Jewish Journal

How IQ corresponds with biblical literalism

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 3, 2008 | 1:20 am


Let’s start with a disclaimer: This post is not self-indulgent and makes no intimations about my intelligence. And now the news ...

There is a significant difference between believing the Bible is the inerrant Word of God—that what is said was accurately recorded by divinely ordained scribes—and that it’s books, from Genesis to Revelation, are too be literally read and understood (that the earth was created, for example, in 144 hours). I subscribe to the first notion, but not the latter.

In an interesting post at the Gene Expression blog, the author, Razib, cobbles data from a few surveys to create the graph seen above, which shows average IQ is highest among Christians least likely to read the Bible literally (Episcopalians, who, like Ashkenazi Jews, typically have IQs around 110) and lowest among biblical literalists (Pentecostals).

Previously, Razib showed a similar relationship between attainment of post-graduate education and belief in biblical literalism, and also found data showing the same could be seen when comparing SAT scores.

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