European atheism and intelligence

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In 2014, the Pew Research Forum indicated that Europe will go from 11% of the world's population to 7% of the world's population by 2050.[1]

From a global perspective, Europe is more secular/atheistic than the rest of the world although it does have a considerable amount of religious immigrants who have higher birth rates (see: Secular Europe and Atheist population and Global atheism).

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[2] See: Asian atheism and Western atheism and race

According to a poll measuring religious identification in the European Union in 2012 by Eurobarometer, 16% identify as non-religious/agnostic and 7% of EU citizens identify as atheists.[3][4]

The 2010 eurobarometer poll found that on total average, of the EU27 population, 51% "believe in a God", 26% believe in "some sort of spirit or life force" and 20% had neither of these forms of belief.[5]

As briefly mentioned above, Europe is presently experiencing desecularization forces through: religious immigrants who have higher fertility rates than moderately religious and the sub-replacement level of fertility of the irreligious in many European countries. This trend is expected to continue and the secular population is projected to plateau by 2050, or as early as 2021 (see also: European desecularization in the 21st century and Growth of global desecularization).[6]

IQ scores reported for various Irreligious European countries

Although social scientists have disputes about the accuracy of IQ scores in a given region, regions do vary in terms of their IQ scores.[7][8][9]

Unless otherwise indicated, the national IQ scores given in this article for European countries comes from the work carried out from 2002 to 2006 by Richard Lynn, a British Professor of Psychology, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish Professor of Political Science, who performed IQ studies in more than 80 countries.[7]

  • UK: National IQ is 100.[7]

IQ scores of the more religious countries of Italy and Switzerland

Italy and Switzerland are among the top three countries in national IQ scores and they are more religious than the irreligious countries cited above. The national IQ scores of Italy and Switzerland were reported to be 102 and 101 respectively.[7]

The Christian Post reported in 2007 concerning Switzerland:

But proponents of creationism contend that most Swiss want creationism taught alongside evolution in biology class.

A survey commissioned by the Christian organization Pro Genesis earlier this year found 80 percent of Swiss want creationism taught in schools, according to swissinfo. Meanwhile, an international survey last year found 30 percent of Swiss reject evolution – one of the highest rates in Europe.[10]

Higher intelligence in some East Asia coutnries compared to secular Europe

See: Asian atheism and intelligence

Degree of irreligion for some of the most irreligious countries of Europe

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[11] Sweden's national IQ is 99.[7]

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and in secular Europe. The website adherents.com reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[12] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[13]

Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[14] In addition, in 2005 Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[15]

Estonia is one of the least religious areas in the world. Merely 14% of the population declared religion an important part of their daily lives.[16]

From a historical perspective, the Czechs have been characterised as "tolerant and even indifferent towards religion".[17] According to the 2011 census, 34.2% of the Czech population declared they had no religion, 10.3% was Roman Catholic and 10.2% followed other forms of religion both denominational and nondenominational. Furthermore, 45.2% of the population did not answer the question about religion.[18] From 1991 to 2001 and further to 2011 the adherence to Roman Catholicism decreased from 39.0% to 26.8% and then subsequently to 10.3%.[19]

A Eurobarometer poll in 2010 reported that 37% of UK citizens "believed there is a God", 33% believe there is "some sort of spirit or life force" and 25% answered "I don't believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".[20] See also: British atheism

France was ranked the 8th most atheistic country in the world in 2005.[21] France has the 4th highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[22]

Germany is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website adherents.com reports that 41-49% of Germans are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[23]

Finland was ranked the 7th most atheistic country in the world in 2005.[24] Finland has the 17th highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[25]

In 2005, the Netherlands was ranked the 13th most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reports that in 2005 39 - 44%% of the Dutch were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[26] The Netherlands also has the 11th highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[27]

Recent intelligence trends in secular Europe/Australia and the religious United States

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[28] In Sweden, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[29]

See also: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries

To a certain extent intelligence is heritable and the link between higher IQ individuals having fewer kids is known as dysgenic fertility.[30]

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote about the sub-replacement level of fertility among atheistic populations: "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century."[31] Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[32] See also: Atheism and fertility rates and Atheism and sexuality

Professor Eric Kaufmann's academic work and his book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? argue using a wealth of demographic data that due to the higher birth rates of religious conservatives (and the below replacement level of the irreligious) and religious immigration to the Western World, atheism/secularism will decline in the Western World as early as 2021 or by 2050.[33][34][35][36]

In his paper, The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ, Thomas Hally wrote:

In many areas phenotypic intelligence has been increasing (the Flynn Effect) while genotypic intelligence is decreasing due to the negative association between intelligence and that which is known as ³dysgenic fertility´. Gains of as much as 7.5 IQ points in phenotypic intelligence are much greater than the 0.43 IQ points per generation in the world-wide genotypic IQ that had been estimated for the period 1950-2000. The situation in the industrially developed world appears to follow the lead of the United States and a handful of other developed nations in so far as the phenotypic IQ has been increasing at a greater rate as a result of environmental improvements.

In Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain and Australia phenotypic intelligence has stabilized and is now declining.[37]

The Daily Mail reported in 2014, "Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade."[38]

In godless Denmark, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[39]

In 2012, it was reported that Norway was the eighth most godless country on earth.[40]

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 46 - 85% of Swedes were agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[41] In 2012, it was reported to be the 4rth most godless place on earth.[42] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[43] See also: Sexual immorality and Sweden

Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[44] In addition, in 2005 Denmark was ranked the third most atheistic country in the world and the website adherents.com reported that in 2005 43 - 80% of Danes are agnostics/atheists/non-believers in God.[45]

According to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and an article on Belief.net, Britain (which was the fountainhead of Darwinism) has become one of the most godless places on earth.[46] In 2012, Great Britain was reported to be the sixth most godless country on earth.[47]

Post World War II, Australia has become a highly secularized country.[48]

Secular Europe, culture and intelligence

See also: Atheism and culture

In atheistic Sweden, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed at some point after the age of 15 - compared to the EU average of 55 percent.[49] See: Irreligion and domestic violence

Children in dysfunctional homes/communities and/or homes/communities with financial problems often perform lower on intelligence tests as a result.[50][51]

Secular Europe and various matters of societal dysfunction:

Europe is an economically developed region with growing long term economic problems as can be see by the articles below:

Atheism, theism and culture

As far as a comparison between atheistic/theistic homes/individuals, see:

For more information, including how economic/societal deterioration is lowering intelligence scores in some secular countries, please see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries

Secular Europe, alcoholism and loss of brain functionality

See also: Secular Europe and alcoholism and Secular Europe and obesity and Secular Europe

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe, "The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.[52]

According to the World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe:

The WHO European Region has the highest proportion in the world of total ill health and premature death due to alcohol.

A country’s total per capita alcohol consumption is closely related to its prevalence of alcohol-related harm and alcohol dependence. This high level of harm hides enormous alcohol-related health inequalities between eastern and western Europe, particularly for injury deaths.

Both the volume of lifetime alcohol use and a combination of frequency of drinking and amount drunk per occasion increase the risk of health and social harm, largely in a dose-dependent manner.

The risk of death from a chronic alcohol-related condition is found to increase linearly from zero consumption in a dose–response manner with the volume of alcohol consumed.

At a societal level, the European Union is the heaviest-drinking region in the world, with over one fifth of the European population aged 15 years and above reporting heavy episodic drinking (five or more drinks on an occasion, or 60g alcohol) at least once a week. Heavy episodic drinking is widespread across all ages and all of Europe, and not only among young people or those from northern Europe.[53]

Atheism, alcoholism, binge drinking and brain damage

See also: Atheism and the brain and Atheism and intelligence

Alcoholism causes cognitive impairment.[54]

A 2012 study suggests that a habit of binge drink risks serious brain damage including increasing memory loss later in adulthood.[55][56]

Currently, there is a downward trend in intelligence scores in secular countries (see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries).

Secular Europe, obesity and loss of brain function

See also; Secular Europe and obesity

In May 2014, the British paper The Mirror reported that according to the British medical journal Lancet, British girls are the most overweight girls in Western Europe.[57] In Britain, which is a country less religious than many countries, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[58][59] See: Intelligence trends in secular countries

See also: Atheism and obesity and Atheism, obesity, secular countries and falling rates of intelligence

Obesity is a significant problem in many atheistic/irreligious countries such as the countries in secular Europe (see: Secular Europe and obesity and China and obesity).

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[60][61] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[62][63] Also, numerous studies indicate that those who engage in regular spiritual practices have lower mortality rates.[64][65]

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported:

Based on the latest estimates in European Union countries, overweight affects 30-70% and obesity affects 10-30% of adults.

Estimates of the number of overweight infants and children in the WHO European Region rose steadily from 1990 to 2008. Over 60% of children who are overweight before puberty will be overweight in early adulthood.[66]

For more information please see: Atheism and obesity

For more information, please see: Secular Europe and obesity

Obesity and its negative impact on intelligence

See also: Obesity and its negative impact on intelligence

On October 15, 2006, The Telegraph reported in an article entitled The greater your weight, the lower your IQ, say scientists:

It is bad for your blood pressure, knocks years off your life and is a strain on your heart. Now scientists have discovered that gaining weight lowers your intelligence.

The findings follow last week's government figures that show Britain as the "fat man" of Europe, with nearly a quarter of adults and more than 14 per cent of children under 16 classified as obese.

The new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a person's cognitive function. The research, conducted by French scientists, which is published in this month's Neurology journal, involved men and women aged between 32 and 62 taking four mental ability tests that were then repeated five years later.

The researchers found that people with a Body Mass Index – a measure of body fat – of 20 or less could recall 56 per cent of words in a vocabulary test, while those who were obese, with a BMI of 30 or higher, could remember only 44 per cent.[67]

See also

British atheists ducking debates:

Notes

  1. 10 projections for the global population in 2050 By Rakesh Kochhar, Pew Research Forum, February 3, 2014
  2. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  3. Cultur de Europa
  4. Discrimination in the EU in 2012" (PDF), Special Eurobarometer, 383 (European Union: European Commission), p. 233, 2012, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-12-02, retrieved 14 August 2013 The question asked was "Do you consider yourself to be...?" With a card showing: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Other Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Atheist, and Non-believer/Agnostic. Space was given for Other (SPONTANEOUS) and DK. Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu did not reach the 1% threshold.
  5. "Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, page 204" (PDF). Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  6. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 WORLD RANKING OF COUNTRIES BY THEIR AVERAGE
  8. Book Review: IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Nature
  9. Controversial study of African IQ levels is 'deeply flawed', Science Daily, January 21, 2010
  10. Swiss Evangelicals Heat Up Creationism Debate, Christian Post, 2007
  11. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  12. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  13. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  14. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  15. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  16. Estonians least religious in the world. EU Observer (11 February 2009). Retrieved on 9 January 2014.
  17. Richard Felix Staar, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Issue 269, p. 90
  18. Richard Felix Staar, Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Issue 269, p. 90
  19. Population by denomination and sex: as measured by 1921, 1930, 1950, 1991 and 2001 censuses (Czech and English). Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved on 2010-03-09.
  20. Special Eurobarometer, biotechnology, p. 204". Fieldwork: Jan-Feb 2010.
  21. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  22. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  23. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  24. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  25. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  26. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  27. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  28. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  29. The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  30. How the world's IQ is in decline July 31, 2010
  31. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  32. Atheist: A dying breed as nature favours faithful
  33. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann, Belfer Center, Harvard University/Birkbeck College, University of London
  34. Eric Kaufmann: Shall The Religious Inherit The Earth?
  35. Eric Kaufmann's Atheist Demographic series
  36. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  37. The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  38. Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing - and some experts argue it's because humans have reached their intellectual peak, Daily Mail, 2014
  39. The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  40. What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  41. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  42. What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  43. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  44. Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  45. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  46. HAS GODLESSNESS TRULY ‘DOOMED’ GREAT BRITAIN? by Hallowell”Billy Hallowell
  47. What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  48. Buttrose, Larry. Buttrose, Larry. Sport, grog and godliness, The Australian. Retrieved on 11 September 2009
  49. Sweden stands out in domestic violence study Published: 05 Mar 2014 08:3
  50. Studies Link Childhood Abuse to Adult Social Dysfunction : Research: Neglect is tied to lower IQs and misuse of drugs, alcohol. Results also dispel notions related to temperament and prostitution. February 17, 1991|THOMAS H. MAUGH II | TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
  51. Received wisdom: Average IQ is falling in Britain and beyond, explains Philip Hunter by Philip Hunt, March 21, 2012, Published in April 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
  52. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe
  53. World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office in Europe- Alcohol usage of Europe
  54. Cognitive impairment in alcoholism by Ilia Theotoka, Annals of General Psychiatry
  55. http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/binge/a/aa000818a.htm
  56. http://www.scripps.edu/newsandviews/e_20121022/koob.html
  57. British girls are FATTEST in western Europe claims alarming new research by The Lancet, Mirror, Ben Burrows, May 29, 2014 10:52
  58. The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  59. What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  60. Religion, Self-Regulation, and Self-Control: Associations, Explanations, and Implications
  61. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19210054
  62. Religion Replenishes Self-Control, Psychological Science, June 2012 vol. 23 no. 6 635-642, Kevin Rounding, Albert Lee, Jill A. Jacobson and Li-Jun Ji at Queen’s University
  63. Study finds religion helps us gain self-control
  64. Religious involvement and mortality: a meta-analytic review. McCullough ME, Hoyt WT, Larson DB, Koenig HG, Thoresen C., Health Psychol. 2000 May;19(3):211-22.
  65. The role of spirituality in health care, roc (Bayl Univ Med Cent). 2001 October; 14(4): 352–357.
  66. World Health Organization - Regional Office for Europe - The challenge of obesity - quick statistics
  67. The greater your weight, the lower your IQ, say scientists, By Nina Goswami, The Telegraph, 12:01AM BST 15 Oct 2006