Irreligious Australia and intelligence
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
|“|| Australia is one of the least devout countries in the Western world, although two-thirds of its population identifies itself as Christian, an international survey comparing religious expression in 21 countries has found.
Religion does not play a central part in the lives of many Australians: 48 per cent of Australians surveyed said they did not partake in personal prayer and 52 per cent said they rarely attended a place of worship for religious reasons.
In the 2011 Australian census, 22.3% of Australians (or 4,796,787 people) identified themselves as having "no religion" which was more than 3 percent higher (and 1,090,232 people more) than in the 2006 census and was the second largest category. Another 2.014 million (9.4%) were in the "not-stated or inadequately-defined" category: thus more than 31% of Australians did not state a religious affiliation in the 2011 census.
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. 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.
The national IQ score given below for 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.
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.
Australia's declining national IQ
Australia, alcoholism and lower brain functionality
At least 100 studies suggests religion has a positive effect on preventing alcohol-related problems, researchers Christopher Ellison, Jennifer Barrett and Benjamin Moulton noted in an article in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion on “Gender, Marital Status, and Alcohol Behavior: The Neglected Role of Religion.” See: Atheism and alcoholism
In November 2013, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation indicated:
|“|| ANCD chairman Dr. John Herron says the report shows more work needs to be done to tackle the problem.
"The level of alcohol-related damage occurring in our communities is simply appalling," he said.
"The health, social and economic costs associated with alcohol use simply cannot be allowed to continue at the current level."
The report found 20 per cent of Australians are now drinking at levels that put them at risk of lifetime harm from injury or disease.
ANCD report key findings:
Almost 1 in 8 deaths of people aged under 25 is due to alcohol
60% of all police attendances (including 90% of late-night calls) involve alcohol
One in 5 hospitalisations of people under 25 are due to alcohol
20% of Australians drink at levels putting them at risk of lifetime harm
Almost two thirds of 18-29 year olds drink "specifically to get drunk"
One in four Australians reported being a victim of alcohol-related verbal abuse.
Alcoholism, binge drinking and brain damage
Alcoholism causes cognitive impairment.
Currently, there is a downward trend in intelligence scores in secular countries (see: Intelligence trends in religious countries and secular countries).
Australian obesity epidemic and its effect on intelligence
Obesity in Australia is currently at an "epidemic" level with "increasing frequency." The Medical Journal of Australia reports that obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the two decades preceding 2003. In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) indictated that 67.4% of Australian adults are overweight.
Australia, societal decline and intelligence
Peter Costello wrote in the Australian publication The Age entitled The moral decay of Australia which declared:
|“|| Our society was founded by British colonists. And the single most decisive feature that determined the way it developed was the Judeo-Christian-Western tradition. As a society, we are who we are because of that heritage.
I am not sure this is well understood in Australia today. It may be that a majority of Australians no longer believes the orthodox Christian faith. But whether they believe it or not, the society they share is one founded on that faith and one that draws on the Judeo-Christian tradition....
Unfortunately today we see that legacy fraying all around us.
We do not have to look far to see evidence of moral decay around us. We can see it and hear it in entertainment like rap music, in songs that glorify violence or suicide or exploitation of others.
As we speak, drug barons compete for the distribution rights to sell drugs to our children in Melbourne. These rights are so lucrative that they are prepared to kill to protect their profits, with 24 or 25 unsolved gangland murders in Victoria since 1998.
These barons sell young people into addiction. Drugs break up families and marriages. Many addicts end up in prostitution or burglary. These outcomes are the very antitheses of all those values set out in the Ten Commandments about how to order society.
People well known to the police apparently live in luxury with no visible means of support or explanation as to how they maintain their lifestyles. And it seems to me that as a society we have become complacent about this issue - in some cases, the media have glamorised it.
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
- WORLD RANKING OF COUNTRIES BY THEIR AVERAGE
- 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
- Stephanie Painter, Vivienne Ryan and Bethany Hiatt, (15 June 2010). "Australians losing the faith". Newspaper. West Australian Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 15 June 2010
- God's OK, it's just the religion bit we don't like
- 2011 Census QuickStats. Australian Bureau of Statistics (30 October 2012). Retrieved on 2013-02-25.
- Irreligion in Ausralia
- Book Review: IQ and the Wealth of Nations, Nature
- Controversial study of African IQ levels is 'deeply flawed', Science Daily, January 21, 2010
- Charles Murray Still Convinced That Whites Are Smarter Than Blacks by Kevin Drum, Mother Jonees, 2017
- The Rise and Fall of the World's IQ by Thomas Hally
- One in eight deaths of young Australians attributable to alcohol: National Council on Drugs report By Jane Mower, Updated 19 Nov 2013, 7:28pm
- The Doubled-Edged Sword of Religion and Alcoholism
- Cognitive impairment in alcoholism by Ilia Theotoka, Annals of General Psychiatry
- Siobhain Ryan & Natasha Bita (9 January 2009). "Childhood obesity epidemic a myth, says research". The Australian. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Mandy Biggs (5 October 2006). "Overweight and obesity in Australia". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Amanda Dunn (5 May 2003). "Australia, US the most overweight". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
- Lauren Streib (8 February 2007). "World's Fattest Countries". Forbes. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
- Obesity Linked to Changes In Cognitive Patterns, Psychiatric News, Joan Arehart-Treichel, Clinical and Research News, September 15, 2006
- As Waistlines Widen, Brains Shrink: The obese and overweight have less neurological tissue, study finds, U.S News & World Report August 25, 2009
- Western diet consumption and cognitive impairment: links to hippocampal dysfunction and obesity, Physiol Behav. 2011 Apr 18;103(1):59-68. Epub 2010 Dec 16.
- Obesity Harms Women's Memory and Brain Function, Study Finds, Science Daily, July 15, 2010
- Mental health, family function and obesity in African-American women, J Natl Med Assoc. 2005 April; 97(4): 478–482.
- 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
- 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
- [The moral decay of Australia] by Peter Costello, The Age, 2004