anti-Semitism is not even a considerable option.
.

You tell me.
Should I?

And while you are at it, what are studies based on statistics, if not generalizations.

[quote="mjs1987, post:5, topic:188801"]
.... Atheism, homosexuality, and liberalism are all characteristics of Marxist thought.

[/quote]

LOL! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

Where do you guys come up with this??

It was your generalization. You’re the one who is including all the institutes of higher learning. Ball in your court, friend.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.