Nation's leading scientists (overwhelming majority)
disbelieve in a personal God

(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 041909)

(the following link/summary originally
posted 040809)

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1998 survey regarding disbelief, doubt/agnosticism,
or belief regarding a personal God

Leading scientists still reject God
  http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html
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Summary of some of the results:

In 1998, 72.2% of National Academy of Sciences
members have disbelief in a personal God.

In 1998, 20.8% of National Academy of Sciences
members have doubt or agnosticism in a personal
God.

In 1998, 7.0% of National Academy of Sciences
members have belief in a personal God.

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So, to sum it up, 93.0% of National Academy of
Sciences members have disbelief, doubt, or agnosti-
cism regarding a personal God.

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Average Intelligence Predicts Atheism Rates
across 137 Nations
  http://tinyurl.com/welleducateddisbeliefingod
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Excerpts:

...

1. Introduction

Dawkins' (2006) recent book The God Delusion suggests
that it is not intelligent to believe in the existence of God.
In this paper we examine

(1) the evidence for this contention, i.e. for whether
     there is a negative relationship between intelligence
     and religious belief;

(2) whether the negative relationship between intelligence
     and religious belief is a difference in psychometric g;

and

(3) whether there is negative relationship between intelli-
     gence and religious belief between nations.

2. Intelligence and Religious Belief within Nations

We are by no means the first to suggest the existence of
a negative relationship between intelligence and religious
belief within nations.

...

Evidence pointing to a negative relationship between intel-
ligence and religious belief within nations comes from four
sources. These are (1) negative correlations between intel-
ligence and religious belief; (2) lower percentages holding
religious beliefs among intelligence elites compared with
the general population: (3) a decline of religious belief with
age among children and adolescents as their cognitive abil-
ities increase; (4) a decline of religious belief during the
course of the twentieth century as the intelligence of pop-
ulations has increased.

(1) Negative correlations between intelligence and reli-
     gious belief.

     A number of studies find negative correlations be-
     tween intelligence and religious belief.

...

     At this interview they were asked: "To what extent are
     you a religious person?" The responses were coded
     "not religious at all", "slightly religious", "moderately
     religious", and "very religious". The results showed that
     the "not religious at all" group had the highest IQ ... fol-
     lowed in descending order by the other three groups ...

...

(2) Lower percentages holding religious beliefs among intel-
     ligence elites compared with the general population.

...

(3) Decline of religious belief with age among children and
     adolescents. Also consistent with the negative correlation
     between intelligence and religious belief is the decline in
     religious belief during adolescence and into adulthood as
     cognitive ability increases.

...

(4) Decline of religious belief during the course of the twen-
     tieth century as the intelligence of the population has
     increased.

...

     The decline of religious belief has been shown by statistics
     for church attendance and for belief in God recorded in
     opinion polls. For instance, in England self reported weekly
     attendance at church services in census returns (these num-
     bers may be exaggerated) declined from 40 per cent of the
     population in 1850, to 35 per cent in 1900, to 20 per cent
     in 1950, to 10 per cent in 1990 ... In Gallup Polls 72 per
     cent of the population stated in 1950 that they believed in
     God ... but by 2004 this had fallen to 58.5 per cent ...

     There has also been some decline of religious belief during
     the course of the last century in the United States.

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America Is Becoming Less Christian, Less Religious
  http://tinyurl.com/usa-lessreligionlesschristian
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...

3. Religious Belief and Psychometric g

To determine whether there is negative relation between religious
belief and Psychometric g (the general factor in intelligence) ...
Atheists scored 6 g-IQ equivalent points higher than the com-
bined group of subjects professing to one or another of a large
number of different religions. ...

4. Intelligence and Religious Belief between Nations

To investigate the relationship between intelligence and religious
belief between nations ... We have taken figures for belief in God
... [from] data for 137 countries representing just over 95% of
the world's population. These data were collected from surveys
mostly carried out in 2004, although in a few countries the sur-
veys were a year or two earlier.

... in only 17% of the countries (23 out of 137) does the propor-
tion of the population who disbelieve in god rise above 20%.
These are virtually all the higher IQ countries.  ... most of the
variation in religious disbelief is among the higher IQ nations.

5. Discussion

...

The percentage disbelieving in God in the United States is much
lower than in north, west, and central Europe (e.g. Belgium, 43%;
Netherlands, 42%; Denmark, 48%; France, 44%; UK, 41.5%).

One factor that could provide a possible explanation for this is
that many Americans are Catholics, and the percentage of believ-
ers in Catholic countries in Europe is generally much higher than
in Protestant countries (e.g. [disbelief in the following Catholic
countries] Italy, 6%; Ireland, 5%; Poland, 3%; Portugal, 4%;
Spain, 15%).

Another possible contribution to this has been continued high
immigration of those holding religious beliefs.  A further possible
factor might be that a number of emigrants from Europe went to
the United States because of their strong religious beliefs, so it
may be that these beliefs have been transmitted as a cultural and
even genetic legacy to subsequent generations.

Parent-child correlations for religious belief are quite high ... It
has been found that religious belief has a significant heritability
... so it could be that a number of religious emigrants from Eur-
ope had the genetic disposition for religious belief and this has
been transmitted to much of the present population.

...

- - - end excerpts - - -

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Reference: Why is the U.S. the most Pro-Religious /
Evolution-Ignorant Country?
  http://prohuman.net/disbelief/evolution_ignorant.htm
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