Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries

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Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history."[1] See: Protestant work ethic (Picture: Protestant church pulpit)

Socioeconomic factors can cause differences in regional intelligence levels (for example, wealth which can affect the quality of education, health care and nutrition). Although social scientists have disputes about the accuracy of IQ scores in a given region, regions do vary in terms of their IQ scores.[2][3][4] Ethnic groups facing discrimination as immigrants and their IQs temporarily dropping and then later rebounding when the discrimination is over, strongly suggests that IQ is significantly affected by one's environment and not due to any inherent and permanent genetic differences between races.[5]

Factors such as greater wealth with its attendant better quality of education/health/nutrition help increase standardized intelligence tests (IQ) scores.[6] Although social scientists have disputes about the accuracy of IQ scores in a given region, regions do vary in terms of their IQ scores.[2][3][4]

Developed countries with greater wealth, better educational systems and nutrition often have a cultural heritage of Christianity and often have significant Christian populations within them.[7][8] In terms of economic development, biblical Christianity has historically had a positive affect on countries.[9] Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history." (See: Protestant work ethic and capitalism).[1]

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[10] See: Global atheism and Western atheism and race

Razib Khan points out in Discover Magazine, "most secular nations in the world are those of East Asia, in particular what are often termed “Confucian societies.” It is likely therefore that the majority of the world’s atheists are actually East Asian."[11] See: Asian atheism

China has the world's largest atheist population. [12][13] China is a communist country and the Communist Party of China requires its members to be atheists (see: Atheism and communism).[14]

Unless otherwise indicated, the national IQ scores given below for Asian, European countries and Australia 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.[2]

China has the 5th highest national IQ in the world with a score of 105.[2] China's Zhejiang province is China's Christianity heartland.[15] In 2005, the Chinese Journal of Endemiology (Owned by China ‘s ministry of health) reported that Zhejiang province had the highest IQ of all the provinces in China with an average IQ of 115.8 which was markedly higher than China's average IQ at the time which was a score of 103.4.[15]

In the latter part of the 20th century and throughout the 21st century, China has seen a rapid growth of evangelical Christianity within their nation, increased economic development and a leap in intelligence scores.[16][17] See also: Asian atheism and intelligence

Flynn effect on intelligence: Religious/secular nations trends

The Flynn effect is the significant and long-sustained increase intelligence test scores measured in many parts of the world from roughly 1930 to the present.[18] In many parts of the world, such as the developing world, biblical Christianity is seeing rapid growth (see: Global Christianity) which has the potential to improve their economies and thus improve their societal cognitive abilities as well given the link between economic well-being and increased cognitive abilities (see also: Protestant work ethic and capitalism and Atheism and intelligence).[1][7] Furthermore, religiosity has a positive correlation with health and increased health has a beneficial effect on intelligence (see: Atheism and health).

In some secular, economically developed countries, the Flynn effect has ceased and their scores on standardized intelligence tests are falling.[19]

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

Sweden is one of the most atheistic countries in the world.[20] In Sweden, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[21]

See also: European atheism and intelligence and Atheism and intelligence

Denmark, Sweden. Great Britain, Norway and Australia are less religious than many regions of the world (see: Secular Europe and Irreligion in Australia).

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 now is declining.[21]

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."[22]

In irreligious Great Britain, phenotypic intelligence is now declining.[21][23]

In 2012, it was reported that Norway was the eighth most godless country on earth.[23]

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.[20] In 2012, it was reported to be the 4rth most godless place on earth.[23] Sweden also has the 3rd highest rate of belief in evolution as far as Western World nations.[24] See also: Sexual immorality and Sweden

Denmark has the highest rate of belief in evolution in the Western World.[24] 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.[20]

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.[25] In 2012, Great Britain was reported to be the sixth most godless country on earth.[23]

Post World War II, Australia has become a highly secularized country.[26]

Atheism, intelligence and dysfunctional individuals/families/communities

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.[27] See: Irreligion and domestic violence

See also; Atheism and intelligence

Children in dysfunctional homes/communities and/or homes/communities with financial problems often perform poorer on intelligence tests as result.[6][28]

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

Economic and societal deterioration in secular Europe

In 2014, Sweden's new Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Loefven said, "Sweden is in a serious situation -- unemployment has become entrenched at high levels, school results have collapsed and the welfare system has major shortcomings".[29]

Factors such as greater wealth with its attendant better quality of education/health/nutrition help increase IQ scores.[6][30][31]

The Eurozone crisis is an ongoing economic crisis which has been negatively affecting Eurozone countries since late 2009. It consists of a sovereign debt crisis, a banking crisis and an economic growth and competitiveness crisis. In addition, many European countries have low economic growth and excess regulation.[32][33]

On October 3, 2014, L’Agence France-Presse reported:

Sweden's new Social Democrat prime minister Stefan Loefven unveiled what he called a "feminist" government including Green Party ministers for the first time in the Nordic country.

"The Swedish people voted for a change of government and a new political direction. A new government comprised of the Social Democrats and the Green Party is ready to take up the task," Loefven said in his inaugural speech to parliament.

"Sweden's new government is a feminist government," he said.

Half his cabinet is female, including Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and Foreign Minister Margot Wallstroem, a former EU commissioner.

Green Party leaders Aasa Romson and Gustav Fridolin were appointed ministers for the environment and education, respectively, and the party will also control Sweden's overseas aid agency Sida and the consumer affairs ministry.

He repeated election pledges to create jobs, recruit more teachers and increase the compulsory school age from 16 to 18.

"Sweden is in a serious situation -- unemployment has become entrenched at high levels, school results have collapsed and the welfare system has major shortcomings," he said.[29]

Reports of secular Europe's societal and economic decline

In recent times, there have been a number of articles published on European decline:


Economic decline:


Societal decline:

Secular European countries, religious immigration and IQ

Developed countries with greater wealth, better educational systems and nutrition often have a cultural heritage of Christianity and often have significant Christian populations within them.[7][8]

Formerly Christian countries which have become secularized very often have sub-replacement fertility rates and policies which encourage immigration (and as noted above, many of these immigrants are religious). See also: Desecularization of secular Europe in the 21st century and Growth of evangelical Protestantism in Europe

Immigrant group's IQ can rise if there is economic opportunity

As far as immigrants, IQs differ by country which is not surprising since poverty and its attendant maladies such as poor nutrition lowers a nation's IQ. In short, factors such as greater wealth with its attendant better quality of education/health/nutrition help increase IQ scores.[6]

However, if there is economic opportunity for immigrants from poor countries, an immigrant group's IQ can rise depending on their ambition/discipline level since wealth and higher IQs is highly correlated (Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. points out that it is often a person's work ethic and frugality that leads to wealth more than a person's intelligence.[34] In addition, the social scientists Andrea L. Duckworth and Martin Seligman found that higher degrees of self-discipline better predict higher academic grades than IQ scores do among adolescents.[35]).

For example, Ron Untz wrote:

Perhaps the strongest evidence supporting this cultural rather than genetic hypothesis comes from the northwestern corner of Europe, namely Celtic Ireland. When the early waves of Catholic Irish immigrants reached America near the middle of the 19th century, they were widely seen as particularly ignorant and uncouth and aroused much hostility from commentators of the era, some of whom suggested that they might be innately deficient in both character and intelligence. But they advanced economically at a reasonable pace, and within less than a century had become wealthier and better educated than the average white American, including those of “old stock” ancestry. The evidence today is that the tested IQ of the typical Irish-American—to the extent it can be distinguished—is somewhat above the national white American average of around 100 and also above that of most German-Americans, who arrived around the same time.[36]

In addition, often immigrants are more entrepreneurial which can provide an economic boost to countries which will help boost their national IQ scores. In 2012, The Economist magazine pointed out that one of the significant factors for secular Europe's economic malaise is a chronic failure to encourage entrepreneurial activity.[37] Historically, atheists have often tilted to left in their politics and as a result socialism/communism has often been prevalent in atheistic countries rather than free market capitalism which encourages entrepreneurship (see: Atheism and politics and Atheism and communism).

Protestant work ethic, European immigrants, wealth and IQ

On July 12, 2012, the Christian Science Monitor reported:

French scholars say, evangelicalism is likely the fastest-growing religion in France – defying all stereotypes about Europe’s most secular nation...

Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the French National Evangelical Council, found that since 1970, a new evangelical church has opened in France every 10 days. The number of churches increased from 769 to 2,068 last year.[38]

As noted above, in terms of economic development, biblical Christianity has historically had a positive affect on countries.[39] Also, as mentioned above, Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: "Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history." (See: Protestant work ethic and capitalism and Protestant cultural legacies).[1] European countries with a cultural heritage of Protestantism are often economically prosperous and have among the highest IQs in Europe (Yet, as noted above as they have become secularized some of the countries IQs are falling due to "dysgenic fertility").[40]

Accordingly, evangelical Christians from Africa and other countries could prove to be an economic long-term benefit to France/Europe and higher wealth is associated with higher IQs. Global Christianity, particularly conservative Christianity, is seeing a significant amount of growth in the world today which certainly could affect future European immigration.

Immigrant groups, IQ and discrimination/poor assimilation

On the other hand, as far as immigrants immigrating into a more prosperous country, if there is widespread discrimination against an immigrant group and/or poor assimilation, the immigrant's group IQ will not see as big a jump due to the slower economic progress of the immigrant group.

The London School of Economics and Political Science reported:

There is growing concern in France that Muslim immigrants from North Africa are poorly integrated into French society, often due to discrimination. But are they discriminated against because of their religion, or because of their national or ethnic origins? Claire Adida, David Laitin and Marie-Anne Valfort address this very issue, and find that Muslims face significantly higher levels of discrimination from rooted French (defined as French nationals with four grandparents born in metropolitan France) than do their Christian counterparts, and that the dynamics leading to such discrimination are likely to endure.[41]

In France, Britain, Sweden and other European countries, Muslims have often not assimilated well into countries and Muslim riots have ensued.[42][43][44][45] Islamic cultures are very different from cultures which have been influenced by Christiannity. For example, Muslim countries are often less democratic and frequently have significant corruption issues (NGO Transparency International's annual index finds Muslim-majority countries are 8 of 10 most corrupt nations[46]).

Corruption often depletes a countries wealth so many Muslim nations which lack natural resources such as Middle Eastern oil, have many poor citizens.[47][48]

In 2013, LiveLeak reported about Muslim economic performance:

The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion; China $5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany $2.1 trillion. Even India’s GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).

Oil rich Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and services worth $429 billion.

Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP.[48]

And since poverty is related to lower IQs, poor Muslim countries have lower national IQ scores than Western World countries.[49]

Another reason for culture clash among seculars/atheists and Muslims is that both groups have a history of intolerance and/or militancy (see: Militant atheism and Atheism and anger Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheism and Mass Murder and Islam and War), so a certain amount societal friction is a natural result. The atheist Pat Condell is among the most vociferous anti-Muslim video makers on YouTube. However, since atheists are often leftists and multiculturism is a part of leftism, many atheists decry anti-Muslim discrimination (The multiculturism of atheists frequently does not extend to Christian culture. In such cases, atheist tolerance of Muslims may be in some cases an example of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"). In many Muslim countries, atheists often face severe punishments.[50]

New Atheists and accusations of Islamophobia

The New Atheists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens have received multiple accusations of engaging in Islamophobic behavior.[51] On the other hand, defenders of atheist criticisms of Islam/Muslims indicated that New Atheists should be able to criticize Islam without being accused of Islamophobia.[52]

Future of immigration to Europe uncertain

The future of immigration to Europe is difficult to determine. Should Europe's economic condition worsen in the future it will be less attractive to immigrants and anti-immigration politics could heighten due to increased competition for scarcer job opportunities. In addition, anti-Muslim sentiments in Europe appear to be rising so the proportion of immigration from Muslim countries could be affected due to politicians catering to anti-Muslim public sentiments.

See also

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 WORLD RANKING OF COUNTRIES BY THEIR AVERAGE
  3. 3.0 3.1 Book Review: IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Nature
  4. 4.0 4.1 Controversial study of African IQ levels is 'deeply flawed', Science Daily, January 21, 2010
  5. Charles Murray Still Convinced That Whites Are Smarter Than Blacks by Kevin Drum, Mother Jonees, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 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
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population, Pew Forum, December 10, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 These Were Christian Nations
  9. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  10. Most atheists are not white & other non-fairy tales, Discover magazine
  11. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  12. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  13. 15.0 15.1 [China's Christian Province had the highest IQ in China in 2005], Examining Atheism
  14. Are human beings becoming smarter, BBC, March 2, 2015
  15. Raven, John (2000). The Raven's Progressive Matrices: Change and Stability over Culture and Time. Cognitive Psychology 41, 1–48 (2000) doi:10.1006/cogp.1999.0735. John Raven, 30 Great King Street, Edinburgh EH3 6QH, Scotland. http://eyeonsociety.co.uk/resources/RPMChangeAndStability.pdf
  16. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics(Zuckerman, 2005)
  17. 21.0 21.1 21.2 The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
  18. 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
  19. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 What’s the Most Godless Place on Earth? by Hemant Mehta, May 14, 2012
  20. 24.0 24.1 Photo: Evolution Less Accepted in U.S. Than Other Western Countries, Study Finds
  21. HAS GODLESSNESS TRULY ‘DOOMED’ GREAT BRITAIN? by Hallowell”Billy Hallowell
  22. Buttrose, Larry. Buttrose, Larry. Sport, grog and godliness, The Australian. Retrieved on 11 September 2009
  23. Sweden stands out in domestic violence study Published: 05 Mar 2014 08:3
  24. 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
  25. 29.0 29.1 New 'feminist' government with a Green tinge in Sweden
  26. IQ and the Wealth of Nations
  27. Food for thought – diet does boost your intelligence By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent, The Telegraph, 2001
  28. Europe's crisis of confidence
  29. The euro area's uninspiring recovery, The Economist, 2015
  30. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.
  31. Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents, Andrea L. Duckworth and Martin Seligman, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania
  32. Race, IQ, and Wealth What the facts tell us about a taboo subject By Ron Unz • July 18, 2012
  33. Les misérables
  34. In a France suspicious of religion, evangelicalism's message strikes a chord
  35. IQs of countries
  36. Muslim immigrants have come to expect discrimination in France because of their religion, and this is unlikely to change
  37. Muslim riots in Britain
  38. Muslim riots in France
  39. 'Youth rioting' in Sweden? It's the Muslims, stupid
  40. Muslim Protestor in Europe
  41. Index: 8 Muslim-Majority Nations Among 10 Most Corrupt
  42. Effect of corruption on a country, Transparency International
  43. 48.0 48.1 Muslims are the world’s poorest, weakest and illiterate
  44. National IQs
  45. The Cost of Unbelief, The Economist
  46. New Atheism should be able to criticise Islam without being accused of Islamophobia by Andrew Zak Williams, New Statesman, Published 19 April 2013