American "low church atheists" and Alzheimer's disease

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Citing data from the General Social Survey (GSS), Theodore Beale writes: "..the two most common types of atheists are the High Church atheists with +2SD IQs (128+) and Low Church atheists with -2SD IQs (65-72). Note that the Low Church atheists actually outnumber the High Church atheists, 22.9 to 17.2 percent."[1] (click on the graph above to enlarge)

According to the abstract for the journal article Alzheimer's disease and intelligence which was published in the journal Current Alzheimer's Research:

A significant body of evidence has accumulated suggesting that individual variation in intellectual ability, whether assessed directly by intelligence tests or indirectly through proxy measures, is related to risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) in later life... Lower premorbid intelligence has also emerged as a risk factor for greater mortality across myriad health and mental health diagnoses. Genetic covariance contributes importantly to these associations, and pleiotropic genetic effects may impact diverse organ systems through similar processes, including inefficient design and oxidative stress. Through such processes, the genetic underpinnings of intelligence, specifically, mutation load, may also increase the risk of developing AD.[2]
Mutations result from errors during the DNA replication process or other types of damage to DNA (such as may be caused by exposure to radiation or carcinogens).

Newsweek declared about atheists and genetic mutations and a scientific study relating to atheists:

Left-handedness is a good marker of a high mutational load. They found higher levels of left-handedness in atheists than in followers of most major religions.

Explaining the behavior behind these results, Dutton says: “Religiousness makes you more pro-social, and you become more religious when you're stressed. Religious people would have been sexually selected for because their pro-social, moral, unstressed nature would be attractive.”...

Since the industrial revolution, the hold of natural selection on humanity has weakened. “We developed better and better medical care, easier access to healthy food and better living conditions. Child mortality collapsed down to a tiny level and more and more people with more and more mutant genes have survived into adulthood and had children,” Dutton says.[3]

In the United States, social scientists define atheism in various ways which makes determining the number of atheists in the United States more difficult to determine.[4] See also: Definition of atheism and Attempts to dilute the definition of atheism and Definitions of atheist and agnostic

Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other philosophy reference works, is the denial of the existence of God.[5]

In his article How Many Americans are Atheists? Fewer than You Might Think, Bradley Wright wrote:

Another quality measure is offered by the General Social Survey, probably the best-known, most rigorous social survey out there. It gives respondents a series of statements about their beliefs in God, and it asks which come closest to what they believe. The 2010 survey found that:

• 3% of Americans “don’t believe in God.” • (Another 6% reported that they “don’t know whether there is a God and don’t believe there is any way to find out,” i.e., agnostics.)[6]

The General Social Survey (GSS) is the "largest project funded by the Sociology Program of the National Science Foundation. Except for the U.S. Census, the GSS is the most frequently analyzed source of information in the social sciences."[7]

As you can see above, the social scientists at the General Social Survey do not define as strictly as encyclopedias of philosophy and many other reference works.[8] As a result, in reporting their survey results there is some overlap with individuals who some may consider to be merely agnostics.

Citing data from the General Social Survey, Theodore Beale writes about atheist intelligence quotient (IQ) scores:

"..the two most common types of atheists are the High Church atheists with +2SD IQs (128+) and Low Church atheists with -2SD IQs (65-72). Note that the Low Church atheists actually outnumber the High Church atheists, 22.9 to 17.2 percent...

Now, the statistically naive might look at this chart, note that the +2SD theists only account for 3.5 percent of the theistic population, and assume that this means there are more highly intelligent atheists than highly intelligent theists. This is not the case. As it happens, there are 11.4x more +2SD theists who either know God exists or believe God exists despite having the occasional doubt than there are +2SD atheists who don't believe God exists.[9]

In a 2010 article, Beale writes:

Never forget that the smarter and more knowledgeable act put on by many atheists is inevitably nothing more than that, an act, and one that has absolutely no basis in empirical reality except for a three-point average advantage in IQ which is almost surely a statistical artifact of their insignificant numbers and self-selected identification.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Mailvox: The distribution of atheist intelligence
  2. Alzheimer's disease and intelligence. by Yeo RA, Arden R, Jung RE., Current Alzheimer's Research, 2011 Jun;8(4):345-53.
  3. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE LIVE HEALTHIER, LONGER LIVES—WHILE ATHEISTS COLLECT MUTANT GENES, Newsweek, 2017
  4. How Many Americans are Atheists? Fewer than You Might Think by Bradley Wright, January 26, 2012
  5. Multiple references:
  6. How Many Americans are Atheists? Fewer than You Might Think by Bradley Wright, January 26, 2012
  7. About the General Social Survey
  8. Multiple references:
  9. Mailvox: The distribution of atheist intelligence
  10. Always call their bluff