Here’s What All Those Studies REALLY Say
Today I want to shed light on a nasty little “fact” that regularly makes the rounds online:
Studies show that Christians are less intelligent than atheists.
This statement is proudly tossed about by atheists who want to reinforce their claims that religion is for the poor, ignorant, and unintelligent.
And you know what? The statement is true…a number of studies have found a negative relationship between intelligence and religiousness (the more intelligent a person is, the less likely they are to be religious).
Does that mean people can legitimately say, based on these studies, that Christians are less intelligent than atheists? Absolutely not.
I have an MBA in marketing and statistics and have taught university-level market research, so I’m a professional numbers geek…a numbers geek who dug into all these research studies to find out what they REALLY say. Today I want to set the record straight.
Before we get too far, however, I have to point out what is hopefully obvious: Even if we could reliably measure which group is smarter, the answer wouldn’t tell us anything about the truth of Christianity; intelligence doesn’t equate to always having the right answer.
Theoretically, we could end all conversations on this topic by pointing that out. But if your child asks you one day why Christians aren’t as smart as atheists, do you really just want to reply, “Well, that doesn’t mean Christianity isn’t true”? We owe it to our kids to be able to address the claim itself.
“God is dead. We do not need him. It’s time to give up childish things and think as adults. Become scientifically literate. Become informed. Grow out of religious belief just as you did with the belief in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.” John W. Loftus, Author and Atheist (Debunking Christianity Blog)
John Loftus is well known for his ‘conversion’ from Christianity to atheism. Is he right about God? Loftus claims that science is a better explanation of existing phenomena than the Bible. He also believes that Christians are ‘not’ scientifically literate and need to ‘become informed.’ Is he right about that?
Let’s take a closer look.
Atheist: “Science disproves God and the Bible.”
Christian: “Which science?”
That’s one way to respond to atheists who make a statement about ‘science’ disproving God and the Bible. The intention in such a response is not to be disrespectful or push aside the argument. It is meant to lead to a robust conversation about the Bible and various sciences that are addressed in its pages. Rather than dodge the ‘science vs Bible’ debate, the purpose is to elevate it to a real discussion that’s based on evidence, reason and logic.
One of my favorite attacks toward Christians on talk radio more than 45 years ago was about science disproving God and the Bible. Scores of Christians called my radio show every week to argue about it, but none of them could answer my questions about science and the Bible. It wasn’t that there were no answers, but the Christians who called didn’t know the answers or were not able to articulate what they knew. It wasn’t until I interviewed a Christian who was a professor of science that I began to see another side to the debate.
More than any other ancient writing, the New Testament has tons of evidence that show that it has been faithfully and accurately copied and transmitted down through the ages. Check out this week's article spotlight from the The Apologetics Issue of Higher Things Magazine where Pastor Mark Pierson highlights the amazing way in which the New Testament has been preserved and gives you the facts for reminding those who doubt, that the New Testament is a book as reliable as they come!
Rev. Mark Pierson
I remember when it first dawned on me that there might be “problems” with the New Testament. As I casually flipped through the red-lettered words of Jesus in my parents’ study Bible, something surprising caught my eye. There, in the Gospel of John, I noticed a particularly strange footnote. It said something like, “This part is not the same in all ancient manuscripts.” This struck me as rather odd and out of place. Why would a note like that be in the New Testament? Does this mean we don’t know the whole truth about Jesus? Can a book that contains typos really be God’s holy Word?
Not all of these questions were at the forefront of my mind that day, but years later they popped up. In fact, one of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament (NT) is that it has been copied, translated, and altered so many times that it no longer resembles what the original authors wrote. Thankfully, an apologist—a defender of the faith—explained to me why the NT is actually the most trustworthy collection of texts from the entire ancient world.