New Study: Liberal Atheists = Smartest People

My favorite blog links to a new study from a London School of Economics professor. As the title of the study suggests “Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent” this is a heavily opinionated research piece and I (the unscientific layman) would like someone with knowledge of science to validate/invalidate its findings. Please.

Many thanks,
A Politically Centrist Religious Pantheist

I don’t think it’s any surprise that the more intelligent people are the more skeptical they’re likely to be, and the more critical in their thinking – also the more iconoclastic, and the more complex in their ethical thinking.

The less intelligent thy are, the more likely they are to stay entrenched in tribalism, religionism and simplistic ethical thinking.

I saw a new study a few days ago that also showed a correlation between religion and racism. the more religious someone is, the more racist they are likely to be.

I’ve always liked the observation by John Stuart Mill that not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

This doesn’t prove anything. Once eugenics, communism, and fascism were all "
waves of the future" and widely accepted by the intellectual elites.

Link to article about religion/racism study

Not sure if this is related to the OP, but does anyone know of a study that says Religious Conservatives are more intelligent?

Mill would be with his advocacy of free-market capitalism a libertarian today.

This is not true of eugenics or fascism (somewhat true of Marxist idealism, but Soviet style Socialist totalitarianism wasn’t really Marxism), and not relevant in any case.

Eugenics were widely accepted back in the early Twentieth Century.

American political liberals are also believers in free-market capitalism. That’s pretty much universal across the entire mainstream political spectrum in the US.

No they weren’t.

True. It’s easy to define “atheist” but “liberal” is more of a stretch to peg with precise criteria, and that raises questions about the study. Today’s liberalism is tomorrow’s conservatism.

ETA: maybe if I was more liberal I’d understand the study better! :smiley:

Sounds pretty widespread.

Um, the part you bolded contains nothing but statements without cites:


Curtis LeMay, when you quote from an article, please use just enough to prove your point and link to the rest. I shortened your Wikipedia quote.

Still does not remove the fact that several states passed sterlization laws (which are cited).

Only one of those sources in that article is cited.

Eugenics was not widely accepted among intellectuals, at least not as anything other than a theoretical proposition,

This whole angle is an evasion from the topic, though. The more intelligent people are, the less religious they tend to be. Does that prove there aren’t any gods? Of course not. It just means they tend to be more critical in their thinking and less likely to accept what they’re told just because they’re told it.

There are exceptions, obviously. Some of the most brilliant individuals have been theists. Newton, for example.

Those laws were not written by academics and intellectuals, but by pandering politicians.

All I see at the link is the abstract. Is there a link to the whole article? If so, I hope it would be a bit more lay-accessible; the abstract is full of specialized jargon. E.g., what exactly do “evolutionarily novel” and “evolutionarily familiar” mean – do they have anything to do with biological evolution, or are the psychological terms of art completely unconnected with that?

I don’t understand how this is supposed to disprove the article in the OP. Were the intellectual elites who supported eugenics and fascism liberals?

Communism was misguided, but the people who consider themselves to be liberals today don’t support communism.

As to eugenics most of it’s supporters were “progressive” reformers.