Author Topic: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs  (Read 4765 times)

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Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2011, 07:36:47 PM »
... and why do people insist on labeling a person as intelligent or stupid. We are all intelligent and stupid at the same time. It depends what aspect of our lives and abilities we're looking at specifically.

Your question helps highlight the first thing that popped into my head when I read the OP. What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists? But more than that, the study reminded me of craniometry repackaged.
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Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #59 on: September 21, 2011, 07:47:10 PM »
Maybe a group of athiests and a group of thiests should get together and do an IQ test to see which group has a higher IQ. Then it and the results should be made public so they stop annoying everyone with their pathetic made up beliefs and stuff.

Fair enough, but just to make it interesting lets be sure that all the theists are selected from Harvard Divinity School and all the atheists are selected from the streets of Vietnam.
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Offline jetson

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #60 on: September 21, 2011, 08:34:29 PM »
... and why do people insist on labeling a person as intelligent or stupid. We are all intelligent and stupid at the same time. It depends what aspect of our lives and abilities we're looking at specifically.

Your question helps highlight the first thing that popped into my head when I read the OP. What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists? But more than that, the study reminded me of craniometry repackaged.

Yeah, so we should give these theists full and due credit for their "intelligence" about the world we live in, and the god that created and runs it?  No thanks, they are lacking in intelligence if they cannot make the leap from mythology to reality.  If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.  If the IQ test is flawed, then we can throw it out and come up with a measure that isn't flawed, or is less flawed.

Somewhere along the way, the theist is trapped in his personal beliefs, and no matter how much brain power they have, they leave it all at the door to defend their delusion, so maybe they are skewing the results?  LOL

This is an interesting topic, but we are all over the map on agreeing what intelligence means, so it's hard to discuss.  Maybe the IQ test is a bad representation, but it is a measure of something useful, so again, all other things being equal, the atheists will still come out with a higher score, most likely.


Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2011, 08:46:00 PM »
Yeah, so we should give these theists full and due credit for their "intelligence" about the world we live in, and the god that created and runs it?  No thanks, they are lacking in intelligence if they cannot make the leap from mythology to reality.  If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.  If the IQ test is flawed, then we can throw it out and come up with a measure that isn't flawed, or is less flawed.

Jetson, this is absolutely what I have been trying to say. Thank you for saying it better!  :)
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #62 on: September 21, 2011, 08:50:42 PM »

I'll have to think about how to reply. Too many cans of worms opened. I missed your bold by the way, which post?


Ricky, this is the phrase that I made bold:

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If you had been given that new information and had not questioned the apologetics you were presented with (that is, if willfulness was not a factor), then I would have said you were less intelligent.

I'm confused as to why you missed that, since it was in my last post. ?
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Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #63 on: September 21, 2011, 08:53:50 PM »
If an IQ comparison consistently shows atheists higher, then take it for what it is, more intelligent.
Well that's fair enough...but how many tests like this have been conducted?
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Somewhere along the way, the theist is trapped in his personal beliefs,
To a certain extent so is the atheist. Atheism requires nothing more than the lack of belief in religion. It does not require that a person be well educated or even a scientist to not believe in religion. Everybody has their own personal beliefs. So what is your point? Everybody has biases. Including the people who conducted this particular survey in question. Including CuriousGirl who seems to accept the conclusion without further investigation or independent thought. On a side note, I just watched a guy get a creme pie smashed into his face while wearing a sombrero at the Mexican restaurant I am at while his girlfriend took pictures. I wonder if they are atheist or not?
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This is an interesting topic, but we are all over the map on agreeing what intelligence means, so it's hard to discuss.

True
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Maybe the IQ test is a bad representation, but it is a measure of something useful, so again, all other things being equal, the atheists will still come out with a higher score, most likely.
Whatever helps you sleep at night
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Offline albeto

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #64 on: September 21, 2011, 09:31:06 PM »
To a certain extent so is the atheist. Atheism requires nothing more than the lack of belief in religion. It does not require that a person be well educated or even a scientist to not believe in religion. Everybody has their own personal beliefs. So what is your point?

The point is simply, regardless of where the theist or the atheist begin, the theist willingly embraces ignorance in order to maintain a belief system that is clearly contrary to reason.  Either one can be sharp as a noodle or dumb as a post but the theist will retard his/her intellect willfully.  They may not be able to help it for emotional reasons, but that's simply how faith operates. 

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2011, 09:32:10 PM »
Including CuriousGirl who seems to accept the conclusion without further investigation or independent thought.

My bolding above. I think that was unwarranted. I provided not only the original study, but also a second study that was conducted by a different researcher in 137 countries. I could attempt to provide more studies, but I'm not sure if you will acknowledge them or just say "nuh-uh".

As for independent thought, I have definitely shown some in my posts. I used Copernicus as an example in one of my earlier posts, which was my idea.

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On a side note, I just watched a guy get a creme pie smashed into his face while wearing a sombrero at the Mexican restaurant I am at while his girlfriend took pictures. I wonder if they are atheist or not?


Irrelevant. That has nothing to do with information processing ability.
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Online Mr. Blackwell

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2011, 09:46:36 PM »
@curiousgirl

I am not completely unreasonable. Note I did say "seems" because you only stated two studies. I may or may not say "nuh-uh" to other studies, it kinda depends on who conducts the studies and how they were conducted. I am more of an agnostic than anything. For example, I would hold studies under suspicion if they were funded by the Koch brothers equally as if they were funded by Code Pink. As far as the creme pie, yeah...irrelevant but it is what I just saw at the moment and I have had many cervaza's...my apologies.

modified to add:

As for independent thought, I have definitely shown some in my posts. I used Copernicus as an example in one of my earlier posts, which was my idea.
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« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 09:52:55 PM by jaybwell32 »
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Offline jetson

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2011, 10:40:08 PM »
Jayb..I can't say it any more clearly.  Sleeping at night has nothing to do with it.  You see, this is not some dichotomous dilemma of humanity we are discussing.  This is pure bullshit mythology versus reality.  What part of that do you want to keep arguing against, or trying to make atheism seem similar in some way?

I'm fine with a discussion that gets us closer to showing the distinction between humans who believe in bullshit mythology and made up gods versus those who can clearly see that there is no such thing, using whatever measures we can all agree on.  For example, education level might also be a factor...I'm not sure.  Its too late for me to dig right now, but I have a vague memory of a study that showed higher education levels among non-believers...if I'm wrong about the study, I will retract.

But let's say it's a valid study, and when combined with higher IQ scores, it just strengthens the argument that atheists are smarter.  And honestly, even if we can't objectively measure it with tests such as the IQ test, we can certainly get it done via research that targets the general question. 

Show me the bias in an atheist view?  I don't understand how anyone can make an argument that there is bias in atheism.  What kind of bias is required to sit patiently while a deluded portion of humanity desperately tries to prove something as ridiculous as a god?  Do you think we willfully reject god claims?  I certainly don't, and I don't know any atheists that do.

I suppose it is possible that a group of people who believe the earth is 6000 years old could be as smart, or smarter than those who understand and accept the knowledge gained by or supplied by science, but I'm not going to give anyone that benefit just because an IQ test might not be the best indicator.  The god belief is the ultimate test, and theists fail beyond measure.

I should also add that in my opinion, most theists don't actually believe, they are just afraid to question their religion.  So if they manage to show a similar level of intelligence, it may be due to the possibility that they suspend their private beliefs when they know they are being measured a certain way.  I suppose I can back off a bit if this idea were true.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2011, 11:06:05 PM »
curiosGirl, you will like this study. i dintbthink its the miltary one you mentioned

http://undergraduatestudies.ucdavis.edu/explorations/2004/clark.pdf

Got to run.

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Offline plethora

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #69 on: September 22, 2011, 04:35:55 AM »
This is a response to jaybwell32's post but it is also intended for Jetson and curiousgirl.

What purpose does it serve to label religious people as "less" intelligent than atheists?

When it comes to religion and belief in a god specifically, all theists are less intelligent than all atheists... without exception. Why? The atheist position is justified and the theist position is not. That's all there is to it.

Now I'm not saying that education, or lack thereof, doesn't influence people or play a part in which side of the fence they reside. Surely, exposure to science, logic and critical thinking via education will steer more people towards atheism. But people are amazing at compartmentalizing to the point where they can be overall very intelligent and yet unbelievably stupid when it comes to belief in a god.

Take Francis CollinsWiki for example. He is an accomplished geneticist who was head of the Human Genome ProjectWiki when it mapped the full sequence of human DNA for the first time in history. His contribution to genetics has been outstanding.

He has a higher level of education than I do and when it comes to genetics, he is far more intelligent than all of us (unless there happens to be a geneticist among the atheists on this board with greater experience, knowledge and achievements in the field of genetics than Francis Collins ... I highly doubt it).

Now, if you're familiar with Francis Collins' christian beliefs, his testimony of how he became 'born again evangelical' is positively moronic. Francis Collins says he was hiking one day when he saw a waterfall that was frozen into 3 streams. This reminded him of the trinity and at that very spot he fell to his knees and accepted Jesus as his lord and savior.

Would Francis Collins score higher than us on an IQ test? Probably. Does it fucking matter? No.

When it comes to his belief in god and his reasons for it, he's a dumbass.



edit: spelling
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 04:41:38 AM by plethora »
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Offline jetson

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #70 on: September 22, 2011, 05:49:35 AM »
Plethora,

Your point is well taken, and I don't disagree at all.  But I think it makes a difference when you look at the groups, as opposed to individuals.  I think that a proper study would show that Collins pulls the theists IQ up, but not far enough to take them above the atheists overall.  I could be wrong, but that is the fundamental question, I think. 

And I have to agree that I cannot claim that atheists are smarter without proper evidence.  When I thought about a measure of education level, I realized that I work with college graduates, and even PHd level education in my colleagues who seem to be dumber than rocks.  It leave me wondering what they were doing during school.

So, I'm left without proper evidence to support my thought, but I remain convinced that atheists are smarter.  I will have to dig around for some of those studies now and see what I can find!  I know I've read more than one that shows some correlation between the two groups.


Online jaimehlers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #71 on: September 22, 2011, 08:24:51 AM »
I don't think it makes enough of a difference to be able to legitimately say that atheists are smarter than theists, or vice versa for that matter.  Remember the studies that showed that black people were handicapped taking the standard IQ test, because of cultural considerations?  I don't know if that qualifies for here or not, but in a way, it's beside the point.

Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists?  Think about the question before answering.  Will it really do any good to try to prove that atheists, on average, get higher IQ scores?  I, personally, don't think so.  I think trying to prove that one group is 'smarter' on average than another is nothing more than a way to screw up with confidence.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #72 on: September 22, 2011, 08:59:10 AM »
Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists? 

Absolutely. As I said earlier, if atheists are able to process the information from their environments better in order to find out the truth, that is very significant. This was an excerpt from the study I provided that was done in 137 countries:

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My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical," says the professor.[

Also:

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atheists scored 6 g-IQ points higher than those adhering to a religion.

This was the finding of the second study I provided. Pretty similar to the first one.

In other words, those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily because they are not as skeptical as the more intelligent people. Which is why, earlier, when TOT said that he used new information to replace the incorrect apologetics he used to believe, I said that if he had not done this, he would have been less intelligent.
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #73 on: September 22, 2011, 09:06:30 AM »
Pleth, I have been talking about groups here, especially in my earlier posts. Collins is most definitely an exception, because he is intelligent enough to be head of the Human Genome Project, yet he is willful, which is something that I did discuss earlier. Obviously, a waterfall frozen into 3 streams does not make one logically conclude that there is a God.

Let me give a group example that hits closer to home. I grew up going to church and apologetics seminars, yet the members of this forum seem more logical and intelligent than any of the theists I was in contact with.

Take the theists on this board as an example. No offense to them, but as a group overall, do they argue intelligently?
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Offline plethora

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #74 on: September 22, 2011, 09:07:00 AM »
Aside from ego, is there any good reason to argue that atheists are smarter than theists?  Think about the question before answering.  Will it really do any good to try to prove that atheists, on average, get higher IQ scores?  I, personally, don't think so.  I think trying to prove that one group is 'smarter' on average than another is nothing more than a way to screw up with confidence.

I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.

Atheists are right about the non-existence of a god because the evidence, or lack thereof, justifies our position. Theists cannot justify their belief in a god. That should be enough. We win, they lose.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?
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Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2011, 09:11:04 AM »
I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.

Atheists are right about the non-existence of a god because the evidence, or lack thereof, justifies our position. Theists cannot justify their belief in a god. That should be enough. We win, they lose.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?

My bolding above. It is not enough. We need to have every shred of evidence and every good argument that we possibly can, because atheists are generally hated and dismissed by a society (here in the US, at least) that is clinging desperately to religion. At least if we can prove that atheists are smarter, it may sway some of the more moderately religious people.
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Online jaimehlers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2011, 02:47:23 PM »
I think the intended purpose of proving atheists are 'smarter' than theists is so atheists can say "See? We're smarter, this study proves it, so we must be right and you must be wrong.". Problem is, there's no need for that and it achieves nothing.
Agreed.  In fact, it might actually backfire.

If our arguments against their god claim don't convince them (and they often don't)... what makes anyone think that proving we are 'smarter' then they are will make a difference?
The only thing I'd like to add to that is that it's all-too-easy for that sort of 'proof' to make exactly the wrong kind of difference. 

Absolutely. As I said earlier, if atheists are able to process the information from their environments better in order to find out the truth, that is very significant.
Sorry, I have to disagree; it isn't particularly significant in the sense that you mean.  5-6 IQ points is something like a 5-6% difference, one way or the other.  That's not nothing, but it isn't all that much either.  Practical skill and training by themselves can easily overcome an innate difference that small.

In other words, those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily because they are not as skeptical as the more intelligent people. Which is why, earlier, when TOT said that he used new information to replace the incorrect apologetics he used to believe, I said that if he had not done this, he would have been less intelligent.
I'm quite sure that IQ tests don't measure skepticism.  And if you don't think "those with a lower intelligence" are not skeptical, then you aren't paying attention at all.  What we believe is very often shaped by those we trust, and it is natural to be skeptical of new information provided by those who we don't trust.  And, honestly, how would you react to someone you don't know very well coming in and saying, "hey, I'm naturally smarter than you, here's some studies that prove it, so you should listen to me"?

My bolding above. It is not enough. We need to have every shred of evidence and every good argument that we possibly can, because atheists are generally hated and dismissed by a society (here in the US, at least) that is clinging desperately to religion. At least if we can prove that atheists are smarter, it may sway some of the more moderately religious people.
Even when evidence comes across as grasping at straws?  Even when an argument has a critical flaw that you didn't consider?

If atheists are hated and dismissed by a society that clings to religion, then what makes you think that clinging to 5 or 6 additional IQ points is going to ameliorate that?  What that does, more than anything, is make you seem desperate for any advantage, which has the result of amplifying skepticism and distrust.  Furthermore, nobody likes to be called stupid, even by implication.  And by saying that atheists are slightly smarter than theists, you're implying that theism, whatever variety, is only chosen by stupid people (or at least, dumber people than average).  You aren't going to accomplish much to sway anyone's opinion the way you want by suggesting, no matter how inadvertently, that someone was stupid for having a religious belief to begin with.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2011, 03:35:21 PM »
Sorry, I have to disagree; it isn't particularly significant in the sense that you mean.  5-6 IQ points is something like a 5-6% difference, one way or the other.  That's not nothing, but it isn't all that much either.  Practical skill and training by themselves can easily overcome an innate difference that small.
Information processing ability would affect how theists would interpret training. The fact that atheists are even slightly more intelligent is significant. Or we could just pretend that it's not.

Quote
I'm quite sure that IQ tests don't measure skepticism.  And if you don't think "those with a lower intelligence" are not skeptical, then you aren't paying attention at all.  What we believe is very often shaped by those we trust, and it is natural to be skeptical of new information provided by those who we don't trust.  And, honestly, how would you react to someone you don't know very well coming in and saying, "hey, I'm naturally smarter than you, here's some studies that prove it, so you should listen to me"?

You missed my point, which was that those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily, so there is a correlation between intelligence and skepticism, not that IQ tests measure skepticism. I never said that those with a lower intelligence are not skeptical. My quote says that they are "not as skeptical". As for the stranger with studies proving his point, I would take a look at the studies even if I didn't like the guy. That's what lead me to agnostic atheism to begin with: questioning those theists whom I was familiar with and believing the atheist strangers on this board.

Quote
If atheists are hated and dismissed by a society that clings to religion, then what makes you think that clinging to 5 or 6 additional IQ points is going to ameliorate that?  What that does, more than anything, is make you seem desperate for any advantage, which has the result of amplifying skepticism and distrust.  Furthermore, nobody likes to be called stupid, even by implication.  And by saying that atheists are slightly smarter than theists, you're implying that theism, whatever variety, is only chosen by stupid people (or at least, dumber people than average).  You aren't going to accomplish much to sway anyone's opinion the way you want by suggesting, no matter how inadvertently, that someone was stupid for having a religious belief to begin with.

Again, I said try to show the more moderate theists evidence. They are less likely to hate and dismiss atheists, and more likely to be intelligent enough to interpret the info that I would provide realistically. I'm not calling theists stupid. That is a strawman. I was saying that they are less intelligent than atheists, but that does not mean stupid.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Online jaimehlers

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2011, 05:32:01 PM »
Information processing ability would affect how theists would interpret training. The fact that atheists are even slightly more intelligent is significant. Or we could just pretend that it's not.
Okay, basic ability - intelligence or information processing in this case - only determines a person's natural ability with something.  Training, education, and experience all act as multipliers for that natural ability, and they ultimately make a much larger difference than natural ability possibly could by itself.  It's certainly true that someone who has an advantage, even a relatively small one, will get more out of the same amount of training, etc.  But it is incorrect to assume that both will put the same effort into training, or that the person with more natural ability will stay ahead simply because they have more natural ability.  There are other factors which influence the effectiveness of training which have nothing to do with natural ability.  So there's no point in waving a small difference in IQ around like it's especially meaningful, because in the grand scheme of things, it isn't.

As for your statement about how theists would interpret training, I have to admit I'm not completely sure what you're trying to say here.  But I think you're making an assumption which isn't going to hold up under scrutiny.  IQ isn't some static thing that never changes; a person who goes into the sciences is likely to stretch their information processing ability much more than a person who goes into seminary.  So I don't think it's accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists.  Certainly not without examining things in much more depth than they have been so far.

You missed my point, which was that those with a lower intelligence accept theism more readily, so there is a correlation between intelligence and skepticism, not that IQ tests measure skepticism. I never said that those with a lower intelligence are not skeptical. My quote says that they are "not as skeptical". As for the stranger with studies proving his point, I would take a look at the studies even if I didn't like the guy. That's what lead me to agnostic atheism to begin with: questioning those theists whom I was familiar with and believing the atheist strangers on this board.
No, I understood it just fine, I simply don't agree with the conclusion you're trying to draw.  You're saying that more intelligent people are more skeptical than less intelligent ones.  I believe it's actually backwards from what you're describing; more intelligent people are able to rationally suspend their skepticism in order to consider an idea that they don't agree with.  So in a sense, less intelligent people are actually more skeptical and less willing to seriously consider something they disagree with.  Your counterexample demonstrates that point.  You aren't being skeptical of his ideas by being willing to consider them; you're actually suspending your skepticism to a degree to give him a fair chance to convince you despite yourself.

Again, I said try to show the more moderate theists evidence. They are less likely to hate and dismiss atheists, and more likely to be intelligent enough to interpret the info that I would provide realistically. I'm not calling theists stupid. That is a strawman. I was saying that they are less intelligent than atheists, but that does not mean stupid.
I didn't say you were calling theists stupid.  And I don't think you're deliberately implying they are either.  But that's the way it often comes across when you start talking about one person being smarter than another.  It is simply aggravating to be around someone who presumes that they're smarter, because it's often received as "you're not as smart as I am", and that creates a lot of resentment.  You don't have to start calling someone dumb or stupid for them to feel like you are, since those are both relative terms.

You might be able to get through to a few of the more moderate theists that way, but you're only doing so by severely handicapping yourself in how you relate to all the other ones.  And it isn't just that it will affect you, it's that it will affect other atheists as well.  The damage you'll do to your own cause isn't worth what you get in return, at least in my opinion.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #79 on: September 22, 2011, 06:10:54 PM »
It's certainly true that someone who has an advantage, even a relatively small one, will get more out of the same amount of training, etc.  But it is incorrect to assume that both will put the same effort into training, or that the person with more natural ability will stay ahead simply because they have more natural ability.  There are other factors which influence the effectiveness of training which have nothing to do with natural ability.  So there's no point in waving a small difference in IQ around like it's especially meaningful, because in the grand scheme of things, it isn't.

This is about what they get out of training overall (my bolding).  If there were an atheist "training" class for logical reasons for God's non-existence, I would think that someone with more intelligence would get more out of that because they can (barring willfulness). What do you mean by "the grand scheme of things"? The history of mankind? The universe? If it is either of those, then you and I wouldn't be especially meaningful either.

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As for your statement about how theists would interpret training, I have to admit I'm not completely sure what you're trying to say here.  But I think you're making an assumption which isn't going to hold up under scrutiny.  IQ isn't some static thing that never changes; a person who goes into the sciences is likely to stretch their information processing ability much more than a person who goes into seminary.  So I don't think it's accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists.  Certainly not without examining things in much more depth than they have been so far.

I never claimed IQ was static, but a person with an IQ of 100 is not going to "stretch their information processing ability" and later have an IQ of 150. I think it is accurate to claim that atheists are on average smarter than theists. What depth should we examine things to?

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No, I understood it just fine, I simply don't agree with the conclusion you're trying to draw.  You're saying that more intelligent people are more skeptical than less intelligent ones.  I believe it's actually backwards from what you're describing; more intelligent people are able to rationally suspend their skepticism in order to consider an idea that they don't agree with.  So in a sense, less intelligent people are actually more skeptical and less willing to seriously consider something they disagree with.  Your counterexample demonstrates that point.  You aren't being skeptical of his ideas by being willing to consider them; you're actually suspending your skepticism to a degree to give him a fair chance to convince you despite yourself.

I doubt that less intelligent people who believe in God are more skeptical. They are less willing to consider something they disagree with either because they aren't processing the info very well, or because of willful ignorance. My (former) problem was willful ignorance, so I never actually suspended my skepticism because I didn't have that to begin with. I am skeptical now that I am willing to use my intelligence to interpret info rather than shut it out.

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I didn't say you were calling theists stupid.  And I don't think you're deliberately implying they are either.  But that's the way it often comes across when you start talking about one person being smarter than another.  It is simply aggravating to be around someone who presumes that they're smarter, because it's often received as "you're not as smart as I am", and that creates a lot of resentment.  You don't have to start calling someone dumb or stupid for them to feel like you are, since those are both relative terms.

Sorry you feel it comes across that way. I'm not trying to aggravate you, I am trying to debate you. Whether or not anyone is aggravated, facts are facts, and I tried to present them with those studies.

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You might be able to get through to a few of the more moderate theists that way, but you're only doing so by severely handicapping yourself in how you relate to all the other ones.  And it isn't just that it will affect you, it's that it will affect other atheists as well.  The damage you'll do to your own cause isn't worth what you get in return, at least in my opinion.

You are free to have your opinion. I just disagree. Hopefully people can understand that truth is truth no matter how they feel.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."-Carl Sagan

Offline jetson

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2011, 07:36:17 PM »
I don't think it's a bad idea to point out that atheists are smarter, on average.  It may seem petty to some, and even elitist, but I think it is important.  It is important because we are considered stupid, ignorant, and completely wrong in our position regarding what they believe is our eternal salvation or damnation.  I don't intend to stand around playing Mr. nice guy while being slandered by deluded humans, who also happen to actually have a lower level of intelligence (assuming studies support this).

I can understand the points being made about why it might not make a difference, and that may be true.  I have even considered that maybe my position is not a good one, but I'm not ready to give in just yet.  I'm thinking about how poorly atheists are treated, and how many people in this country feel towards us.  And I realize that throwing something like this in their face is not going to make friends.  But as it stands, we have nothing.  We are nothing in the political arena, we are being tossed around and ignored in pretty much every facet of society.  The only way to get attention, it seems, is to get in the faces of theists, and let them know that we are a force to be reckoned with.

Not only are we smarter, but we have more common sense, and we don't waste our lives away with bullshit god nonsense and religious woo.  We care about the world, and what is happening to it, and we want to see it improve.  We want to see humans put their personal woo aside, and treat each other with respect, and be treated the same way in return.

In many ways, this is a fight.  And on the intellectual side of the battle, we are in a serious lead.  Sadly though, theists are sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling "la la la la la", while simultaneously pushing their religious and political agendas on us from every possible angle.  We don't have time to be nice any more.

Ok, let me have it!

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #81 on: September 22, 2011, 07:47:30 PM »
Ricky, I read some of the study you provided, but you didn't comment on it. What were your thoughts regarding the study?
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Offline rickymooston

Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #82 on: September 22, 2011, 07:56:52 PM »
When it comes to religion and belief in a god specifically, all theists are less intelligent than all atheists... without exception. Why? The atheist position is justified and the theist position is not. That's all there is to it.

I disagree and disagree totally.

The atheist position isn't "justified" in a positive sense.

Its "justified" in a negative sense.

That is:
- heuristic arguments exist for the existence of God and even for the truth of Jesus.
- one may accept those arguments while being fully aware of their weaknesses. This is precisely what people do, in many cases.

For example, one may understand that the bible is what it is. Its a set of an accounts. Some evidence does exist that some people died for those beliefs. Clearly people also died for other competing beliefs but there may be aspects of those beliefs that rings true to a person but if one leads credence to those accounts ... Why one would do this? Some reason to consider the sources honest?

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Now, if you're familiar with Francis Collins' christian beliefs, his testimony of how he became 'born again evangelical' is positively moronic. Francis Collins says he was hiking one day when he saw a waterfall that was frozen into 3 streams. This reminded him of the trinity and at that very spot he fell to his knees and accepted Jesus as his lord and savior.

This is a total misrepresentation of the thought process that Francis Collin's put into aquiring his Christian beliefs, a process that took years of his life, beginning from an atheistic secular beginning. He wrote an entire book on the subject. I suggest you re-read the book, The Language of God.

Your summary of his journey is moronic.

One of the things that really struck him, as a doctor, was how belief in God affected people, when those people were near death. This was only one of the experiential things he describes. In context, you have to understand that he was and is aware of the weaknesses in his position.

Its been a few years since I read his book. He describes several aethetic aspects of ther Christian faith that really rang true to him. Hea lends a considerable amount of weight on the works of C.S Lewis.

If you want an example of an intelligent person with moronic views, that would be Jason Lisle.

Fracis Colins is in a whole category of his own. One that may require quite a lot deeper sober reflection that what you've provided above.
"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline rickymooston

Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #83 on: September 22, 2011, 08:06:00 PM »
Ricky, I read some of the study you provided, but you didn't comment on it. What were your thoughts regarding the study?

Whether or not I totally do agree, on first glance, it looked like the sort of definition of intelligence they were working on, seems to agree with the kind of thing you are aiming at.

On my first read, that definition of intelligence, doesn't necessarily look tied to the hardware of the brain. I think, it takes into account one's techniques as well as the quality of the hardware. I need to re-read the article but I think its a far better quality than the study you opened the thread with.

The study you opened the thread with, appears to have tons of holes and I did manage to find an article, that seems reasonable that pointed out a whole slew of weaknesses in it. Its hard to tell from your article or from the abstract of the publlished paper but the article refuting it has a lot more detail. What I did notice however, is that evolutionary researcher does seem to make pretty radical sweeping conclusions in his work.


"i had learn to focus i what i could do rather what i couldn't do", Rick Hansen when asked about getting a disabling spinal cord injury at 15. He continues to raise money for spinal cord research and inspire peoople to "make a difference". He doesnt preach any religion.

Offline jetson

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #84 on: September 22, 2011, 08:29:12 PM »
The only way to get attention, it seems, is to get in the faces of theists, and let them know that we are a force to be reckoned with.


I know I'm quoting myself, but I wanted to add to this particular line of thought:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-well/201109/are-you-teaching-people-treat-you-badly

This article talks about how being too nice might be encouraging others to be even more aggressive and abusive towards you.

Offline curiousgirl

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Re: Study by Evolutionary Psychologist Reveals Atheists Have Slightly Higher IQs
« Reply #85 on: September 22, 2011, 08:36:01 PM »
Whether or not I totally do agree, on first glance, it looked like the sort of definition of intelligence they were working on, seems to agree with the kind of thing you are aiming at.

On my first read, that definition of intelligence, doesn't necessarily look tied to the hardware of the brain. I think, it takes into account one's techniques as well as the quality of the hardware. I need to re-read the article but I think its a far better quality than the study you opened the thread with.

The study you opened the thread with, appears to have tons of holes and I did manage to find an article, that seems reasonable that pointed out a whole slew of weaknesses in it. Its hard to tell from your article or from the abstract of the publlished paper but the article refuting it has a lot more detail. What I did notice however, is that evolutionary researcher does seem to make pretty radical sweeping conclusions in his work.


OK, what about the second study I provided?

It's nice that you provided a study, but it had some limitations that might cause one to question it. From the study you provided:

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LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
Unfortunately, characteristics of my sample may limit generalization of the findings. One such characteristic is gender. The study consisted primarily of women, who are universally more religious than men (Stark, 2003). The mean IQ of the population is also an area of concern. Mean IQ scores for both men and women in this study reached well into the high-average range of cognitive ability (the general population mean is 100). The findings might be somewhat different, or even stronger, if a wider range of intellectual ability were sampled.
Religious self-identification by the participants may also limit generalization. Forty-eight percent of the participants declared themselves as religious, twenty-five percent as spiritual, twenty percent as agnostic, and eight percent as atheists. This distribution differs from that found in the United States population, which does not have as many atheists or agnostics (Shermer, 2000). The representation of religions in the current study was similarly skewed; most respondents were Protestant or Catholic.

While it says the findings might be stronger "if a wider range of intellectual ability were sampled," the higher than average cognitive ability of the subjects might cause one to question the study. Also, the subjects were mainly women. Men might call that unfair. The subjects were a higher ratio of agnostics and atheists than there would be in the US.

I think it would be great if the researcher would redo the study with those problems fixed. Then we could get a clearer picture.
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Offline curiousgirl

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