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 Level of Belief vs. Level of Education
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  09:46:04  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
I got the idea for this thread when I noticed that most of the posts that are difficult to read (poor syntax, etc.) are by members who are "believers", while the members bitching about the aforementioned posts are usually skeptics.

I did some poking around and I came up with a link to a Harris Poll that explores this issue (and [other] interesting ones as well) and expressly states that there are:

quote:
Higher levels of belief among people with no college education and lower levels of belief among those with postgraduate education.

I am interested in everyone's position on this issue. Please feel free to "hijack" the thread to discuss any of the other findings of the poll.

Edited to add the word "other" - 'cause I'm sure not perfect!

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz

Edited by - Wendy on 12/15/2004 11:38:26

Shacal
Skeptic Friend

USA
51 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  10:05:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Shacal a Private Message
I just thought I'd say briefly that it seems very unfair to judge people's intelligence based solely on their ability to spell (who knows, maybe believers are better at math?). I have noticed the connection on this site between spelling and belief. However, until a definitive study comes out on belief vs. grammar, I will reserve judgement.

"The problem with communication is the illusion that we have accomplished it"
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astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  10:12:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message
I have seen similar studies showing the same results (I will try and track'em down). I recall one stating that most of the creationist followers had not even finished high school. It all makes sense to me. It takes an education to acquire critical thinking techniques. I don't think "creationist" in general are stupid...just ignorant. The same correlation has been shown to coincide with paranormal beliefs in general. However, please don't go by grammar alone...mine often leaves allot to be desired.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  10:28:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
yep bringing up this point will only lead to the outlawing of Universities and or Critical Lynchings

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  10:40:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Shacal

I just thought I'd say briefly that it seems very unfair to judge people's intelligence based solely on their ability to spell


Did someone do that?

It is not my intention to offend anyone, though it is probably unavoidable. I did try to make the post as politically correct as possible without losing the point.

quote:
Originally posted by astropin

However, please don't go by grammar alone...mine often leaves allot to be desired.


I certainly would not measure someone's level of intelligence solely on their grammar. Shacal mentioned that perhaps believers' strengths lie in another area(s), and that is certainly true. Everyone's tendency is to post in areas of their own interest - areas where they are then most likely to be knowledgable. We can make assumptions about each other based on where we post. The accuracy of those assumptions would also be questionable.

Grammar is a universal here. In this forum we must communicate via the written word, and we learn something about each other not only based on what we write, but also by how we write it.

What we learn is the question, and it is open to debate.


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  11:54:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Wendy

I am interested in everyone's position on this issue. Please feel free to "hijack" the thread to discuss any of the other findings of the poll.
It is interesting to me that in table 1, women beleived more than men at a rate of 7-14%. Does anybody have a theory on this? I know in my church there are more women members than men. I think it may be that in general women express their emotions more than men and that men probably have more selfish pride than women.

http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=359

I hope my grammer was OK
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  12:43:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Robb

It is interesting to me that in table 1, women beleived more than men at a rate of 7-14%. Does anybody have a theory on this? I know in my church there are more women members than men. I think it may be that in general women express their emotions more than men and that men probably have more selfish pride than women.

That finding surprised me, because in my family it was my father who regularly attended church. My ex-husband was a Christian, and so is my present husband, though I myself am not. Most Christians I have discussions with are also men, but that is probably because men tend to be more bold in their assertions.

quote:
Originally posted by Robb
I hope my grammer was OK

Yep, points off for spelling though.

But seriously folks - my meaning here was not the occasional misspelled word, or lack of punctuation. I make mistakes in posts all the time, and were it not for spell-check I'd make more. What I'm referring to are those who consistently make postings rife with misspellings, words used out of context, or (my personal favorite) an entire essay that consists of one paragraph, making it nearly impossible to read. Those are the ones that caught my attention and got the wheels turning.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Shacal
Skeptic Friend

USA
51 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  12:49:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Shacal a Private Message
Wendy,
Sorry, I re-read your post, and realized I had read more into it than was there.
My apologies

"The problem with communication is the illusion that we have accomplished it"
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  12:52:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Im sticking by my guns, Wendy is the anti-christ!

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  13:41:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Shacal

Wendy,
Sorry, I re-read your post, and realized I had read more into it than was there.
My apologies

Thank you, but no apology is necessary. I'm not offended.

quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf
Im sticking by my guns, Wendy is the anti-christ!

... and don't you forget it!

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  14:00:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
I have not seen any studies on this, but too often the posts put forth by Creationists here are all but illiterate, C'88 and Hippy, et al excepted.

However, this does not hold true everywhere. TheologyWeb.com, for example, has some, indeed mostly, highly literate YECs and some pretty good writers as well.

I think it's like everything else. It all depends upon where you look for it.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  14:21:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

However, this does not hold true everywhere. TheologyWeb.com, for example, has some, indeed mostly, highly literate YECs and some pretty good writers as well.


Absolutely. It would interest me to know the percentage of those individuals who were raised by people who were devoutly religious and uneducated. When people who are both intelligent and educated keep deep religious beliefs, is it because they are able to embrace them intellectually and incorporate them into all they have learned, or is it because they were raised to believe and the faith is ingrained in their nature?

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Renae
SFN Regular

543 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  14:40:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Renae a Private Message
I'm not sure what the point of this is. To make people feel bad because they have less education than others? To self-congratulate?

My uncle is a Ph.D. and one of the top scientists in his field. He is also deeply religious. I don't know how he reconciles his scientific mind and his spiritual one; I suspect he embraces both as they need not be mutually exclusive.
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  15:39:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
I agree with Renae, but I also agree it can have a little to do with how well educated a person is, and where the person's education lays, depending on which aspect of the religion we're talking about. I mean, if a person has little to no knowledge of something (i.e., biology), it's more likely that same person will believe in the supernatural (i.e., goddidit), for the simple reason the supernatural might be appealing to a person's emotion/intellect. It may be falling exactly as the explanation the person doesn't have. Of course, that also depends on the person.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Wendy
SFN Regular

USA
614 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  15:54:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Wendy a Yahoo! Message Send Wendy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Renae

I'm not sure what the point of this is. To make people feel bad because they have less education than others? To self-congratulate?


Neither of those. My level of education ends at Associates Degree, which is certainly not prestigious. I certainly have no desire(nor do I have the power) to make anyone feel bad about themselves. I am merely curious as to why someone believes in something that defies logic.

quote:
Originally posted by Renae

My uncle is a Ph.D. and one of the top scientists in his field. He is also deeply religious. I don't know how he reconciles his scientific mind and his spiritual one; I suspect he embraces both as they need not be mutually exclusive.


I have relatives that I love and admire very much who are intelligent, educated, and religious. Without exception they were raised by religious parents who were bright, but uneducated themselves. If it is not too personal, is this the case with your uncle?

I am a fan of C.S. Lewis. He was both intelligent and educated. He was also very devoted to God. I am not looking for an absolute here. I am curious about a correlation.

Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do on a rainy afternoon.
-- Susan Ertz
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Renae
SFN Regular

543 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2004 :  16:27:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Renae a Private Message
Wendy, my grandparents (my uncle's parents) both had Bacheleor's degrees. They are/were very smart people. I think singling out someone's level of education can indeed make them feel bad...it's not something I'm comfortable with, really. (I have a B.A. as well.)

I think you're looking for a correlation in a sea of possibilities. Spirituality is generally separate, IMO, from intellect. I feel things in a spiritual way and accept any number of possibilities about God and the universe. My skeptical side judges most of these possbilities as unlikely. Most, but not all.

Human personality is so complex. If education is a factor in whether or not someone is religious, it's not the only factor. Think of their childhood experiences, their background, their culture, their parents, their level of suggestibility, trauma that might lead them to seek spiritual comfort...etc...

I know I'm not explaining myself very well...
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