The relevant issue is why people are gullible enough to believe in obvious and proven nonsense such as astrology, religion and other supernatural belief systems rather than thinking and behaving rationally. From an evolutionary and personal perspective how does psychology malfunction like that and result in delusional belief systems? That is very interesting and germane question, though obviously astrology itself, being merely charlatanism rather than a science isn't.
There is an important difference between 'believing' something (implying you think it is 100% certain and thus not subject to evidential confirmation, and keeping an open mind about things which not been established by evidence. To give an example. I don't 'believe' in UFOs because this implies I am certain they exist. On the other hand it would be equally unintelligent to 'believe' they don't exist with complete certainty. The view an intelligent person will take is to review the evidence and entertain the possibility and to give that possibility some probability >0% and <100% ( but never = 0 or = 100%)based on the available evidence.
Same with astrology. Only a fool or an idiot (someone of low functional intelligence) would 'believe' in astrology considering the extremely weak evidence for it. An intelligent person, reviewing the evidence, would assign an extremely low but not zero probability (though perhaps effectively 0 in terms of further consideration) to its being true.
As for 'believing' in any god. This depends entirely on how it is defined. Certainly typical believers in the standard Christian biblical god are deluded idiots. On the other hand it is quite possible to define god as something like the collective intelligence of the universe as a whole which reduces the existence of god to a definitional tautology. Einstein's concept of god was more like this.
In summary, the answers to these kinds of questions do have validity as very strong indicators of functional intelligence. Intelligence is not just about solving IQ test problems. It is about solving real world daily problems, especially those that continually arise in an organism's interaction with the EEA. It is this kind of intelligence that is selected for. Thus the accuracy of an organism's (read human's) world view (cognitive model of the EEA) is an excellent indicator of functional intelligence. Beliefs in 'paranormal' and miracle type religions like traditional Christianity are clearly indicative of poorly constructed cognitive world views indicative of lower intelligence.
Thus those humans with grossly inaccurate belief systems are clearly less intelligent. In fact they are delusional. An intelligent person says 'there may possibly be witches depending on what definition we use, but based on traditional definitions the probability is very low.' Only a person of low intelligence would say 'I believe in witches in the traditional sense of persons who cause magic to happen in contradiction to established physical law'.
In summary I hope readers have the functional intelligence to understand my point here. Answers to questions as to absolute beliefs in ideas and systems with no evidentiary support are clearly strongly indicative of intelligence and would be excellent questions to include on IQ tests. Say that's a good idea. How about making the answers to such questions the basis of IQ tests! Or at least adding them to IQ tests. That way we could really find out who is actually intelligent and who isn't. Isn't being based firmly in reality rather than delusion the real basis of intelligence?
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe in God and signicant
numbers also think that UFOs, the devil and ghosts exist, a poll
showed Tuesday (12/6/07). The survey by Harris Online showed that 82 percent of adult
Americans believe in God and a slightly smaller percentage -- 79
percent -- believe in miracles.
These are truly interesting, and certainly extremely frightening statistics. If the vast majority of people (both men and women though women more so) admit to believing in obvious delusions and falsehoods it throws into question every social belief and accepted moral standard there is. If the majority of people are delusional why should any social norm in such a society be accepted or trusted as correct no matter how well established? This in itself is a very strong reason to question literally every social belief, especially those of the PC ilk. If roughly 80% of all people in a society believe in obvious delusions why should we not assume that all that society's other beliefs on sexuality, morality, appropriate behavior, marriage, legal and gender issues and on and on would be equally flawed and questionable and dysfunctional. It seems like very strong prima facie evidence that delusional people will come up with illogical and flawed belief systems of all sorts in all areas of life and society.
On Sunday 3/30/08 Yahoo launched its new Woman's site Shine. As part of the launch Yahoo closed discontinued its separate astrology site and folded it into Shine. Here we have all the scientific confirmation we need that women are more gullible and irrational and prone to believe in superstitions like astrology. Yahoo has apparently done the research and come to the conclusion that their astrology section belongs in a woman specific area along with other particularly female interests!
A 2003 Harris Poll of 2,201 U.S. adults on religious and other beliefs found that women were consistently more gullible than men.