The Intelligence Paradox: Why the Intelligent Choice Isn't Always the Smart One - Satoshi Kanazawa 2012
Why Atheists Are More Intelligent than the Religious
Once again, if more intelligent individuals are more likely to be atheistic, then it follows that, at the societal level, the average intelligence of a population should decrease its average level of religiosity. The more intelligent the population, the less religious (and more atheistic) it should be. This indeed appears to be the case.11
Across nations, even after statistically controlling for such relevant factors and potential confounds as economic development, education, history of communism, and geographic location, the average intelligence of a population significantly and strongly reduces its average level of religiosity. Average intelligence in society decreases the proportion of the population who believe in God, how important God is to the people, and the proportion of the population who consider themselves to be religious. The more intelligent the population, the less religious they are on average.
In fact, just as with the highest marginal tax rate and income inequality discussed in Chapter 5, the average intelligence of the population is the strongest determinant of its level of religiosity. Each IQ point in average intelligence, for example, decreases the percentage of the population who believe in God by 1.2%, and the proportion of people who consider themselves to be religious by 1.8%. Average intelligence singlehandedly explains 70% of the variance in how important God is in different nations.
It appears, once again, that the Intelligence Paradox not only explains individual preferences and values, such as religiosity, at the micro level of individuals, but can also explain national differences in values, preferences, and character at the macro level of societies.
1. Brown (1991)
2. Atran (2002); Boyer (2001); Guthrie (1993); Haselton and Nettle (2006); Kirkpatrick (2005)
3. Guthrie (1993)
4. Atran (2002)
5. Nesse (2001)
6. Nesse (2001)
7. Levinson (1991—1995)
8. Chagnon (1992); Cronk (2004); Hill and Hurtado (1996); Lee (1979); Whitten (1976)
9. Kanazawa (2010a)
10. Miller and Hoffman (1995); Miller and Stark (2002)
11. Kanazawa (2009); Lynn, Harvey and Nyborg (2009)