Joined: Jan. 2006
There's a category error happening here. Yes, religious fundamentalism correlates with lower economic class, lower levels of education, etc. But we can't conclude that education would have caused a religiious conversion, or whether religious convictions cause people to avoid both education and the sorts of tasks that require education, as too uncomfortable for their faith to tolerate day to day.
Nor does this have anything to do with the overall quality of education, which at least in my experience varies widely. In the US, there are schools producing outstanding people in all fields, and other schools whose primary function is to provide as safe a babysitting service as very little money can buy. This latter category does NOT reflect "the nation as a whole", despite Lenny's complaint. Maybe Lenny attended such a school when he studied statistical distributions?
He's right that in early childhood, critical analysis is simply not possible; this requires a fairly substantial number of years absorbing both the knowledge and the processes necessary to perform one. It is during precisely these years that fundamentalism acts to circumvent subsequent motivation along these lines.
And so we learn, not very surprisingly, that college degrees in biology cause only 25% of those who went in as creationists, to question their convictions.
So if education really influences creationism, it's the sort of education one receives in the first half dozen years of life. In terms of religious faith, that's when the die gets cast.