One of the clearest trends I observed is the inverse correlation between religiosity and verbal IQ (the GSS includes a verbal IQ test). In other words, people who are more religious tend to be less intelligent.
To demonstrate this, here are some charts which show, for a particular viewpoint, the percent of people with that viewpoint who have high verbal IQs.
(I put people with WORDSUM(9-10) into the high verbal IQ category, which is the top 13.8% of respondents. This means that for any of the results you see below, a number higher than 13.8% indicates a disproportionately high percentage of smart people agree with that response.)
GOD Please look at this card and tell me which statement comes closest to expressing what you believe about God.
|I don't believe in God||26.3%|
|I don't know whether there is a God and I don't believe there is any way to find out||27.7%|
|I don't believe in a personal God, but I do believe in a Higher Power of some kind||26.8%|
|I find myself believing in God some of the time, but not at others||11.4%|
|While I have doubts, I feel that I do believe in God||14.7%|
|I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it............||10.1%|
Note: the majority of respondents (64.4%) said that they have no doubts. Only 6.5% reported being atheists or agnostics, and only 13.4% of people with high verbal IQs reported being atheists or agnostics. America is a pretty religious place, even for smart people.
BIBLE Which of these statements comes closest to describing your feelings about the Bible?
|The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word||4.6%|
|The Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally, word for word||15.4%|
|The Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by men||27.0%|
There are many other religious questions like this in the GSS, and they all follow the same pattern in which the less religious bucket has a higher percentage of people with high verbal IQs.
The secularism of more intelligent people carries over into political issues. For example:
ABANY Please tell me whether or not you think it should be possible for a pregnant woman to obtain a legal abortion if ... G. The woman wants it for any reason?
PRAYER The United States Supreme Court has ruled that no state or local government may require the reading of the Lord's Prayer or Bible verses in public schools. What are your views on this--do you approve or disapprove of the court ruling?