Does religion make you stupid? Study says religious societies do worse at maths and science

Does belief make you stupid?

A new study is claiming children raised in more religious societies perform worse in maths and science than than those where atheism or agnostism dominates. 


Joint research by psychologists at Leeds Beckett University and the University of Missouri revealed the more religious a country is, the lower the pupils perform in these two key areas, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr Gijsbert Stoet, co-author of the study, said: 'Science and mathematics education are key for modern societies.

'Our research suggests that education might benefit from a stronger secular approach.

'The findings support the idea of a "displacement hypothesis" that when children spent more of their time on religion, they will spend less time on other things.'

The researchers looked at different state's educational performance with data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

They then compared it with data on the area's religion using the World Values Survey and the European Social Survey.

Each country was then ranked and given a 'religiosity score' and in most women were found to be more religious than men.

Dr Stoet went on to say education levels affected a country's economic development and called on government's to cut back on religious involvement in schools to boost growth.

He said: 'The success of schools and education in general directly translates in more productive societies and higher standards of living.

'Given the strong negative link between religiosity and educational performance, governments might be able to raise educational standards – and so standards of living – by keeping religion out of schools and out of educational policy making.'

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