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Graph of the day: Belief in evolution and income per capita - Chris Blattman

Chris Blattman

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Graph of the day: Belief in evolution and income per capita

Hey kids, it’s time to play your favorite game: Guess. That. Crazy. Outlier country!!! [Applause]

Our winner once again…

An alternative hypothesis: creationism causes income to fall. Short the Dow?


Update: Lest you take this graph too seriously…

27 Responses

  1. Evolution will never win in the long run.Evolution is a lie. It always was a lie and always will be .What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his soul.

  2. Hi, you have a Great section of content. I just stumbled upon your site. The clearness in your post is simply excellent. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your blog, if possible ! I suppose its ok to use a few of your wonderful ideas! You really have a gift for writing. Thank you.

  3. haha, this is funny graph, made from person who don’t know d countries in d world either their capita. it’s about learning history before doin’ researches!

  4. Of the top 10 richest countries/ capita (according to IMF), only three are even on that curve and they’re outliers (US, Norway and Sweden).

  5. The statistician in me should say that the fitted line is completely inappropriate (no respectable regression line would drift down towards Turkey) but: (1) the US would still be an outlier, and (2) it’s a silly hand-drawn graph people!

  6. Turkey is not an outlier. its has relatively smaller GDP per capita but is on the line. It would be expected that they would stay on the line as it increases its GDP

  7. Interesting that apart from the USA which is still quite Christian, the top ten countries are all from Europe and made great advances while decidedly Christian; now considered post-Christian. Maybe Christian and biblical roots are far better predictors of Per capita income than a belief in evolution.

    1. Of course having a history of Christianity is linked to being an upper income nation.

      1) Christian countries are close to England for geographical or historical reasons
      2) England is where the industrial revolution started
      3) Countries close to England started industrializing sooner
      4) Therefore Christian cultures started industrializing sooner

      Stay tuned for next week where we will find a link between being born in Japan and practicing Shinto!

  8. If you took the out top… say… 5% of the earners for the US, and calculated the GDP/C for that, where would the US be on the graph? I suspect, a lot closer to the origin of the graph. :\

  9. If you’re going to exclude outliers, seems like you’d get a better fit line by excluding Turkey in addition to the US.

  10. Hey Chris,
    Is it fair to use that equation for the best fit line? (I mean why not linear?) And is it fair to exclude the states in the best fit line?
    Looking at the data (the dots), there’s a case to be made, but I’m just not sure about that best fit line. But IANAS (I am not a statistician)

    1. IANAS either… but linear would suggest that above a certain theoretical GDP, more than 100% would answer “yes”. Ergo, I suspect in this case the non-linear best fit is correct.
      It is normal to remove outliers when trying to plot best fit, if it suits what you’re trying to say (e.g. in this case that USA is bucking the trend).

    1. Tom: There’s a big difference in the question described in the HuffPo piece (Did we spring from God’s forehead 10k years ago?) and the question described in this chart (did we evolve from animals?) — if not in terms of their actual claims on reality, definitely in the responses they’re likely to evoke in much of the population.

      Also, in fairness to the GOP presidential field, I think Rick Perry would like to see us closer to the curve. #BernankesATraitor

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