Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

July 10, 2011

Kids, satisfaction, and scriptural literalism

Filed under: Bible,GSS,Religion — Razib Khan @ 9:54 pm

Bryan Caplan* found something interesting in the GSS:

People who believe in the Bible’s literal truth (BIBLE=1) are much more satisfied with their jobs than people who believe it’s just a book of fables (BIBLE=3)….

Relatively speaking, this is a huge effect. But what’s going on? It’s not just a disguised left-right effect; Biblical literalism crushes self-identified ideology in a multiple regression. And it’s not a disguised social support effect; Biblical literalism crushes church attendance, too. Marxists will no doubt claim vindication for their view that religion is the opium of the people. But you could just as easily conclude that traditional religion successfully teaches gratitude.

In my personal experience with the GSS the BIBLE variable, which asks rather awkwardly one’s stance toward the nature of the Bible, is one of the most powerful predictors of a whole host of social metrics. I suspect that scriptural literalism has very strong personality correlates.

One thing that’s rather amusing also is that Biblical fundamentalists are naturally skeptical of evolution, but they’re rather reproductively fit. Here’s the trend from the GSS:


And yet this is an illustration that fertility ...

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