Religion correlates with lower IQ among American teenagers?

From "Does religion rot teenagers’ brains?" (MercatorNet, 25 July 2011):

Recently, we looked at a claim, published in a serious science journal, Intelligence, that belief in God correlates worldwide with lower IQ. From the same journal in the same year, we learned that religion correlates with lower IQ among American teenagers.

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If half of the Catholics and Baptist teens are sporadically observant and doctrinally indifferent (no unusual state of affairs), religious orthodoxy collapses as a predictor of IQ. So it is not clear just what Nyborg is measuring. Social class is a possibility.

More.

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Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.

2 thoughts on “Religion correlates with lower IQ among American teenagers?

  1. Sounds like you are right to conclude Nyborg doesn’t know what he’s measuring. Nothing screws up a measurement quite as badly as that!
    I suggest looking at real research instead: The National Study of Youth and Religion. Christian Smith and Melanie Lundquist Denton reported results relating to teens in *Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers.*
    The study used gold-standard methods of data gathering (sample size, sample stratification, interview, questionnaire, etc.), construct definition, and statistical analysis. It is, as I said, real research.
    Out of 99 different outcome measures, ranging from social to economic to academic to health-related to … (etc.), religiously devoted teens came out stronger and healthier than spiritually detached teens on 99. All of them. Including academic.

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